I am sure many other Twitter users have already defined what I am calling the Twitter Effect (there is, in fact, a Facebook page called The Twitter Effect). Even though I am professionally trained to read and evaluate what others have said before I say what I want to say on a topic (in academia we call this a literature review), I am going to skip that step right now; these definitions are irrelevant to my point, anyway. I’ll engage in some grounded theory instead, and offer this up as a personalized definition of my own Twitter Effect.
My own Twitter Effect is characterized by some — no, all — of the following:
- Like @injenuity, I sometimes forget I have a blog! I am not posting as often on this here blog, and the posts I have written seem less — well, less ________________. Just less.
- Because I receive Twitter feeds from people I am trying to learn from (I carefully select the people I follow to avoid Twitter Litter), I sometimes feel like I might miss out on something important if I don’t check Twitter at least three times a day. The sky could be falling and if I miss Chicken Little’s tweet at 3:01 informing me of this news, I might not otherwise find out! This is perhaps the only negative experience of my Twitter Effect, and, to be fair, it’s totally self-induced.
- I no longer need to read many of my RSS feeds because I get them through Twitter; by the time I remember to check my RSS feeds, I’ve already seen most of the posts. However, because of #2 above, I am keeping my RSS feeds; they help control my anxiety about potentially missing something.
- I am continually amazed by what a good source of learning Twitter can be, which is why I keep using it so diligently. It helps me scan key publications easily (example, The Chronicle of Higher Ed); it keeps me connected to certain goings-on in conferences that I can’t attend in person; I get to hear multiple perspectives on any given topic that might otherwise not come together in any organized space; and I get to connect with people I might otherwise never have known.
- I am also continually amazed by what some of my good sources of learning will tweet on Twitter — many of my Twitter superstars are actually humans with sick kids, pear trees, and great recipes to share. That’s cool! I like that they are human and care about whether or not their favorite football team wins in addition to whether or not their students are learning or their university gets its needed funding.
- Finally, as I’ve been diligently working at living an integrated life instead of a life in silos, I have found support with Twitter. I follow organizations and people who are in my professional realms, I follow my yoga studio, I follow my local farmer’s market, I follow friends, and I search and follow specific topics that are of interest to me.
My own Twitter Effect is neither bad, nor good. My own Twitter Effect just is, and I’m ok with it, even though I sometimes forget that I have a blog. (And a kid. And a husband. And a dog. And 2 cats. And a class to teach. And a paper to write. And dinner to cook. And … ok, ok, just kidding. Twitter humor, people. Twitter humor.)