What was your first tweet? #HappyBirthdayTwitter
If you use Twitter at all, as many of you should (more on that in a bit), you’ll likely be seeing tweets similar to the one above parading across your Twitter feed for the next few days. To celebrate its eighth birthday, Twitter has provided a tool to quickly dredge up your first-ever foray into the Twitterverse, likely to match Facebook’s video creation tool for its 10th birthday. Or it could be just to remind us that, contrary to our personal beliefs, many of us are generally boring and uninspired and more than willing to share our mediocrity in 164 characters or less.
Yes, we fell for it. Yes, ours were boring.
If you don’t have a #FirstTweet yet or if you can easily find yours without scrolling down your feed, maybe you should consider putting in a little effort into your Twitter self. We’re just looking out for your best interests here.
The microblogging platform certainly isn’t for everyone, but for many of us, it might be more useful a tool than you think. With the world moving ever onward toward a fully global online society (despite currently trending #TwitterisblockedinTurkey), it can sometimes only help your career and personal goals if you have a decently established and somewhat professional online identity.
It’s a common practice now for employers to Google potential employee names. If your social media presence is something they like, then that helps you stand out. Additionally, since each tweet is limited to 164 characters, it’s beyond easy to reach out to people and build a network that might net you a job opportunity. In some career paths, like journalism and technology, tweets get out fast-paced information at growing news sites and electronics conventions in a condensed and up-to-date pace. If you’re going into those careers, you need to have a good hold on what you’re doing to beat out everyone else. Like a bold, blaring headline on the front page of a news website, it’s not too difficult for something so short to catch the attention of someone important . . . if it’s interesting enough.
It’s not easy crafting short phrases of regular words and tags. Like any marketing campaign, tweeting is an art of word usage. Do it right, and you might end up with some great rewards. Do it wrong, and you might end up blasted on some news headlines like the anti-gays who tweeted hate during the Grammys. But it doesn’t hurt to try to build a bit of a presence — unless, of course, you’re one of those weird people who gets addicted to everything online. If you’re worried that Twitter is just a passing novelty, don’t go relying on that as an excuse.
Indeed, over the years, many have wondered if Twitter wasn’t just another Internet fad soon to fade, like Myspace and Flickr. Many of us around here, perhaps fewer than before, certainly remember the ye olde Myspace days when all the cool kids had it until . . . well, they didn’t. However, Twitter hints at some streamlined revamps in the near future to keep it fresh and going as strong as the other doubted social media success, Facebook. True, just because they’ve reached certain birthday numbers doesn’t mean they’ll last forever. But they’re a decent start.
So, to Twitter, happy birthday. Thanks for being a part of the Internet movement to link together people everywhere.