About 6 months ago, I was sharing my intrigue of social media tools such as Twitter with my sister-in-law, who promptly flew into a tizzy about "how narcissistic that whole thing is! Who wants to know what you are doing right now?!". My efforts to persuade her only increased her agitation, so I eased back on that attempted conversion.
But when I began to think about how to get the most out of Twitter, the possibilities of the synergy came flowing into my head! A particular quote from Peter Senge came to mind:
”Mastery does not mean having a plan for the whole, but having an awareness of the whole.”
Peter M. Senge. The Dance of Change, 1999.
"Awareness of the whole" includes that which you don't realize that you don't know. Simply looking at the worldwide twitter feed (learn more about Twitter) would merely overwhelm you, and yes, there are a lot of "tweets" that may very well have value solely for the source that issued it.
However, many features of Twitter map well to your daily information intake:
1. Trending - This is how Twitter identifies patterns within it's community, and pattern identification is key to better understanding our world.
2. Following - This creates a learning paradigm, another facet of staying young as the world grows older.
3. Real-time Information - Having the right information at the right time optimizes your ability to make complex decisions. Twitter can deliver relevant information (website down, customers not happy) before normal channels pick up the problem.
Let's begin applying #2 above, creating a learning paradigm for yourself by following someone on Twitter, to get beyond your potentially uneducated or charged view of social media and look at Twitter as a tool for finding just the information you want. Here's what to do:
B. Search for keywords of interest to you and see who is "tweeting" about them.
C. Choose one or two who seem to have rich and plentiful posts and follow them.
Our own sphere of experience limits our awareness. You will be introduced to other ideas and people through Twitter, creating a mostly passive way for you to curiously explore and learn as you choose. Your “awareness of the whole” will grow to include the newest of ideas or perspective on a topic you thought you knew well! Once you get past the mysticism of the technology, you'll see not only how useful, but fun it can be!