Not tomorrow, not this weekend.
Here are 10 reasons why...
Over the past few weeks, I've been able to get in touch with experts in the physical therapy and strength and conditioning field...as a direct result from Twitter. While some may scoff at the idea of reaching out to another professional via a social media platform, I think it's genius (especially if you're a student). Find a person who is currently doing what it is you want to do with your career, follow them, then reach out to them. If you're lucky, they may even follow you back. If reaching out to other professionals in your field isn't something that excites you, I have a few friends who have had conversations via Twitter with celebrities, high-profile music artists, and professional athletes. You know all those things you've wanted to say to Lebron James? Yeah, Twitter can help accomplish that.
2) Interact with students/colleagues from all across the world.
As I sit here writing this blog post, I am attempting to finish in time to take part in a "tweet chat" with other doctor of physical therapy students. By using a hashtag (#), Twitter users can essentially have a conversation with millions of other people. For example, every Wednesday evening at 9pm, physical therapy students from across the nation include "#DPTstudent" in a tweet. This #DPTstudent hashtag can then be clicked to view every tweet that has #DPTstudent included in the tweet. This enables students to see what other students tweet, even if they don't follow them. It makes for some great "conversations!"
3) Get rid of useless information.
For some reason, every time I log on to Facebook, I see photos of babies and food, and posts about bad relationships. I'm not sure about you, but I really don't find this stuff useful (if anything, it makes me feel like I should be having a baby). Although some Twitter users may occasionally tweet useless or unentertaining things, the majority of the time I enjoy reading my Twitter feed. Plus, it's much easier to click the "unfollow" button than to "unfriend" someone on Facebook, IMO.
4) Become a better writer.
In case you've been living under a rock for the past few years, the great thing about Twitter is the limit on the amount of characters each tweet can contain. Limited to 140 characters, you are forced to get your point across! I've found this has improved my writing skills tremendously. I still have a long ways to go, but I'm getting better. Thank you, Twitter.
5) Grammar mistakes and abbreviations are acceptable (most of the time).
Limited to only 140 characters often times causes me to throw proper grammar out the window. Don't get me wrong, understanding proper grammar is important. I believe every person should know the difference between "their" and "there," and "your" and "you're." BUT, when you type out an epic tweet, only to realize it contains 145 characters, it's okay to alter a few words and punctuations that would be ridiculed by your English professor.
6) Get information fast.
It doesn't take long for information to go viral via social media. Think of the past few large scale events that have occurred unexpectedly. Rather than tuning in to the local news for the latest updates, most people log on to their Twitter accounts. With most major news organizations now on Twitter, information on breaking stories can be "retweeted" by millions of people in a matter of minutes.
7) No Farmville. Or other useless, time-wasting Facebook games.
Each time I log on to Twitter, I come across at least one tweet on my twitter feed that causes me to chuckle. Typically, it's from a parody (fake, imitation of) account. Some of my favorite Twitter parody accounts include: The Fake ESPN, Condescending Wonka, Not Will Ferrell, Lord Voldemort, and Drunk Coach Cal (Go Cats!).
9) Build your brand.
This is the #1 reason why you should be using Twitter. When people hear your name, what comes to their mind? You can help shape what comes others' minds one tweet at a time. Twitter can help establish what it is you stand for and what you can offer to others. Whether you're a business or an individual- it doesn't matter! For example, I will be a doctor of physical therapy in August of 2015. In between now and the day I graduate, I am attempting to build "Trent's brand." Not only am I using Twitter to show others what I'm all about, but I also use Twitter to show others what my profession (physical therapy) is all about.
10) You can follow "The Rock."
Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson is the man. He tweets about everything; from 4am cardio in Budapest to what he's eating for breakfast (*note: it's entertaining when the Rock takes a photo of his breakfast, not when you or I do).
Don't look back five years from now and wish you would have jumped on the Twitter bandwagon. Whether your 9 or 90, it's time to create yourself a Twitter account.
...and don't forget to follow me when you do.