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How Twitter Has Changed The Way Information Is Received

I recently came across an article that mentioned the news that Google+ may soon implement hashtags into its platform as a way to engage more users in conversations. Although many feel this could be the Twitter-killer and a great way for Google+ to succeed in social media, it made me think: Yes, this is exactly what I want. Because of the fast transfer of information in its character limit, I have become fond of receiving my information in fire-hose format. That is, I want only the necessary details and I want them presented to me as quickly as possible.

Blog Me, Please

When I find myself browsing through blogs, I catch myself losing interest rather quickly. Between Tumblr and my Google Reader RSS feed, I prefer to browse through a compilation of sources rather than just reading through one specific website.  The Tumblr dashboard allows me to read all articles that have been published by all users I follow, instead of me having to click to each individual blog site. I can bounce between topics like fashion, humor and marketing, reblog effortlessly, and even put my two cents in on articles I like or those I would like to offer a rebuttal.

Similarly, my Google Reader has allowed me to receive the most recent articles from a variety of sources in different industries.  Adding these sources into my RSS feed avoids me from having to click between each of these websites, until there is a topic that catches my eye. Each of these are very similar to Twitter, where my news feed congregates all of the users I am following and presents only those tweets with short spurts of information that I can choose to ignore or click for further details.

The News…paper?

I will first admit that I have never really been a huge fan of reading the newspaper; I used to browse through and find the local movie times, or to see if I got featured in an article for my high school’s sports teams. Other than that, I tried to avoid the over-sized paper that left black ink on my fingertips. I’m realizing now that there may have been a bigger obstacle that kept me from finding interest in the newspaper.

I don’t want to have to skim through the pages to find any small piece of news that would mean something to me, and I would prefer to avoid all of the insert ads that fall out every single time I flip the page. With Twitter, I can choose which news sources I follow and receive information updates from. Better yet, I can create a ‘News’ list to organize my feed even more. Whether I’m laying in bed, walking to the gym, on my way to work, or cooking dinner – I don’t have to fight with pages and pages of news I’m not interested in, it’s all paperless and ready wherever I am.

You Are Too Many Characters

Social media has changed the way we interact and keep up with friends and family. Often times, it can be a great tool to share and provide information regardless of the actual distance between two people. However, I have noticed that many of my friends are writing a novel and posting it on Facebook very frequently. Although I do enjoy hearing about the exciting things that my friends get to experience, that’s just it – I want to hear about the exciting stuff.

At least when I communication with friends on Twitter, I share only tidbits of information. It’s a quick and easy way to keep my friends and family updated on what is new and exciting, rather than every step I took from the moment I woke up, all the way to the moment I fall asleep each day.

Easy References

One of the most useful and effective Twitter features, to me, is the ‘@reply’. This functionality allows me to easily refer to unfamiliar users, brands, places, or businesses with a simple click on that handle. If I find myself reading an interesting tweet that references a Twitter handle I have not yet made myself aware of, it’s a quick and painless way to brush up on some new information.

I have caught myself reading articles in the past that may discuss topics that I am not entirely familiar with, and it will take me a few extra minutes to Google the phrase or term before I can continue reading the article. Within Twitter, this is a step I can skip over because the information I am looking for is right there within the tweet.

Some may have several arguments against this way of receiving news, or say that this only provides a broad overview of various topics when they are compiled together in a dashboard layout. While each person has their own preferred method, I enjoy having my news presented to me in this quick, to-the-point format. It may have started with Twitter, but I fully blame social media for changing my reading style, and I can’t wait to see what’s next to be changed.

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