I was searching for information on a topic, and it occurred to me that Twitter might feed me with lots of references to look into. So yesterday I set myself up on this particular social networking site. And today I filled out my profile with a photo of myself (taken very recently on a sunny and breezy day on Exmoor)...
....and a brief personal description: Retired and divorced, I like art, history, photography, writing, good food, conversation, and driving Fiona my Volvo XC60. Now that's a pretty good tweet in itself - my present life summarised in eighteen words! I'm rarely so succinct. Perhaps Twitter will train me to be much less verbose?
I already delve into the BBC News website, and other sites that are basically a collection of news articles updated daily or oftener. Signing up to Twitter may give me personal commentary on breaking situations and happening events: a different, less official type of news service. That's how I see it. I don't see myself originating or contributing much, unless I write an exceptional post that I feel needs some publicity, or I stumble upon something important that I feel other people really ought to know about.
But you can't tell how it will go. Plenty of people clearly find that Twitter is a wonderful outlet, a way of publicising their daily life or passing thoughts to the world at large. Or to pass on little bits of wisdom, their own, or something pithy copied from elsewhere. But you can throw yellow paint all over me if I ever tweet nonsense such as I've just seen the Loch Ness Monster, and here's a video clip to prove it, taken with my phone!
You can of course use Twitter to 'keep in touch', although it's with the entire unfiltered world, and not confined to 'friends' in the Facebook way. You can send Direct Messages to one individual only, if they too are on Twitter. But then, wouldn't an ordinary text or email be easier? (Ah, I see that this is a way of sending a personal message to somebody who hasn't given you their mobile phone number or email address...)
From the beginning, Twitter has been the domain of those who lead the pack with witty sayings and lifestyle remarks. I'm not however going to 'follow' the likes of Robbie Williams or Nigella Lawson. And I can't imagine anyone 'following' me, unless I develop a talent for Yoda-like philosophy.