Is Twitter Making Us Stupid?

I believe Twitter has the potential to transcend the boundaries of the classroom and socialize knowledge.  –Patrick J. Murphy

I believe Twitter has the potential to transcend the boundaries of the classroom and socialize knowledge.
–Patrick J. Murphy

Has the importance of learning and education gotten lost in a world where Google can answer any question? Bill Keller poses this question and while he has some valid points I would like to believe Professor Patrick J. Murphy (see quote) is right, Twitter is actually enhancing our lives, especially from an education standpoint.

 I have decided to use this blog as a way to brand myself as a Social Media Expert, but this needs to go beyond my blog. Teachers in college classrooms across the country urge students to brand themselves and showcase their expertise to potential employers on Twitter. Twitter gives people instant access to your thoughts and ideas. Why not use this to capitalize your strengths?

While some of our readings this week discussed not limiting ourselves or enforcing strict guidelines there was one rule that was stressed, the 80/20 rule. I had never heard of this rule until this week. To be honest, I have struggled with how much social media material I need to post on Twitter and I have come to the conclusion that I am posting too much. I need to keep being myself, showing my personality for the most part (80%) and only post about social media two or three times a week (20%) so I don’t push my followers away. Today’s marketing has made it very clear that consumers don’t respond to shouting messages at them; they like to engage and find out information on their own. It’s time to start following this rule better.

Other useful guidelines: keep tweets under 100 characters (is that even possible?), join Twitter chats (#smchat, #socialchat, #SMmanners…what are these things?), build a Twitter list, get a tweet deck…this all seems so overwhelming to me. Until I started grad school I just thought Twitter was a cool way for me to follow my favorite celebrities and use hashtags…wrong! The good news is I’m not alone, otherwise there wouldn’t be articles explaining Twitter. We can all benefit from the growing pains these experts have experienced.

My favorite helpful hint provided this week was to respond to every tweet. I can’t tell you how many people I’ve tweeted and never gotten a response; it almost makes want to unfollow them sometimes. Earlier this week I got “favorited” by a lingerie line (thanks in part to Lesley) and it made my day on Twitter!  A little bit goes a long way with Twitter. Even just a “favorite” can show your audience that you acknowledge them and appreciate

Twitter has become revolutionary. It is touching and changing every part of the world we live in. By utilizing the advice from experts who’ve learned how to utilize Twitter to the fullest I will be able to perfect my use of this social media powerhouse and further enforce myself as a brand.


1)     There were a lot of really great tips in this weeks reading. What piece of advice do you find most influential for your goals are Twitter?

2)     There are positives and negatives to every social media outlet. What field do you think Twitter has had the most positive and negative impacts (i.e. news, advertising, education, ect.)?


8 thoughts on “Is Twitter Making Us Stupid?

  1. Hi Alexis,
    I agree, the 80/20 rule is probably the best piece of advice! I think trying to balance being a Social Media Guru or Maven is really hard! It is really important to make your personality shine through and not push people away by over informing them with information solely about social media. I honestly don’t know if I know enough about Twitter to know what negative impacts it has, but I do agree with Bill Keller that sometimes when people fight on Twitter, since they are limited to 140 characters they tend to limit themselves and not expand on thoughts. Great post!

  2. It’s true! I love sharing all the fun things I find about social media but the majority of my audience doesn’t really care about how to use it…they just want to see what their friends are up to. It’s nice to know I am not the only one who struggles with this! Thanks for the feedback!

  3. A favorite from Hanky Panky IS a big deal, so you should be excited!
    I think there are definitely pros and cons to using Twitter. Twitter is a great way to show a little personality and develop a voice – you really have to be yourself on Twitter; 140 characters is not really enough to be anything else.
    However, the 140 character is also really limiting, especially when the goal is often a retweet. To have to limit yourself to 140 characters, and then also leave room for someone to add a comment in with their retweet is difficult. But it is a fun challenge! It forces us to focus in on the core content and present it in an interesting and engaging way. I am still trying to figure out the right balance of putting enough of “me” into each tweet, with out compromising content. There has to be a happy medium out there!
    You have a great Twitter voice! Keep up the good tweeting!

  4. Hi Alexis!

    I too have been struggling with how to use my Twitter account to the best of its (and my) abilities. I think my struggles come from really have a brand or company that I have trying to promote. I do not own my own company and I’m not in a job where I am responsible for Twitter (or any social media) content, so it’s made some things a little more difficult when it comes to “branding” myself or my image. But, I think I will be well prepared when the time comes for me to take on a role like this!

    I have to admit – I got favorited and retweeted by Social Content Factory and it absolutely made my day! 🙂


    • Lacee, I am in the same boat as you. I also don’t own my own business or am responsible for the social media at my job but I know I need to be able to show what I have learned and how I can prove I will be a social media expert, and that is through branding!

      And it’s the little things on Twitter that make the difference! Hope you had a good weekend!

  5. Hi Alexis,

    I think the most important part is to create engaging content and find your voice. I think it is all about trial and error at first to what really works with your audience. I think it is all important to not annoying your audience with too many advertisements. The trick is to trick them into engaging with you so you can pull them into your website or product.

    As I was looking through Twitter today, I noticed that a lot people are having simple day to day conversations. I don’t think these conversations contribute to anything too important. I like when Twitter is used to discuss ideas or talk about breaking news. Twitter has changed the way we receive information. We are so connected now that we can find sources for any story quickly.

    • I think you are right! The type of content that gets attention is engaging/interesting content! I think Twitter has the ability to do so many things, one of them being a source for breaking news. It’ll be interesting to see how it continues to impact our culture!

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