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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Get on Twitter, People!

Unless you are a teenage girl, Twitter is not the mindless social media wasteland that many have come to believe.  As a 37 year-old wife and mother of two, you might not think I'd be a big fan of consolidating my random thoughts into 140 characters and sharing them with the world multiple times a day...and you'd be right. Because that is not why I use Twitter.  I use it to listen, not to be heard.  


Everyone is passionate about something.  Whether it is photography, cooking, finance, cancer awareness, global politics, travel, tech, writing, baseball, film, music, or design, you can create a whole feed of information dedicated to that area.  I am on Twitter to learn from people who are passionate about educating special needs children in a way that has never been done before.

I am a Twitter novice.  I've only been on there since November.  But in that time, I have found some amazing people all over the world that are homeschooling special needs children with tremendous success.  Their ideas and encouragement are priceless to me as I am just beginning this journey.  I have found more than just educational resources, I have found people who can answer quick questions or concerns within minutes.  I have found links to articles, research, and events by industry experts that I never knew existed.  The scope of Twitter is staggering, yet it is easy to navigate and manage.

I am not going to pretend to understand it all.  I am just learning how to use hashtags (#) and ow.ly and I am still not exactly sure why people feel the need to track their stats or use specific software to follow/unfollow/message people automatically...and I probably never will.  I also know that there are a ton of people and organizations on there just to promote or market something.  But the beauty of how Twitter is organized is that you choose to follow who you want, no one has to "accept" your request (unless they are a locked account) and you can unfollow as easily if someone tweets stuff you don't care about.

I've heard people describe Twitter as Facebook if you had cool friends.  For me, it is like a Facebook page full of really smart and compassionate people fighting for the same things I am.  For Paul, it is like a Facebook page full of people as insanely into basketball as he is.  He follows his favorite coaches, teams, players and sports journalists. That is the beauty of Twitter, it is what you make of it.  It allows you the control to filter out all the nonsense and garbage you often have to sift through on other sites to get to the handful of valuable information you crave.

So what is keeping you off of Twitter?  See it as a pointless waste of time?  Don't know who you'd follow? Don't think you have anything valuable to offer the world in return? Whatever your reason, just ask yourself one question...What are you passionate about? Figure it out and then jump on Twitter and see if there are others who you can learn from or even encourage others with your wisdom and experience.  The more of you on there, the better for me since I find value in what you have to say.

Check out my Twitter page:  https://twitter.com/#!/hometeachautism


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