Ah, Twitter. How long has it been again since you were still the Twitter? You know, the Twitter egg default profile image, the fame “RT” and “Like” and the term Twitter Jail; if you’re new to Twitter, Twitter Jail is the old term for Tweet Limit. I still remember clearly how I spent the majority of my time on Twitter, tweeting on average over 500 to 600 tweets a day and at one stage, it was a norm for me to land in Twitter Jail on a daily basis. Yes, I was a Twitter addict and I won’t deny that even today I still am, just not as bad.
But sadly for Twitter, so few people realise the importance of developing their own writing skills on Twitter – Facebook and LinkedIn are not the only places where you can polish your skills, Twitter is too, perhaps even the perfect social media platform starting point in the right direction to polish your skills before moving to the big leagues and I’ll tell you why.
Character limit means short and sweet. Come on, let’s admit it. We kinda missed that 140 characters limit, ain’t it? But that is beside the point. Be it 140 or 280 characters, this is all you get – it’s called microblogging for a reason, isn’t it? That’s not a lot of room to tweet. I mean, bruh, you have letters, numbers, symbols, punctuation and spaces that all count as characters and if you’ve been long enough on Twitter, even to mention an account is considered as part of the characters. Taking all of these into consideration, Twitter definitely teaches you to be concise – words need to be short, sweet, straight to the point. For us writers, Twitter can be a curse because of the character limit, but it is also a beautiful curse because this is the ever-perfect place to train us in producing one to two liners. You should too, you know?
It teaches you to be human. When I first met Azleen for a job interview, he gave me some few tests before he decided to hire me and until today these exact words are still fresh in my head – “your writing is okay but they lacked soul.” Bruh, ouch! You have no idea how demotivated I got after that interview session; I always take pride in my writing style but when I looked back, he was absolutely right. How I write today compared to last time, it was totally different. But how is this related to Twitter? Well, think hard. When you tweet something, it’s always with emotion – casualness, fun, seriousness, sarcasm, sadness – you name it. It’s this kind of tweet that will get you noticed by your followers and the same goes for writing. The way you write, it’s like a thin line between a school essay and your own personal blog. Fun and human or rigid and boring? Twitter is the right place for you to find out where you stand.
Your very own editing playground. Ah. This is where the fun begins. That 280 characters can be a pain but I swear it’s also the best part to get your message across. Believe me, when you can fit your super long message into one tweet, it’s like an achievement! Sometimes I feel like Twitter is torturing me with all these hard work and then there’s me trying my best to prove to Twitter that I can still get my point across to my followers. So when I said it’s your very own editing playground, take it as a challenge for you to think hard and dig deep into all available vocabulary to shorten your message.
So, did Twitter improve my writing skills? Definitely. So, what are you waiting for? Go crazy in there!