When I first heard of Twitter I remember thinking “how can someone express themselves in only 140 characters”? It seemed so vapid and shallow. I couldn’t imagine myself joining. But as the saying goes, never say never.
Twitter is Where the Action Is
My change of heart took place in November 2017 while working on a podcast with Fritz Gilbert of The Retirement Manifesto. When we were discussing how to share his podcast, Fritz said “Twitter is where all the action is and I should get on it”. Since Fritz has been very successful in growing his audience, I decided to look into it.
How I Got Started
Getting started was easy. The first thing I did was create an account and a Twitter handle (@retirehoppy). Then I proceeded to create my profile. (I provided the minimum amount of information to help safeguard my personal data.) Now I was ready to start following and the first person I followed was Fritz. And then I posted my very first tweet which included a link to a popular article I wrote.
The Twitter universe is huge and very diverse. My objectives going in were to avoid divisive topics (politics, religion and social issues) and to follow only those who tweet about finance, retirement and beer. And so far this approach is working fine for me. I haven’t had a single rude encounter.
What I Like About Twitter
- Person to person connections can be made by direct messaging and through notifications.
- People are friendly, funny, creative and supportive.
- There is a ton of quality input in my areas of interest. I often include content that I discovered via Twitter in my newsletter.
- Twitter is immediate. I receive new tweets continuously.
- I am able to get news about areas that I am personally interested in such as the University of Houston.
- It’s a great way to share my posts, podcasts and newsletters.
- It offers a way promote revenue streams such as advertising, writing, course offerings and consulting.
- It’s a good way learn about a range of people.
- It makes me feel that I’m “still in the game” (i.e. personally relevant) something that is sometimes lost to retirement.
- An easy, non-threatening way to engage socially.
I was wrong about Twitter. I had committed the sin of pre-judgment based on my personal biases. Twitter has opened me up to new ideas, experiences and perspectives that I otherwise would not have known. One of my greatest concerns about living in retirement is having my world shrink. That to me is the kiss of death. Twitter has done just the opposite for me – expanded my world. And that is a good thing!
If you’re interested in Twitter you can check out 3 Easy Steps to Get Started on Twitter.