It is seven years since I joined Twitter and it has given me quite a lot during that time, both good and bad. As Twitter celebrates its 10th birthday we can see its impact in many areas of modern life most notably within the media. More stories originate on Twitter through people sharing information. Most of the time this is a positive thing but we know that it can be misused. If I was a journalist today I would love the ability to be able to access a world that can provide stories, quotes and general updates.
When I think back to the early days when I would use Twitter I was really nervous and concerned about what I posted. It would lead to me thinking long and hard before I would press to tweet. I still can take that time before I tweet but that is really only when I am concerned about the subject under discussion. I have become more accustomed to letting some things go.
Now, checking Twitter as part of my daily routine like checking my voicemail and my email it is another business channel. I check it for updates and breaking news, I check it for comments that I am tagged in and I check it for interesting information or people to follow. It still brings me some amazing opportunities every day to meet new people and find out new things.
So what have I learnt in the past seven years?
First, Twitter has brought me closer to a whole range of interesting people. I have been able to connect to individuals doing a similar job to me but in different sectors all around the world. We can share ideas, discuss issues and help and support each other. I am grateful for the supportive network I have.
I am able to get the latest updates about events around the world in an instant with breaking news arriving in my timeline. It means I feel more up-to-date with what is happening than ever before. Alongside that it also means I get obsessed with checking my account for vital updates.
Twitter has also given me a way of developing new ways of working. Alongside other social media it has helped to transform the way we consider communication channels. Ten years ago this was all seen as a side-line but now it is a key way of making connections to service users and those interested in policing. It has, and continues to; bring operational benefits through the conversations it encourages.
Using Twitter has made me more resilient. There are those people who disagree with my thoughts and that is fine. My problems come when they make personal comments or chose to target me in an unpleasant way. I have had to learn how to switch off and ignore comments that are purely designed to upset.
Overall though Twitter has brought me more good things than bad. There are more positives to being on it than negatives, and as long as I continue to understand why I use it then I have lots to gain. I have enjoyed the past seven years on Twitter and hope that it keeps focused in what it does best, but also listens to users about the developments it can start to make to secure its future.