I damned Twitter when it first emerged. To me it was part of the continuing dumbing down of public discourse. How can you have a conversation in 140 characters are less? I was certain it would never last. Even if Twitter somehow managed to find some small space in the public square, I would not be among those using it. Clearly I was wrong on all counts. Now I must confess: I have a Twitter account.
How can I do such an about face without any sense of shame? During my academic life, I saw more and more faculty using Twitter to help with teaching and learning. The research found that in classes where Twitter was used to remind students of assignments, Tweet questions, and other related learning prompts students performed at a higher level. It was difficult to call Twitter dumb when it was helping students become smarter and perform better.
I also came to like the democratic aspect of Twitter. It is still limited as a communication medium but it allows anyone with a cell phone to collect news, report, and share images. It is unfiltered which adds both beauty and danger to its use. Without Twitter, Sohaib Athar could not have given live reports on the raid that killed Osama bin Laden.
Like many people, I did not understand how to use Twitter. It is not a substitute for other forms of communication. It is both an addition and a supplement to other forms of communication. This is how I plan to use Twitter with Get My Traveling Shoes. Between now and the end of 2015, I will visit Honolulu, Thailand, Honolulu again, Costa Rica, and then back to Honolulu for the holidays. Along the way I will not always have time to post to the blog and will not always have access to the Internet. I will always have my phone and can Tweet updates and photos from almost anyplace.
I hope you will follow me @Michaeldparsons as well as check my Instagram posts. If you do not have an account, and are not willing to take the plunge, then you can follow me here by clicking on the icon with three parallel lines in the upper right hand corner of the page just above the photo. I am looking forward to Tweeting and Instagram posting as I travel. Come along with me!