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27 June 2008

Why Twitter is Useful

I suppose that there are think-tanks where people just sit around asking themselves, "Okay, what's the latest cultural trend that we can take advantage of?" In one round of these high-level cerebral discussions, someone probably responded, "Social networking! You know, these 'Facebook' and 'MySpace' thingies that all the kids are talking about!" And so was born Twitter.

I guess.

The whole concept of Twitter, the first time you hear it (and maybe a lot of times afterward) seems kind of dumb, honestly. It's based upon the question, "What are you doing?" Twitter allows you (after creating a user name) to go to a website or send a text message and broadcast to the world a sentence or two about what it is that you're doing at the moment. For real. That sounds goofy to me. But watch... I'm about to do it via SMS (text message). Here goes.

There. It said, "Typing what is probably the 4,652,817th blog post about Twitter." And I just saw that Jan Owen is "running a few errands - but [she'd] rather stay on the couch!"

The point of it all? I wasn't really sure until I sat down and made a short list. Here are some of the folks who may find Twitter to be a beneficial addition to their daily list of stuff to do:

  • People who are really, really bored
  • People who feel the need to establish their reputations as super-pious Christians ("Reading 2 Hezekiah 13:42 right now, and boy, is this good stuff!" or "Praying for [insert anything here]" repeatedly)
  • Disaffected college students (hat-tip to
  • People who are driven to utilize the latest technological gadgetry whether it's really useful or not
Honestly, I think that it's useful for personal accountability for the Christ-follower who sometimes needs to ask himself the question, "What are you doing?!?!" I mean, would you want everyone to know what you were really doing at any given time? Would your Twitter update ever say anything like "Wishing I could throw something at that guy"? or maybe "Yelling at my daughter out of anger"?

"And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father." (Colossians 3:17, NLT)

"Do you have the gift of speaking? Then speak as though God himself were speaking through you. Do you have the gift of helping others? Do it with all the strength and energy that God supplies. Then everything you do will bring glory to God through Jesus Christ. All glory and power to him forever and ever! Amen." (1 Peter 4:11, NLT)

I've added a little Twitter button on the right side of the page, in case you'd like to follow my updates.


Jan said...

Thanks for the link, Dean! I started Twittering because I love to stay connected, not because I assume anyone REALLY cares what I'm doing all during the day. Yesterday I followed Josh twittering from the hospital ( while they were waiting for Caleb to appear. I ENJOY reading all the things people write about their days. I also enjoy Facebook updates for the same reason. I just like to feel apart of other's lives.

Dean Lusk said...

I have to admit, I kind of enjoy this stuff, too. I just have to keep my jaded face on here and there. :)

Although I wondered, "Is this really necessary?" when I found out about Twitter, I do actually think that it's a neat idea. Your example of how useful it can be is great!

Congratulations to Josh and Michelle on their new baby!

Jan said...

I'm sure it's completely unnecessary, but it can be fun!

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