Why I Heart Twitter

So, yes, another cross post from my personal blog.  Don’t worry, I’ll run out of them soon and write original thoughts here.  But this is a good one.  At least if you heart technology like I do.

Every once in a while I’ll run into someone who eschews technology.  Recently I heard someone ask “What are you missing by not being on Facebook?”  Perhaps all social media’s not equal, but if we asked that question of Twitter, I’d have to say, a lot.

Profesionally, Twitter has been a game changer for me.  Leading up to the ASHA (American Speech Language Hearing Association) conference last year, I started following some Speech-Language Pathologists (SLPs).  Through Twitter, a few of us got together for dinner one night, and hung out most of the rest of the conference together.  This was night and day from the previous year when I mostly did the conference on my own, hanging out in my hotel room after the day was through.

Not only was hanging out at the conference great, but I realized there is a huge SLP presence on Twitter (using the #slpeep) hashtag.  It’s really a large professional learning community, and has been so important to me as a beginning SLP.  In order to not annoy the crap out of my personal contacts, I created a professional Twitter account, and I can’t count the ways it’s been useful to me.

First and foremost, it’s been support and encouragement in a profession that can be a bit isolating.  When I was subbing with a caseload of 80 basically on my own, the #slpeeps made it bearable.  They answered questions (What would you do in a situation like this..) and resources (Check out So and So’s book on X), and just general “You got this girl!” kind of encouragement.

When I started getting ready for school this year, I barraged them again with questions.  I asked them how they organize their rooms, what are their must have supplies, how did they stay on top of paperwork, and on and on.  As I got into the school year, and had a really tough kid, I asked one of the #slpeeps, an expert (though she may not call herself that) in the area for advice and help with details of how to carry out a particular treatment.  And it’s working.  I honestly don’t think I would have had that kind of success on my own.  And though it’s a professional activity for me, I’ve also met some dear friends, people I’ve met up with face-to-face and care about in real life and even apart from SLP.  It’s been a blessing.

The one thing I struggle with a little bit with my professional Twitter life is that I may not have a lot to give.  Opinions, sure.  I never run out of those.  But as far as advice or support, being a newbie I’m a little green to start doing that.  But, I know that, like in other areas of life, and especially I think in the SLP community, you remember those who helped you out and return the favor as you can.  I’d love to be able to reassure and resource a new SLP someday as she enters the field.

So when I think about the question “What would I be missing without Twitter,” my answer is really whole worlds.  Truly.  It’s not sitting down with someone for a cup of coffee, but in my experience, it can turn into that.  And even if it doesn’t, it might be exactly what you need right now.

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One thought on “Why I Heart Twitter

  1. You have far more to give than you realize. As someone who is starting her journey, you have up-to-date training, you have research articles to call on, and you have enthusiasm for learning. Those are invaluable. I was fairly new when I started twitter as well…it hasn’t stopped me from sharing my “expertise.”

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