Does Twitter Help You Listen?


A reader writes:

“I find it interesting that one of the creators of Twitter told NPR that he was using Twitter these days more as an opportunity to listen than to share.”

Interesting indeed, given the common critique of social networking as an opportunity for narcissistic blather.  What do you think?



  1. Twitter in Marriage Prince William and Kate Middleton | All Reviews from a Beginner on 28.04.2011 at 20:51

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  2. Rich on 28.04.2011 at 20:52 (Reply)

    I like twitter because it does not feel like a conversation. You can quietly observe without feeling you are in the crowd. With other social media I feel like I am inviting people to communicate with me immediately.

    1. Susan Cain on 28.04.2011 at 21:11 (Reply)

      That’s interesting, Rich. One of my friends says she loves Twitter because it’s a way of “mainlining information.” I thought that was a great way to put it.

  3. Catherine on 29.04.2011 at 03:05 (Reply)

    Twitter has been used extensively in Christchurch in the last couple of months to share community information - where to buy food (many shops are shut), which roads are passable, and so on. And also just for social bonding - essential in times of emergency - by playing games such as “guess the magnitude” for all the aftershocks we are feeling, and circulating earthquake jokes - because we really need humour at times like these!

    Twitter can be very narcissistic but I don’t think it is at times like this, it really comes into its own. “Mainlining information” is probably a very good way of putting it.

  4. Angelina on 29.04.2011 at 07:45 (Reply)

    Yes! I generally use sites like Facebook and Twitter to listen more than share. If I have something to say, I say it, but it helps me to obtain that so desired state of a ‘fly on the wall’, which is fabulous for catching up with recent events.

  5. Karen on 29.04.2011 at 08:21 (Reply)

    I agree and use it to listen. Being an introvert myself, I do like it both for conversation purposes and listening, but on a whole I use it mainly to read news & others thoughts on topics I enjoy. I’m addicted to Twitter for that one reason :)

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