The Atlantic says Twitter is dying.
The Atlantic is wrong.
Authors Adrienne LaFrance and Robinson Meyer claim, “Twitter is entering its twilight,” even though more people are using Twitter than ever. Mind you, they offer no proof to support their theory. “A lot of this argument comes down to what we feel,” they write. “Communities can’t be fully measured by how many people are in them. So as we suss out cultural changes, relying on first-hand experience is a first step.”
In other words, “Twitter sucks because we say it sucks.”
Here’s my theory: LaFrance and Meyer don’t get it. They want Twitter to be some all-encompassing social nirvana where relationships, networks, and communities are sown, grown, and harvested, nourishing all who use it.
Twitter does those things, but only for those who understand that all social networks are not created equal.
Twitter is not Facebook or LinkedIn or YouTube. It is its own beast, one that rewards value, generosity, thought leadership and, above all, brevity.
It also punishes greed and narcissism. LaFrance and Meyer seem to want Twitter to entertain and inform them. They don’t understand that, in order for that to happen, they must first entertain and inform.
If we use it correctly, here’s how I define Twitter:
Used in these ways, Twitter more alive — more important — than ever. Apparently, critics like LaFrance and Meyer aren’t using it in these ways.
Don’t blame Twitter for that.