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How Twitter Can Make You Smarter

By Cirrelia Thaxton, Ed.D.

January 8, 2018

It’s now the age of social media, and people are seeking more from their websites. They want quality in effective interfaces that engage them intellectually. With greater design and functionality, Twitter supports users who appreciate the platform’s microblogging capabilities. Unlike other websites, Twitter is a 24/7 phenomenon, featuring interactive digital media to keep the creativity flowing by sending short messages or tweets.

Whether you write your own tweets, like others’ tweets, send direct messages, make comments, or devise retweets, you can leverage your online presence on Twitter. Knowing how to use Twitter makes you smarter as you lead some people and follow others while building a memorable, personal brand.

Be a Twitter Leader

Just like on any playground, in cyberspace, there are leaders and followers. On Twitter, you have an equal chance of being either one, depending on the ideas you choose to generate and share with others. To be a Twitter leader, you should consciously create an image for the public that is consistently genuine. If you routinely post tweets that are true to your nature, you can expect people to flock to you. By bouncing around helpful and insightful ideas in carefully crafted tweets (of 140 characters or less), you’ll be a better leader who inspires followers to communicate with positive content.

Follow Stand-Out Accounts

And then, there’s the hashtag (#keyword) craze that boosts Twitter profiles, moments, notifications, and messaging, not to mention tweets. You’re a smarter Twitter user if you follow hashtags to find Twitter accounts that support, inspire, or change any worn-out ways of thinking. These accounts can be people, companies, or organizations that are defined by their informed platforms. Two popular examples include @BillNye, the home of one of America’s best scientists and educators, and @TedTalks, an organizational site featuring on-stage presentations given by a wide range of talented speakers. Finding and following stand-out accounts should be your goal once you decide to create an exclusively online presence.

Brand Yourself Well

Being either a thoughtful leader or a conscientious follower on Twitter takes time. Think of it as building a base of people who share your values. So, to maintain this base you should steadily brand yourself by exploring new ideas and posting about them. Staying on the cutting edge of Twitter media and marketing strategies, you can position your own account according to your personal attributes. You can showcase your talents, abilities, and hobbies with a dynamic profile, including an alluring profile and cover shot. Even if you’re an introvert, sharing a side of yourself that highlights your interests will make your brand identity more authentic.

In Closing

As a dedicated Twitter user, you have many opportunities to create and react to interesting content that motivates you personally or professionally. When you tweet smarter, not harder, you’ll see how much you can learn about yourself and share this knowledge with those who follow you. Moreover, by branding yourself, you’ll engage in real-time connections that excite and encourage you to keep learning new ways to promote what you believe in.

Three Ways to Motivate Yourself by Writing

By Cirrelia Thaxton, Ed.D.

December 28, 2017

You may think that writing has only academic purposes. However, that is a common falsehood. You don’t have to be a professional writer to create compositions that move you and make your life experiences more meaningful. Writing is not only an extension of everyday language, but it is also a bodily-kinesthetic form of intelligence. When you write, you think. Your written words become textual symbols for communicating your thoughts and feelings.

Writing is an obvious passion for those who do it for a living. If you like to write for fun, that is okay, too.  Either for profit or leisure, writing enriches and enables you to learn and grow as an individual. To reap tangible rewards, there are three seminal ways to motivate yourself by writing—keep a diary, create a blog, and compose poetry.

Keep a Diary

From the beginning of time, people have sought to account for their lives through drawing or writing both pictures and words. Many of you have probably made daily entries in journals for school or at home. Whether you have kept your journal or diary manually or electronically on a computer, this type of writing can motivate your self-expression. Keeping a private or public diary can also foster metacognition—to ponder about thinking—and memory. Most diary keepers develop an intrinsic sense of authorship, making their writing more fulfilling.

Create a Blog

In the last two decades, the weblog or blog has taken over as a digital writing platform for the young and old. The application of the blog in writing is two-fold. First, by creating a blog, you gain an effective tool for showcasing your writing online, and, second, you improve writing fluency through deep learning or making conceptual connections that are meaningful. To encourage your own creative style, you may choose to incorporate audio, video, graphics, or hyperlinks in your blog. With this design versatility comes the extrinsic motivation or external rewards, such as popularity, praise, and power, that encourage you.

Compose Poetry

For those who delve into poetry, there are many benefits to its rhythm and rhyme. Poetry, a language in and of itself, is a distilled and powerful form of communication. It can broaden the mind and elevate the mood. So, if you want to stay motivated, writing poems will provide the outlet that you need to succeed. As a poet, you can look deep inside yourself and then explore whatever you see in your poems. Your poems may be highly structured, like sonnets, or loosely constructed, like free verse. In writing either type of poetry, you will hone important skills, such as literacy, community, and emotional resilience.

Points to Ponder

It’s up to you to choose which writing form stimulates and moves you. You may be fond of diary keeping because it helps you keep track of personal or family history. Similarly, you may find blogging to be a rewarding habit, allowing you to write about key issues in your life. Poetry, like diaries and blogs, might be one of your passions. And, when you love what you’re writing, you’re apt to write more often. Just remember that the process of writing for motivation will keep you enthusiastic and focused when you take on projects that challenge and inspire you.