Why do you Tweet? (@JamesPrescott77)

Image provided by James Prescott

One question we don’t often ask but is so important is why. Often, when we’re talking about an incident in our lives, or an important issue or problem, we talk about the how and the what first, rather than talking about the why.

The why is important.

Because if we understand why we do something, then it’s easier to change our behaviour. We understand more of ourselves, our motives, our heart behind something – and we can begin to change.

One of the reasons Apple has been so successful in it’s marketing is because they grasp this key point. When they advertised to first i-pod, they didn’t showcase the product – the what or how – first.

They simply asked ‘How would you like to have 1,000 songs in your pocket?’. They gave the public a why.

Pre i-pod, there was no way we could carry around 1,000 songs in our jean pocket. Apple posed the question, the why – and they answered it with their product – the what.

So beginning with why is important.

Now most people reading this will be a fan of social networking. Twitter, Facebook, Google+, social networking is a massive tool for us to communicate, build relationships and interact with one another.

  • But when you post something on a social networking site, why do you post it?
  • How often have you posted something on impulse, without really thinking about your motivation?
  • Indeed, have you have asked yourself why you are on social networking in the first place. Why you think it’s important to interact on social networking sites?

You see it’s important to ask these questions. Because it’s as we ask these questions that we can begin to understand our own motivation for tweeting, for posting on Facebook.

  • Do we do it to build relationships?
  • Do we do it to promote our work – books, blogs, music, video?
  • Or do we do it because we’re desperate for attention?
  • Do we do it because we want to be heard?
  • Do we post because we want to be popular and part of the ‘in’ crowd?

This applies to individual posts as much as at does to the bigger issue of why we do this at all. When we are about to post a new tweet or status update, it’s an important question to ask.

Sometimes we’re in such a rush to post a new status update or tweet that we forget why we’re doing it. It’s just what we do. How often have you RT’d a blog post without reading it? How often have you RT’d without paying too much attention?

It’s a dangerous road to walk – and it comes from not asking why.

In order to make the most of our social media interactions, and to ensure that what we post is from our heart, and posted with the right intentions, there are two practical steps we can take. Both involve asking why.

  • Why do we use it?
  • Why are posting that tweet or status update?

For the first, we must step back and look at the bigger picture. Why we are on social media at all.

This allows us to examine what motivates our interactions and then move forward as to how we can use social networking more effectively in future. How we can have social media in it’s proper place in our lives and not let it become an idol.

The second question is more specific. It’s important you see, to continually ask ourselves the question of why we are posting the particular tweet or status update.

  • What is real heart and motivation is behind this tweet or status update we’re about to share?
  • Is it really beneficial?
  • Is it constructive?
  • Is it for others benefit or merely our own?

I suspect as we ask these type of question, beginning with the why of social media rather than the what, we will have a much healthier perspective.

It will result in all of us making much better use of our tweets and status updates than we ever did before.

Why do you Tweet?

Why do you post what you do on Social Networking sites?

Have you ever asked why?

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About James P

James Prescott (@JamesPrescott77) is a writer & creative living in Sutton, near London in the UK. He blogs regularly at www.jamesprescott.co.uk on issues concerning social media, gender and the divine journey of life. Follow him on Twitter at @JamesPrescott77