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#MORERELEVANTTHANFB #ADVANTAGETWITTER

April 22, 2009.

That's the date of my very first tweet. Back then, Twitter wanted to be my platform for personal updates - a service Facebook also provides for me and millions of others. But I wasn't about to go double-duty and post updates on both social networks, considering they served the same purpose. And since high schoolers were in on the FB fun, why not spend the most time where my friends were? So, I abandoned Twitter almost as soon as I began to grow fond of it.

It wasn't you, Twitter. It was definitely me.

But now, Facebook and I share a somewhat complacent, shady relationship. It's the same old thing each time I log in. Notifications, messages, friend requests. Nothing new.

I attended a state journalism conference last month, of which the theme was "Welcome to the social network." And it didn't just focus on Facebook; YouTube, LinkedIn, Flickr, Tumblr and Twitter were discussed, too. The talk helped rekindle what I first saw in Twitter, two years ago. It was love at, well, second sight.

* * *

That's when my Twitter revival began. I started creating my own witty little hashtags like a complete Tweak (Twitter ' freak, btdubs) to share with the world, and realized my account feed could serve as a way to promote my published work and online blogs as a student journalist.

I'm happy to report that Twitter and I are indeed going strong again. I had been struggling to use the Internet to my advantage as an aspiring journalist - where could I start? How could I tout my work to a global audience? But Twitter has helped me regain my virtual swag.

Twitter is a burgeoning market of both information portals and listeners, as well as a platform for audience development. Twitter as a medium works for comedians, celebrities, TV personalities - everyone. Think of it this way: Ashton Kutcher (@aplusk) has more followers than the entire populations of Sweden, Israel, Ireland and Panama. It's time to hop on it, Millennials.

I follow 305 accounts (and counting), most of whom are professional reporters with ESPN, the New York Times, Bleacher Report, BBC, TIME, Slate and even The Ellen Show. It's hard to keep up with a feed that burgeons with about 76 new messages every minute, but it's worth it.

My tweets get retweeted, I get plenty of @mentions (No idea what those phrases mean? See Twitter lingo on Pages 10-11) and I actually feel special knowing people are interested in what I have to say. It's different from interacting with my real-life friends on my Facebook Wall.

Twitter and I are now a virtual power couple, taking on the world - or at least the World Wide Web - one news blurb or slice of commentary at a time.

And if I can, you can, too.

Twitter is everyman and woman's land. Literally. Make up some username, post no picture and speak your mind. Or let everyone know exactly who you are, as I do, in order to get my name (and my writing) out there. It's that simple. Updates consisting of 140 characters or less can be constricting for more significant thoughts, but it's a perfect amount of letterage for quick jokes, clever one-liners and links to the full story. Follow us at @tbtwo, or me at @thekellyprice. Sweet tweeting!

* * *

My Twitter History

I've changed a lot in the past two years. And it's kind of peculiar but neat that I can document this transformation via my Twitter account. Here are some selected tweets from my tweetline, with contemporary commentary, categorized by hashtags I've deemed relevant.

#coolstorybro

April 22, 2009: "listening to ACB's 'Hell or High Water' on repeat for the next..uh....eternity." - First tweet ever.

June 6, 2009: "Contrary to popular belief, freckles are so not cute." - This is still the case. The only person this look works for is Little Orphan Annie.

Dec. 15, 2009: "My list of sign-outs and absences this year is two pages long..... Wow."- Signs of the senioritis yet to come.

#perspective

June 3, 2009: "It feels awesome to be done with my sophomore year :)"- Two years to the day before my graduation.

May 13, 2011: "Covering 5A regional baseball finals for the Times in the Joker Merchant Stadium press box, and my prom is tomorrow.."

#mylife

April 25, 2011: "Twitter is so freakin hard to keep up with...." - My first tweet since my hiatus began in early summer 2010.

May 1, 2011: "Trashed my recruitment/admissions/etc emails from UNC and Northwestern. Pretty bittersweet. Now, my 'college' folder shall be renamed 'UF'"

May 1, 2011: "Wow. Literally one of the best presidential speeches I've ever heard. #inspiring #Obamaswritersrock" - This was posted after President Obama announced U.S. Navy SEALs killed Osama bin Laden. Best part? I found out via Twitter.

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