Thursday, July 18, 2013

Are You Making the Effort to Educate Yourself?

I've recently become enamored of Twitter. I was sharing this with a friend, who said, "Oh, it's such a waste of time. There's nothing but garbage on there."

So I asked her who she followed.  She rattled off a few "celebrities", sports heroes and her personal friends. "Nothing they say makes my day any better."

Great content is not going to just fall into your lap. If you want to use Twitter and other social media tools as part of your campaign of self-education, it helps to be very deliberate and proactive about following people who post content that will enrich your mind and help you think.

This morning, @KofiAnnan was Tweeting. You know Kofi Annan - former Secretary General of the UN, Nobel Peace Prize winner? This is a person who has something to say, and someone who has been around enough that he knows what he is talking about. Why not follow him?

Follow the thinkers, the dreamers, the poets. Follow scientists and sociologists and researchers. People who are doing great work are willing to share what they've been doing. This is a tremendous gift - but you have to be willing to opt in and listen to the conversation.

If your Twitter feed is garbage, you have no one to blame but yourself. Fix it up! When you read an article you enjoy, take note of who the author is. 9 times out of 10 you'll be able to follow them on Twitter. If not them, at least the website or magazine that published their work. 

Make Twitter work for you. Set it up to harvest the information that will make you smarter. If you read one article from one smart person each day, by the end of the week, you're going to know more than you did at the beginning.

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