Explaining Twitter to an older person.


What is the difference between email & twitter. I see the value of Skype or FaceTime but I am ignorant in respect to Twitter other than its base word “twit” which was an undesirable descriptor in my youth.

Sent from my iPad

My Answer:


Twitter is a social messaging website/application which limits a message to a maximum length of 140 characters.

Email is unlimited.

Twitter, is used by a wide variety of companies and people to send short messages to a broad scope of people also known as “Followers”.

As examples, here are “Tweets” from the LA Quakebot and The San Bernardino Forestry Service.

There are a number of representatives in the House and Senate that have Twitter accounts and post what’s going on in session during the day. Pelosi, Reid, Boehner, and many California politicians use the service.

This is the helpful side of the service.

The downside is that it’s given voice to every Village Idiot on the planet.


The problem is that it’s sometimes difficult to tell that a person is the village idiot.

When you strip away the context provided by other members of a persons village rolling their eyes while the person is talking, sometimes idiots are given far more credence than they should be.

There are tons of news feeds from outside the country as well as the usual main stream media.

Often the News site RT reports on things well ahead of the US and they’re very accurate too.

There are discussions, Pro-Guns, Anti-Guns, Pro-Abortion, Anti-Abortion, Pro-Amnesty, Anti-Amnesty and just about any other subject that you could think of.

I’ve noticed that the rudest people on Twitter are often the ones claiming to be progressively liberal. I still haven’t figured that one out.

Twitter can piss you off and NOTHING you see on Twitter should be simply taken as fact.

The easiest way to think of Twitter is as the modern equivalent of the soapbox in the public square.

The other difference is the level of privacy.

With Email, only the NSA and intended recipient read your message. With Twitter, the NSA and everyone else on the planet can read your message.

I hope this answers your question, have a very nice day.