Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and Tumblr are just a few of social media platforms that millions of people use daily. I am a teenager. I practically live, eat, and breathe social media. Out of all the social medias I have used in my life, I found Twitter the most complicated to initially use. It is common for you to not understand the entire concept of Twitter at first. Though, with a handful of simple steps, you will get the hang of it and probably be addicted to it just like I was at one point. Quite obviously, to access Twitter, you will need a computer, tablet, smartphone, or even a gaming console with internet service. You will also need a current email address to sign up with. Once you have gathered those things, you are ready to embark on your Twitter journey.
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First off, grab your device of choice to access Twitter on. I personally use the Twitter application on my iPhone most of the time. However, it is also a website. Depending on what you chose, you have options: if you are using your smartphone or tablet, you have the option to download the free app in your phone’s app store or access the website on your mobile browser. If you chose computer or gaming console, the website is only available.
Next, after deciding whether you want to use the app or the website, the signup process is the exact same. Once you are on Twitter(regardless of the device), you will typically see a page of news stories, designs, and flashy colors. Through all of that visual overload, you should see a blue button that says, “Sign Up”. You are now one step closer to being a member of Twitter society. Tap or click on that button. You will then see a page that has a series of questions. You will be instructed to type in your name, phone number, email, and birthdate. If you are under the age of fourteen, you will not be eligible to sign up. Once you have entered all of that information, you will then be asked to create a username and password. A username is a customized series of letters and/or numbers. Most people get creative with their usernames. An example of a creative username would be, “BasketballL0ver23.” However, if you are using Twitter to communicate for business purposes, I recommend using your real name. An example of a very professional username would be, “JohnDoe” or “John_Doe.” As for your password, you will want to use something very difficult so that will give hackers a hard time. At the same time, you should create something that you will remember. Series of numbers such as, “puppies12345”, is not a good password. Try mixing up the numbers.
Now that you have an awesome username and hacker-resistant password, you will be brought to your page. Your Twitter page will be completely blank and dull looking. It is easy to fix that problem. As similar to Facebook, you have the choice to upload a profile picture and as well as a header photo. A profile picture is the photo that everyone on Twitter will see. It is important to choose a good quality photo that shows your face if you are using this website for business. On the other hand, if you are using Twitter recreationally or just to have fun, the sky’s the limit. I mentioned a header photo. You may be thinking, “what is that?” You will see a grey rectangle above your profile picture. That is space to upload another photo. For example, if you are using Twitter to promote a brand or company, your header photo might be of the company’s name or a product from the company. To contrast, if this is just a personal twitter account, like I said before, the sky’s the limit. The last stage in customizing your page is the color theme. This is all personal preference. My color theme is green because that is my favorite color. You can change your profile picture, header and color theme anytime time you want.
After you have customized your account to your contentment, you are now ready to tweet. The term tweet simply means to post something. It is quite similar to Facebook’s term status. An icon with a feather will be in the top right corner on both app and website. That is the button to compose a tweet. The special thing about Twitter that some people may or may not like is the 140 character limit. Characters include letters, numbers, and symbols. Sometimes it’s hard to put an idea into 140 characters, but soon you will be used to it.
Now that you’re a tweeting master, you need to understand the concept of “followers.” Followers are people with Twitter accounts that want to see more of your tweets on their timeline. They might even be notified whenever you post, hence the term follower. Some people get competitive with their follower count and may gloat. There is no reason to feel bad about your follower count. Growing followers will take time. Start off with following friends or co-workers. They will then follow you back. If people find you interesting, the count will be sure to go up. Patience is important.
Next, if you are on the app, you will see five icons at the bottom of your screen. If on desktop, the five icons will be to the far top left. The five icons are home, notifications, moments, messages, and me(which is your account). You can click on each of those and familiarize yourself with them.
Lastly, the most important step is to have fun. That sounds cliche. However, it is really important that you don’t take Twitter so seriously. Don’t feel obligated to post things you don’t really want to just to gain followers or popularity or feel the need to tweet a certain amount of times a day. It is not a job. The ultimate reason Twitter was created was to give users an online space to voice opinions and to talk about whatever they wanted to.
No one is perfect at something the first time they do it. With anything, practice makes perfect. I myself had a hard time starting. It is normal to feel frustrated and confused. Hopefully with these steps you are more comfortable using Twitter. Have fun!
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