I actually like Twitter

First, I just want to say that Erin did not make me write this article.  Although I feel the social media pressure from her, I chose to get a Twitter account and write a social media blog post all on my own accord.  You see, I am a bit of a late adopter when it comes to social media.  I was never on MySpace.  I just started Facebook last year and finally got a Twitter account last month, both reluctantly.  Well, I am hear to report that I now love Twitter and have learned about tobacco-related information on Twitter that I would not have learned about elsewhere.  Let me explain.

On Twitter, you select people or organizations that you want to follow, essentially meaning that any tweets by those accounts will appear on your Twitter homepage for you to read.  I use Twitter at work to keep up on all the latest tobacco related information and so some of the first organizations I chose to follow were @TobaccoPolicy, @CaliforniaLung, @TobaccoFreeKids and @FDATobacco.  I learn lots of useful information from these groups and it’s great to get this information all in one place as opposed to relying on various list serves, websites, webinars, etc.

Beyond following tobacco-related organizations, most of the people/groups that I follow fit into one of my two favorite pastimes, sports and politics.  The surprising thing that I discovered is that I have learned some new tobacco-related information from these seemingly unrelated sources.  Here are three examples:

  1. I follow Florida Gator Athletics @GatorZoneNews (Go Gators!) and learned that the Florida campus went tobacco-free on July 1. 
  2. I follow the San Luis Obispo Tribune @slotribune (the paper of my hometown) and learned that the San Luis Obispo comprehensive smokefree outdoor ordinance went into effect on June 20. 
  3. I follow Real Clear Politics @rcpblog (to keep up on the latest election polling information) and learned about a letter from conservative groups to the FDA opposing some of the new tobacco product regulations.

So, if you are a late adopter like me, I say the time has come.  Give Twitter a try, see what you can learn and how it can not only be fun but also help you with your job. 

Although I should add that despite embracing Twitter, I still have yet to do my first tweet; maybe next year.

Justin Garrett

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