Email vs. Twitter

Google before you tweet is the new think befor...
Image by NightRPStar via Flickr

There is a saying in social media circles… Google Before You Tweet. This simply means that, before you go asking the Twitter community a question, see if the answer to said question is readily available on the top search engine on the Internet FIRST.

The reason Twitter users do this is because Twitter is so readily available and immediate. They can get an answer quickly and interact with their online community at the same time.

There are many kinds of Tweeters. There are those that hang on to everything certain people say. There are those, like me, who are selective with their daily intake (I use lists, and will follow back any actual person – great post on that from Vince Marrote here). There are those that set up searches for specific content and INSTANTLY reply to tweets containing specific content.

So, what does all this mean for email? If Twitter is more responsive, why email?

Email, it has been said, is a dying means of communication. I tend to agree, but I don’t think its demise will be as hasty as some believe for a few reasons…

  1. People with this view assume Twitter will be around forever.
  2. There are certain segments of the online population that will never use Twitter but will keep their Hotmail account open.
  3. Some have tried to improve on email but have not succeeded. It works well the way it is.

I will tweet a message to someone before I will email, especially if we follow each other and can direct message back and forth. I have colleagues in the Christian world that I know through Twitter that have granted me instant access to their expertise and wisdom at a moment’s notice. Not possible with email.

Still, I have a number of email accounts that are MORE than active. And I definitely use email more than Twitter, and probably will for the foreseeable future.

Question: do you use Twitter? To what extent has it replaced email for you?


  • New to Twitter, just getting started, or thinking about entering the realm of the tweeting? Check Michael Hyatt’s introductory course here.
  • I set up a social media policy page for my church here.