To Twitter or not to Twitter? That is the Question

In recent weeks, quite a few Catholics I have met at my parish seminars and at conferences around the country have asked me what I think about the social networking tool known as Twitter, what it is, and whether it’s worth using. In fact, a good number of you who follow this blog have started “following” me on Twitter. I tell those who ask that Twitter can be a very useful communications tool, when used properly, or it can be just another worthless form of self-broadcasting with no other purpose than to tell people what you’re doing at any given moment.

Since I have been using Twitter for the past 3 months or so, I can say that I definitely put myself in the former category.  

Like I did when I started using Twitter a little over 3 months ago, a lot of you have (or will) start off wondering what exactly Twitter is and what it does and why anyone would bother with it. This is normal, and it will pass.

To help you make more sense out of why Twitter is such a useful and potentially beneficial tool, especially for Catholics around the world who want to be in communication across time and space (which is actually the only kind of communication we humans can engage in, this side of eternity), here’s a link to a helpful article that does a good job of explaining the basics of Twitter, including answering the perenniel question, “What is Twitter, anyway?”

Now, please note that I don’t use Twitter to tell people on my network what I’m doing at any given moment (as some people do). That’s just a nuisance that normal, busy people, like you and I, don’t need. That’s why I don’t post the mundane details of my life.  Rather, I use Twitter to instantaneously communicate news, information, updates, happenings, prayer requests, etc., to my network.

If you follow me on Twitter, you’ll get the important things — 140 characters at a time — not riff-raff stuff. I promise.

Oh, and since I am steadily building an ever-expanding network of Catholics, once you’ve read up on the benefits of Twitter, please join my network. Set up your free Twitter account (it’s quick and easy, then add “patrickmadrid” to the “find people” search bar, and “follow” me. I’ll take it from there. 

Like the old Alka-Seltzer commercial used to say, “Try it. You’ll like it.” I certainly do.


  1. Bob Cavalcante Jr.

    Patrick, I agree and only try to twitter relevant things or the occasional inspirational prayer or thought. I’m not interesting in knowing the minute details of everyone’s lives nor sharing mine. It is nice to share en masse the occasional good article, website, blog posting with friends and fellow Catholics.Keep up the great work and God Bless!

  2. Alison G.

    In defense of occasionally sharing the mundane: I have a lot of non-Catholic friends who follow me on Twitter, and when I tweet things like “taking a mid-day Mass break” they ask me questions like, “wait, you do that every day?” It’s a neat way to share the everyday aspects of being Catholic to take away some of the mystery and suspicion that surrounds us down here in the Bible belt.

  3. Kevin Jones

    I read your blog now just because of your twitter presence.I found a lot of good twitter users, Catholic and otherwise, just by browsing through those whom the top twitter users are following.

  4. Mary

    I think people post their mundane moment to moment activities because when you first start it it says it just asks the question ” What are doing right now?” That was why i didn’t get it at first. I thought what normal person cares what I’m doing? Anyway I see that value of it the way you use it, Patrick.

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