I was thinking about this earlier today.
I've said some pretty tasteless things on the site. To provide just one example:
- Watching this girl playing Foosball, I wonder if implants come with a pamphlet titled: How To Incorporate More Jumping Into Your Life.
You can read whatever you like into the fact that the stuff I feel most awkward/bad about almost all pertains to my dealings with the opposite sex, but the long and short of it is this: I've done some pretty awful and unprofessional things online. They haven't been friend-protected, and they have bitten me in the ass more than once.
And yet, I'm still here, because the simple truth is that despite occasionally doing damage to my reputation by saying and doing some remarkably ill-advised things, the goodwill, the friendships, and the professional opportunities I've generated for myself by being active online outweigh the bad things a dozen times over.
This is not a difficult thing to do. Talk to people, seize opportunities to turn online connections into offline ones, and obey Wheaton's Law. That's it, and to tell the truth, you can even break Wheaton's Law from time to time. It's easy. You can make mistakes (MANY mistakes) and still get a lot out of it.
Which brings me to the point of this post: if you've been on Twitter for any length of time and you don't think you've derived $25 worth of value from it, quit. Get off the service and do something more valuable with your time. Just about anything would qualify.
But if you've derived more than $25 of value from using Twitter, as I suspect just about anybody reading this has, I'd like you to strongly consider looking into Twestival. Cities all around the world are hosting tweetups to raise money for local charities. They will be fun, awesome, and benefit your community - in Ottawa we're raising money for the Royal Ottawa Foundation. Twitter's a free service. You've benefitted from it. It's time to give back.