Several months ago, I gave in to a growing curiosity and ventured in to the world of Twitter. After much confusion about what it was and how it worked (I’m way behind the times, I know), I started to realise that many psychologists, psychology groups, research organizations and psychology publications have Twitter accounts and use them to share links to new papers, event information, interesting comments about work and links to websites. For example, through Twitter, I’ve found out about free access to a special reports or editions of journals, seen links to conferences, stumbled across some really interesting papers outside of my usual field of reading and been entertained by the comments of various psychologists and researchers. One of my favourite “finds” from my foray in to Twitter is an interview with Alan Baddeley from a recent issue of The Psychologist. I say that this is one of my favourite things that I’ve found on Twitter because not only was it incredibly interesting, I came across it and read it using my phone whilst on a bus.
Thanks to social networking sites, it seems that it is easier than ever before to share information with people with similar interests. Coupled with the increase in smart phones in the past few years, people have access to this information in an instant, no matter where they are. From a personal point of view, I’ve found that scanning through Twitter on my phone to kill time has actually broadened my psychology interests. In just a few clicks (or jabs at the screen!) you can find links or comments posted by psychologists or organizations about current events, new developments in the field or interviews with researchers. Even better, it doesn’t take hours of scouring the Internet to find it, it all pops up on your homepage to be read whenever and wherever you like.
Now I realise that Twitter has been around for a long while now and I’m a relative latecomer to it all, but I think the way it helps us to share current news in psychology is changing the way we can access and keep up to date with the field. As well as sharing information, it’s also another way of connecting to others working in a similar area. The interview I read on the bus was via a link that someone else had passed on from someone else. Surely if it’s getting easier to connect with others in the field and keep up with new developments, that can only be a good thing, right? What does everyone else think?
Oh and just in case anyone is interested, this is the link to the interview: http://www.thepsychologist.org.uk/archive/archive_home.cfm?volumeID=24&editionID=200&ArticleID=1847