Many students at BC that I have encountered do not have a Twitter account because it provides a negative outlook on life or it is too difficult to navigate.  

Rianna England, junior, explains her reasoning, I never learned how to use it [Twitter], so I never gained an interest in it.

Twitter is like swimming. At first, you have no idea how to swim. You must take lessons. You are thrown into the pool with a teacher, trusting that they will help learn how to swim and not to drown.

Children usually do not like swim lessons because they are daunting, scary and new, but do they quit? No, the children keep going to lessons until they succeed and have mastered the art of swimming.

Readers, you should not be afraid of Twitter nor should you give up and quit. Let me be your teacher as I help you navigate the waters of this social media outlet.

First, the negativity of social media often comes from fake news which creates the negative outlook that so many dislike 

To defeat fake newsyou must follow the journalists themselves not so much the news entity. Following the journalist gives you full story of what they are reporting on and not just the headlines.

Every news agency has the name of the journalist at the top of the story, this is called a byline. Type their name in the search column and their name will pop up.

Follow fair and balanced news reporters. The best source comes from the Associated Press. Are you interested in the Justice Department, national security or the FBI? Follow Eric Tucker of the AP @etuckerAP.

What about news in the Atchison area? Follow James Howey of the Atchison Globe @How_eyseeit for all the news and sports in our great town.

Lastly, you will not gain a following overnight unless youre famous. Cultivating Twitter is important to gain followers and make trusted contacts.

I have had my Twitter for over seven years. I have finally found my voice for social media, what I like to Tweet and who I like to follow.

To become a better swimmer, you must practice. To become a savvier user of social media, you must practice.

Twitter is a great resource for breaking national news, local news and sports. But, if you don’t practice or cultivate it correctly, it becomes problematic.

Become a more informed citizen by creating a strong social media presence, do not be afraid of the gift of Twitter. Jump in! The water is fine.