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Michael Owen on the benefits of Twitter

November 27, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments

With my followers safe in the knowledge that they will be receiving my tweets on a regular basis until Christmas at least, (and probably till the end of the season if I’m honest) I wanted to venture into writing territory where messages can be longer than 140 characters, if only to communicate the joys that micro-blogging can bring.

Owen has become a reliable performer for Twitter

Having become as bored of golf as Tiger Woods’ ex-wife, and disillusioned with horse racing as it gave the media even more reasons to poke fun at me, I faced the trickiest of conundrums over how to fill my time away from the football pitch – and my goodness is that a lot of time.

I was looking mainly for something which would allow me to both keep tabs on Stephen Fry’s every move as well as to have ridiculous arguments with Piers Morgan, and a friend recommended social networking site Twitter.

Such was the joy and immersion that was to be found upon filling my timeline that even my wife was impressed – she had been getting a bit weary of having me in the house more than the children, but Twitter has kept me occupied for the vast majority of the periods stretching between meal times.

As my number of followers rapidly exceeded 500,000, I found there to be something intoxicating in the power I had in a mere ‘retweet’, and discovered an amount of support far superior to anything I had experienced even when I used to play more than once a year for Liverpool, all those decades ago.

Indeed, I have also found Twitter to be a quite excellent means of communication, as I find there to be more signs of intelligence omitted from Rio Ferdinand and Wayne Rooney – or @rioferdy5 and @WayneRooney as I now know them – online than I ever saw when I joined them for those brief moments as part of the squad on the training ground. I hope to see more of Anderson now that he does not have actual matches to play to distract him.

Jones: promising English Tweeter

And Twitter seems to be becoming an effective way for the gaffer to gauge the progress of the next generation of England’s online sporting stars such as Phil Jones (@Ph1lJ0nes), allowing him to assess how they stand up to the international competition offered by the quality that the website’s squad now commands.

With the increasing dominance of the Internet in modern society, we could soon be seeing all sports played on websites like Twitter, especially considering next year’s Olympics, where I believe many would be improved as spectacles if we were able to see the athletes competing via truncated messages rather than whatever hastily-invented activities they seek to achieve gold in.

"I've got a direct message for Mike Jones!"

So, in my opinion, the Twitter revolution is in full swing, and I am delighted to be back playing a key role in this offensive on traditional civilisation.

If you wish to express your opinion on this article, you know where to find me.

Michael Owen is Twitter’s Manchester United correspondent, remunerated on a pay-per-tweet basis due to limited Internet connectivity which results in inconsistent online appearances.

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