(CNN) -- Twitter turns 7 on Thursday, and in some ways, it's like a lot of 7-year-olds.
The social-media platform can be bratty and combative. Its idea of a good conversation sometimes devolves into short bursts of shouting. It can have the attention span of a gnat, loving a shiny new plaything one day (ooh, Bronx Zoo's Cobra!) and then forsaking it for another without a second thought.
But it can also make you smile with the things it says. It can keep you more aware, and alert, than you've ever been before. And it can make you look at the world around you in a different way.
It's easy to take shots at the microblogging site, which debuted March 21, 2006, when founder Jack Dorsey typed the words "just setting up my twttr." (Creators had considered that abbreviated style for the company's name before settling on the full word.)