Posted by: mydarkestplaces | March 16, 2009

Twitter

People complain a lot about Twitter – “I don’t get it,” “what’s the point,” “hur hur you’re lame for using it” – but I would disagree fully. It’s hard for me to fully articulate how I feel about Twitter, but I’m going to do my darnedest. 

The most incredible thing about Twitter is you can send your update to your friends, or just send it out to the anonymous Internets. When you “scream” something out on Twitter ((Two weeks ago I was fed up with people returning backpacks, for instance)), it’s not necessarily about your friends reading it, but just knowing that somewhere, someone is reading that post. 

Another cool thing is the level of access/intimacy that is generated through Twitter. I follow a relatively small number of people – a hodge podge of people I know personally, people I want to know personally, writers and news sources. Some of the writers are rather big names (Wil Wheaton and David Pogue, to name a couple), yet every time they send out a “tweet” it seems as though they are directly making their observation to me. This leads to me interacting with them (or, more typically, me sending fawning messages containing some variation of “write more write more more more!!”), and – in rare cases – getting messages back. Imagine having that as a teenager: you send {insert teen idol’s name here} a message, and they send you something back. Not their publicist, but they themselves. It’s a pretty incredible feeling. 

One of the news sources that I follow is @NPRLive. What makes this account unique is that an NPR correspondent attends a major event (the Oscars, Grammys, Congressional Addresses) and tweets reactions and occurrences in real time. Leading into President Obama’s first Congressional Address, the person leading the @NPRLive tweeting dubbed the event the “Non-State of the Union”. Having Twitter open, while watching the speech, and following the live reaction from other citizens as well as from this renowned news source, put the event in a completely new perspective for me. For the first time, the news was more interactive than posting the occasional comment on a discussion board. 

I guess the ultimate moral of the story is that belonging to Twitter increases access to information from around the country and around the world. Whether it be your cousin, your favorite character from cult underground shows, or your favorite actor/writer, the humanity of those you follow will make you feel closer than you ever could outside the live exchange on Twitter. 

Some places to learn more about Twitter:


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