Posted by: sternenfeeinflorida | 27 February 2009

Twitter

Recently, a friend of mine asked me “What is Twitter, I never even heard about it.” Well, here’s my little story about how I discovered Twitter.

About 2 months ago, I finally decided to visit a friend’s website. He was using Twitter and seemed to like it. The website itself doesn’t look like much but always curious about new things, I decided to give it a try. As soon as I signed up, I discovered that I had 140 characters (including spaces!!) to express myself. I could say whatever I wanted. Not knowing anyone besides my friend, I decided to just post whatever came to my mind. Nobody would read it anyway, right? The internet is way too big and a website like Twitter, where everyone just writes stuff worth 140 characters is the perfect place to unload anonymously because, like I said, with the number of tweets (posts), my tweets would disappear almost instantly. Just one look at the public time line seemed to prove my theory.

But was I proven wrong! One or two tweets into my new Twitter life, I had my first follower. Someone actually read my tweet and felt he liked what I wrote. I decided to follow him back and soon it became apparent that we were in a very similar situation, close to the same point in our lives. Sharing tweets with him and still posting my own thoughts, soon more people followed me and following them back became more and more interesting. Since everyone posts what they’re doing and thinking, open and honest, I got a glimpse at their lives and commented on whatever I felt like commenting on. Soon a few of those people were more than random people on a random website where you share thoughts, feelings, frustrations on 140 characters.

Who would’ve thought that you can make friends on 140 characters? Yet, that’s exactly what those people are. I get up in the morning, catch up with what everyone was up to after I went to bed at night. Especially my British friends get up soon after I go to bed and their days are in full swing by the time I get up. I wish everyone a good morning and go off to work, hoping for a day when everyone is too busy living a life and not have a lot of time to tweet. Even so, I check in, keep up with what’s going on and sometimes engage in conversation. Yesterday, two friends of mine engaged in a discussion that ended in one unfollowing the other, who blocked the first. That upset me because they were both my friends, both part of who I am. Another friend was involved in a car accident a few weeks ago and we, her friends, were right there with her, thanks to her tweets, to lend her a virtual shoulder and support her however we could. We mourned the loss of her car with her and were elated and very happy when she got her new car today.

Now if you think Twitter is just this one website, you’re dead wrong! There’s TweetDeck, which allows you to sort your tweets, TweetGrid, which filters the public time line by keywords of your choosing, TweetWheel to see who of your friends know whom and who follows whom in your circle of friends. There is TwitPic, a service that allows you to upload photos and instantly share them with the Twitter community. There are gadgets and widgets depending on your browser, mobile phone, computer. There is an option to send anonymous tweets, that are posted onto Twitter, they’re called Secrettweet and Secrettweet3 for the unabridged version. Blip.fm lets you share songs with your Twitterfriends.

I think it’s needless to say that a few of those friendships I formed on Twitter have since expanded past 140 characters. Since we’re all more or less obsessed with Twitter, Skype has become a very useful tool, too. It allows us to still be on Twitter and yet spend the evening together on each other’s couch. Emails are being written, phone calls are made. But in the end, we’ll all meet each other again on Twitter.

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