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Seriously: What Did I Do Before Twitter?

October 12, 2009

The other day I was having lunch with two of my best friends.  I was telling them about my blog.  One friend said, “You have a blog?  I didn’t know that.  It feels like you are cheating on us.”

You see, these friends and I used to make fun of social media together.  We thought Facebook was for college kids and we’d never even heard of Twitter.  As I explained in this post, I was late to hop on the social media bandwagon.  When I finally did join Facebook my two friends heaped scorn and ridicule upon me (in a nice way . . . most of the time).  They thought I was bonkers when I started talking about Twitter.  No matter how I tried to explain it to them they could not comprehend what Twitter was.  There was no way they were going to understand my great affinity for my new “make believe” friends.  When I told them I had a blog, it must have felt like yet another form of communication to, another relationship with, someone other than them.

My feelings about Twitter wax and wane over time.  Some days I am in love with it, some days it lets me down (much like my real life friends).  But each time I log on I am never disappointed by the breadth of information being shared.  I am amazed by the topical communications: from the protests in Iran, to the plane landing on the Hudson River, to the death of Michael Jackson, to the Nobel Peace Prize, to the latest rumor about the iPhone.  Anything that is important is immediately shared on Twitter (how else do you think I learned Miley Cyrus had deleted her account?).   I used to think I was on top of most things, but I know that I am a more knowledgeable person because of Twitter.

In the past, I would Google a subject to answer a question.  Now, I often start out by asking Twitter.  How do I start a blog?  How do I insert a hyperlink into my blog?  What is an RSS feed (I told you I was not tech-savvy)?  Where’s a good restaurant to eat in San Francisco?  How do I capture a screen shot on my iPhone?  How do I force-quit my Mac?  All these questions and more my Twitter friends have answered for me.  I still use an actual dictionary to look up words I don’t know the definition of: that would just be broadcasting my ignorance.  Twitter has truly become an invaluable information resource for me.

Finally, there are the relationships.  There are people on Twitter who make me laugh out loud at least once a day.  There are people who remember things that I have mentioned and ask me about them:  my dog, the dinner I made, the trip I took, the person at work I complained about.  There are people who ask after me when I haven’t tweeted in awhile.  There are people with whom I could honestly see myself being friends with in the real world.  And that’s just me.  I see other people scheduling family meet-ups at the local pumpkin patch, people raising money for a charity, people consoling others when a tragic loss has occurred.  Twitter really is a community.

It doesn’t matter if you are looking to exchange ideas on marketing, or tips on wine, or reviews of the latest video games, or if you just want to connect with others to talk about the latest silly thing your 2-year old did: Twitter has a place for you.   My anti-social media friends will never understand because they have not experienced it.  Of course, Twitter can never- and should never- take the place of real life relationships, but my real life friends are right to be just a wee bit jealous.

UPDATE: If you needed another example of how much Twitter rocks, my lovely “make believe” Twitter friend Jennifer Keene (@1chicklette) just sent me a CD of a song I had bemoaned about not being able to purchase on iTunes!  How awesome is that?  Thank you, Jennifer!

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. October 12, 2009 7:03 pm

    Twitter is a fad…

  2. October 12, 2009 10:00 pm

    A lot of my real-life friends don’t get it either. However, I think the medium is here to stay. Even if a particular site folds tomorrow, there’s no way to keep that many people silent.

    • mjjaaska permalink*
      October 12, 2009 10:08 pm

      Well said, Loi! Thanks for your comment!

  3. Jason permalink
    October 23, 2009 4:57 pm

    What was the song?

    • mjjaaska permalink*
      October 23, 2009 5:42 pm

      Flagpole Sitta X Harvey Danger

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