When I look at my twitter profile I can see that I joined twitter on May 3, 2009. That is a solid 2.25 years of twitter in my life. I have to be honest, when I first got a twitter I thought it was stupid. I thought tweets were identical to a facebook status except that they included confusing items such as #’s and @’s and limited my characters to a frustrating 140 (that is something I still struggle with on twitter.) Twitter also seemed less than accessible to me because I would have to remember to check my page when I was sitting at my laptop.
Fast forward one year: around 2010 I continued to user twitter, pretty sparingly, but it did become useful to me at times. I remember I would sit in the library on a Sunday doing work for school. My housemates and I didn’t have cable, plus I would be trying to do my work, so I would wind up trending a topic such as #NYGiants to see how they were doing in their game. Tweets come out instantaneously, whereas news articles take at least a few minutes to get published.
Twitter also became useful to me when I began to follow organizations and politicians I was interested in. I like to follow Barack Obama so that I can see what he is up to on a day to day basis. His tweets also include photos, videos and interesting news articles. In the same respect, I follow republican candidates for the same reason, so that I can see what they are up to. I know they cater their twitter pages to their fans, so I know I am seeing those candidates from the best perspective. That is something I rarely see, considering I went to college in a hippy town and I currently spend every day in Manhattan. I am also able to find out information about my favorite organizations such as Invisible Children and 350.org.
The iPhone makes twitter much more useful and accessible to me. Tweets are so short you shouldn’t have to log on to a laptop to check them, they are something that you should have access to when you are in a waiting room or on a train. When i log on to my phone the three things I immediately check (typically in this order) are email, twitter and facebook. I have gone from using twitter once per month, to checking and tweeting 3-4 times a per day.
Two weeks ago at foursquare we all felt the floor shaking beneath us. After 30 seconds of stress someone suggested, “was that just an earthquake?” Someone else was able to instantly check twitter and confirm, yes, it had been an earthquake, and it looks like over hundreds of other people had also felt the shakes.
5 days later after Hurricane Irene, I was able to follow @NYTMetro to get by-the-minute updates about the Metro-North and Subway for Monday. By this time we had lost power and internet, so my twitter timeline was the only way I was able to know that the Metro-North was closed on Monday.
So this was my experience with twitter. It has gone from being a useless, overcomplicated, facebook status to being a useful, constantly up-to-date news service in my life. I have known for a long time that twitter is a very successful start-up tech company that millions of people love, but it is only recently that twitter has become a very valuable resource in my life.
*Sorry I haven’t written a post a while. Hurricane Irene did eventually manage to take out power and it didn’t return for 48 hours. Then I spent the week in Bronxville with my boyfriend. (Commuting to the city from Bronxville is so much easie/faster than Garrison. ) I also want to acknowledge the fact that this blog is by NO means a tech blog. My posts so far have been about technology, but I plan to branch out soon to other topics like food, books, teaching, and anything else that is happening in my life.