Today I’m feeling warm and fuzzy inside like I’m in love, and it’s mostly because of Twitter.
I love Twitter because when you need help, you can shout for it, and strangers will lend you a hand. For example, I’m writing a feature for Youthwork Magazine and need some case studies. I shout out on Twitter, and an hour later I’ve got six people willing to talk to me and several retweets to spread the word. If I’m trying to find someone for Podium, Twitter is a great place to start – the mini-biog at the top of their feed telling you how to contact them, or just a quick tweet @ them and the conversation can instantly begin. Ten years ago I could never have done this.
I love Twitter because it starts relationships. When the man looking after the marijuana factory on my street escaped to sit on my roof a couple of years back, following the commentary on Twitter introduced me electronically to my neighbours. I feel more rooted in my community here than I have anywhere for a long time. I’ve heard of people going on dates because of Twitter, and even starting full-blown relationships, all because like-minded people seem to seek each other out. The capacity to have succinct witty banter in only 140 characters kickstarts friendships that would have remained undiscovered if it weren’t for the digital age.
I love Twitter because it’s informative. Sometimes it’s misinformative too. But if I’m stuck in traffic or there’s a big fight happening on the street below me, I can turn to Twitter for hyper-local news. Twitter gives me hot-off-the-press updates on current affairs, the Leveson Inquiry, trouble in Syria, quiz nights at my local and what my friends have eaten for breakfast. I’ve never been so quickly briefed on what’s going on in my world ever before.
I love Twitter because it changes lives. We know Twitter starts revolutions and changes the world, but it can change us too. My friend Martin has a little boy who has just discovered the injustice of world poverty and has decided to raise money for Tearfund to do something to stop it. He’s only six. While he slept last night, his dad told Twitter. When he woke up this morning he’d raised more money than he could have hoped. Twitter has taught a six year old boy that he can change the world. And you, know what, Twitter or no Twitter, you can change the world too.