the entity that is twitter

it comes up in conversation, usually with the question ‘what the hell is twitter, anyway?’ and, oddly, for something that i enjoy so much and know so well, i always find the question difficult to answer. i end up being even wordier than usual, trying to explain all the details and what it all means to me.

i usually give up and sum it up as ‘mini blogging’. tweetpeeps know it is so much more than that, but it can be hard to explain to someone who is mostly just annoyed by excessive text messaging, or sick of hearing sentences that start out with ‘one of my twitter friends . . .’

i know it’s just a website. or a social networking tool. but somehow, twitter has become part of my life. i enjoy it’s simplicity, it’s power and it’s humor. i love getting a sense of other places – random thoughts from new york, comments on weather in arizona, traffic reports from england. twitter brings me thoughts from across the globe and advice from the next state over. it is the world, neatly packed into my crappy old pc.

i tweet for the same reason i write poetry and take pictures. there are so many moments worth capturing. that is all i strive to do with my art – catch a moment in a net, and hold on to it, share it, relish in it’s beauty, or its horror, or its humor. if i can share it with people, i feel i have done my duty. if i can send some sunshine, some gathered wisdom, beauty or laughs, i have made the world a little better. and that’s all each of us can do, right?

in addition to being a creative outlet, twitter gives me comfort, company, confidance, and truly caring people. it is an amazing outlet, with an amazing network of fascinating individuals.

my twitter friends soothed me when i was nervous about having surgery.

they encourage me whenever i mention a new project, and they read and commented on my blog within minutes of me posting the first entry.

i find new music, books, and websites through the suggestions of my twitter buds.

twitter is a resource for random information, with friends always willing to help. i think i got about a dozen direct messages when i asked the name of the cocoa puffs bird a few weeks ago. (it’s sonny) (thanks again, guys!)

it sometimes feels like twitter is an underground network for the truly smart, helpful, encouraging, and loving. it is a place for expression, empathy, encouragement. it is comfortable, yet always different. it is strange, funny, sad, and beautiful.

and it makes me think in 140 characters or less.


4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Victoria Marinelli
    Mar 16, 2008 @ 22:26:35

    What I love about it (besides everything you’ve already stated here, and stated so well) is the ever-expanding sense of community. E.g. reading through updates of someone I don’t know, and then seeing replies to people I’m already familiar with. That whole degrees of separation thing. Very diggable. 🙂


  2. yonderboy
    Mar 16, 2008 @ 20:47:51

    plus, no one in the real world really cares about my Oblivion conquests.. 😀


  3. yonderboy
    Mar 16, 2008 @ 20:47:18

    twitter makes me feel like i’m part of one big family. it’s great to know there are people out there interested in my opinions. and i’ve never been as interested in people, myself, either. you’re right, there’s a different type of society on twitter, more aware than the rest of the world seems to be. glad you’ve joined in the fun, we embrace you with open arms..


  4. James
    Mar 16, 2008 @ 15:01:00

    You definately do Twitter justice here. It’s funny, I can’t remember what manner of “instant gratification” that I used before I found Twitter. I like that it’s still underground and I wonder how many people I see on the streets typing into their cell phones are actually sharing 140 characters of their lives.


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