What’s the point of Twitter?

A young computer geek, vintage Joanna circa 1984

 

I signed up for Twitter in January of 2009. I’m a proud computer geek and love to try out everything new on the technology front. I’ve always been an early adopter of all things tech-related. My love of technology started when I was four years old and my family welcomed an Apple IIC into our home. I would wake up at 5am before school to play on it and hone my typing skills.  When the Internet came out, forget it. Countless hours were spent by my friends and I dialing up each other’s computers via a painfully slow dial up speed. I was also the ecstatic owner of a gMail email address when Google first brought them out by invitation only in 2004.

Considering my history, I was a late adopter of Twitter since it was founded three years prior to my first tweet. When I opened an account, I didn’t get the point of “tweeting.”  It appeared to be the same as a Facebook status update and anyways, who was listening to me? I felt like my tweets floated off into a black hole, never to be read. I abandoned my Twitter account until months later, when I discovered I was pregnant.

Suddenly, I recognized that Twitter could be a resource. A tool to connect with people I would have probably never have met in real life but have something in common. In my case it was pregnancy and I found myself tweeting with women who were due around the same time as me.  We compared symptoms and fears, mourned when some lost their babies and celebrated each time a new “Twitter Baby” was born.

Twitter was a huge tool for me as a new mother. While nursing my son every three hours throughout the night, I found comfort in knowing there was bound to be another mom on Twitter at the same time, tweeting from their phone like me. When my c-section incision site seemed to be a little red and inflamed five weeks postpartum, it was a nurse from Twitter that responded to my tweets and encouraged me to call my doctor ASAP. Turns out I had an infection and caught it just in time.

I understand Twitter now and can’t imagine my life without it.  Instead of polling my Facebook friends every time I have a silly question, one tweet can get answers from my “followers” or the general population who may happen to see my tweet in their timeline. I love that Twitter is a place to talk about anything, while I often feel restricted with Facebook.  After all, I’m pretty sure my eighth grade social studies teacher doesn’t want to hear about my son’s diaper rash, but I’m confident that someone on Twitter will have an idea for a cure.

Twitter is a place where,  in 140 characters,  you can send out a thought or question to the over 200 million Twitter users across the World.  You can communicate directly with Lady Gaga or Oprah Winfrey, get customer service help and receive breaking news as it happens. It may not be for everyone, but I love Twitter.  Facebook still has a place in my heart, but Twitter will always be special to me for helping me survive life as a new mother.

What’s been your experience with Twitter?  Either people say they don’t get it…or they love it!  I’d love to hear your feedback in the comment section below.  You can follow me on Twitter at @RiGatorMom, send me a tweet and introduce yourself!

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About Joanna

Mom to a toddler with one more on the way, Wife and Geek. Her personal blog is Baby Gator's Den and you can learn more about her here.