Thursday, March 21, 2013

The joy of Twitter on its 7th birthday

So, it's 7 years today since the first Tweet was sent. Coincidentally, earlier this week, this happened to me:

A kind of super diamond jubilee.

I was quite pleased with myself but was soon brought back down to earth by this:

So, in the last four and a half years, I've spent six weeks of my life on Twitter? That is a lot of time. Most of it, I'd say, has been well spent, though and I've made actual proper friends on the social networking site.

Just a couple of years in, I wrote this post, in response to Nadine Dorries being her usual snide self,  suggesting that people who said they were ill and spent their time on Twitter were malingering. For me, Twitter had been a lifeline when I spent months recovering from Glandular Fever in 2009.
For me, Twitter was a way of keeping in touch with my friends - and getting to know more brilliant people. It was also something I could do from bed and with a maximum of 140 characters, it meant that it didn't take too much time or energy to take part in a conversation and just feel that I was still part of the outside world.
I am sure that if I hadn't had that sort of interaction that I would quickly have gone under. I've suffered from Depression before on many occasions and I know how scary, dark and horrible a place that is. I credit Twitter as being one of the things that spared me another crippling spell with the Black Dog and thus enabling me to return to my normal productive self as quickly as I possibly could.
A year earlier, I'd written about 3 things I'd done on Twitter before I got out of bed in the morning. I can't believe I actually helped Nadine Dorries with something.

Some friends and I were talking about how we use it this morning. I tend to use it for:

I have had quite a lot of feedback from people that my tweets covering things like Nick Clegg's weekly LBC phone in and party conferences are helpful to people who aren't there. Mark Pack told me the other day that he was worried people might say that there's no point in going to Conferences because they could just read my tweets - a bit like in the olden days, when football started to be televised, that people worried nobody would go to the grounds. Well, that proved to be true, didn't it? And I can only be in one place at a time...

Keeping up with my friends on Twitter has brightened many train journeys, enhanced numerous episodes of Strictly Come Dancing, made F1 races even more exciting and has added to my knowledge in a mostly good way. I had a chat on Twitter with some friends this morning about its various uses.

I could never write about Twitter without mentioning the much-missed Andrew Reeves though. Some of you will remember the time we had to get him out of Twitter jail. He loved Twitter and it was highly appropriate that on the day of his funeral, people shared their many memories of him.

I shall end by reminding you of a funny coincidence of tweets one night. Sally Bercow went off to Harry Cole's Christmas Party and tweeted:
whispers* Now off to @'s Christmas Party .
At almost exactly the same moment, I tweeted:
Can't believe they let Sally go in there without a hard hat. What happened to health and safety law? Has it been suspended for the night?
I was watching the Coronation Street tram crash death scene at the time. It was also the day of the tuition fees vote, so it was good to have this to laugh at.

This should have been a five minute post. It's taken me much longer than that as I've sauntered down Memory Lane. That is the one big drawback of Twitter - it draws you in a little bit too much sometimes. It's clear that there's no 7 year itch, though. Tweeting is here to stay.

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