Seven years ago today, the first ever tweet was sent. Yep, that’s right, today is Twitter’s 7th birthday. It got me thinking about how much has changed over the last seven years and how Social Networking has had a big influence on all of us.
Seven years ago it was 2006. I hadn’t even joined Facebook at this stage, I didn’t even know it existed. And if you’d asked me the if I’d tweeted lately I would have assumed you were making a sexist ‘bird’ comment towards me. Needless to say, I was a little naive back then.
I remember joining Facebook and being totally and utterly obsessed with it. To the point that you’d be asking anyone who was anyone if they were on Facebook. All of a sudden I’d developed this mammoth interest in other people’s lives and found myself logging in very, very regularly to find out where they’d been, what they’d been up to and more importantly, who had ‘poked’ me recently. It became the new My Space. The new Friends Reunited. The place where you’d find yourself making ‘friends’ with people you never thought you’d see again. Let alone read about their daily woes via that thing called a status update.
Ah the good old status update. If ever there was a place to either put it out there, or play silly buggers with words, it’s the Facebook status update. It still makes me laugh (and every now and again, cringe) to this day when I see people using this feature to vent their anger or frustration towards somebody. Don’t get me wrong, we’ve probably all been there and are guilty of doing it at some time or another, I know I am, back in the day. But then you see that was then. Six years ago. I’ve aged a bit since then. I like to think I’m mature enough not to use Facebook as a playground these days. But sadly there are still individuals out there that feel they need to use Facebook to ‘have a pop’ at someone.
Some are cryptic with their words – the cowardly kind. The kinds that don’t have the balls to tell them to their face that their status is in fact about them. These are my least favourite type if I’m honest. Then there are the bullying kind. The ones who make it quite clear who and what they have a problem with. The ones who go out of their way to humiliate their victim in front of their friends and family – and in effect, the whole God damn internet. It’s these things that make me dislike Facebook.
Yet, I still have an account. So, what keeps me there?
I love keeping up to date with my friends and what they’ve been doing. Seeing their holiday snaps and getting jealous (why can’t it be me that goes on four holidays a year?) I love being able to stay in touch with people who I would probably not really talk to had I not made ‘Facebook friends’ with them. I love finding out what the people I went to school with are up to. Who has had babies? Who got married? Quite simply, I love it because I’m too bloody nosey for my own good!
Twitter, on the other hand has been my guilty pleasure since I joined four years ago. It’s taken a little longer to catch on I feel, yet now it finally has, it’s erupted. Now you’re in the minority if you’re NOT on Twitter. I love for instance how programmes display their hashtags at the beginning and throughout the show. Encouraging people to connect and communicate. Who would have thought that typing out 140 characters at a time would get the whole world hooked?
Twitter again has it’s advantages and disadvantages. My Mum would tell you that she thinks it’s very anti-social, (or that could just be me, sitting there scrolling through my twitter feed on my phone as she tries to talk to me). But I think it’s incredible. If I need an answer to something, I ask my Twitter followers. You’re pretty much guaranteed that someone out there will be able to help. I find out breaking news from Twitter. I discuss TV shows (and then get quoted in The Sun newspaper for challenging celebrities – but that’s a whole new story – ask me about it one day!). I can tweet my favourite celebrities and possibly, maybe, if I’m really lucky get tweeted back! (Phillip Schofield, Gino D’acampo and Dave Vitty will never understand how happy they made me!)
Yes, it has it’s trolls. I’m not denying that there are people out there who spoil it for others. But I hope that these individuals are in the minority. This is where the ‘block’ button should be used in all it’s glory. Twitter is, and has been, nothing but a positive experience for me and as sad as some may say I am for saying it. I can’t really imagine not having it there on a daily basis. I love Twitter. It keeps me connected. And on Maternity Leave, trust me – this can be a godsend at times! And not only that, but I have met some awesome people on Twitter – in fact, they are the kind you wish you knew on Facebook! 😉
So, that only leave me to say, Happy Birthday Twitter. Here’s to many, many more! 🙂