Tonight I reached a personal milestone as I sent out my 7,000th tweet. Over the past two and a half years I have turned to my cell phone to record my thoughts, opinions, observations, favorite quotes, favorite sayings, musical lyrics, and random crap that no one really cares about. It has been a lot of fun.
I became part of Twitter Nation in February of 2009. At the time I was a wide eyed intern at Grizzly Athletics just loving life. Our athletic director got back from one of his national conferences and at the center of this particular conference was this weird thing called Twitter. Well Jim O’Day came back from this convention and he shared the news with our marketing department and told the that he wanted it implemented within Grizzly Athletics. My boss and my predecessor both got their personal Twitter accounts and because I wanted to be like them, I did too! The rest is history.
If you follow my Twitter account, @BrentR7 , you know my basic style. I tweet about pop culture and about what I am doing. I start each day with a quote that I take right off of my “Life’s Little Instructions” page-a-day calendar and I end each day with a my life motto, “Don’t Blink.” Very rarely do I say anything personal, emotional, or negative. Over time, Twitter has become much more of a conversation tool between users and I feel like I have adapted along with it. It is a lot of fun responding to the opinions and questions of Twitter users and having all day running conversations. The use of hash tags is another one of my favorite parts of Twitter. I have rolled over laughing at some of the hash tags people I follow have dropped in their tweets and I try to bring a smile to the faces of my followers with some of mine as well.
When it comes to my Twitter account, I don’t use it as a platform to say whatever outrageous thought comes into my head. I have my place of employment and my family to represent. I will never include profanity in my tweets nor will I send anything out when I have been drinking. I will never, never use Twitter to get back at a girl or to call her out. I am not in junior high. As is our department rule, I can’t tweet past 11pm MT. I honor this and at around 10:57pm – 11pm, you will always get my “Don’t Blink” tweet, signaling that I am signing off for the night.
Enough about my personal Twitter account though, let’s talk very briefly about how revolutionary this amazing social media tool is. Twitter has transcended the way we get information. Instantly we can get updated on everything that is happening around the world. We have unprecedented access to politicians, sports stars, and celebrities. No longer do influential people have to go through news media or publiscists to get their message out, they can just piece together 140 characters, press a button, and send it out to millions of people.
Thanks to Twitter, people have the ability now to follow along in real time as events thousands of miles away take place. If you want to follow a sporting event, a protest, a rescue operation, a court case, or many other events that take place over a period of time you can track it all on Twitter. When breaking news occurs, you are going to hear about it first through Twitter. I remember watching the whole Michael Jackson death saga play out over a string of tweets. I was two steps ahead of all the people in my office who were watching the television. I really do credit that event as really bringing the power of Twitter’s reach to the forefront of society. People really started to take notice.
The way that Twitter connects the world via trending topics is beyond cool. Over 3,000 tweets per second were sent when President Obama delivered the new of Osama Bin Laden’s death. Just a couple months later, 7,000 tweets per second were sent during the Women’s World Cup championship match. Then, just a month and a half later, 9,000 tweets per second were sent when Beyonce revealed that she was pregnant on the VMAs. Not only is Twitter delivering the news to the world, it is providing a forum for people to react to it at the very second that the story is unfolding.
A couple years ago, Twitter had a lot of skeptics. So called experts thought it was a fad, a type of new media with no substance. Boy, were they wrong. Twitter still has its skeptics today. Among them are the many people who just don’t want to give it a chance or who feel it is beneath them. They will purposely mispronounce the name and criticize people who use it. I got news for these people: Twitter is not going anywhere. Educate yourself on it, embrace it, and use it.
Twitter has done a lot of good things for me. It has allowed me to win numerous prizes, receive assistance from major companies when I did not want to deal with phones or long lines, accelerate my career, cash in on many exclusive deals and promotions, and make me a more knowledgeable person. It has also helped me further my own personal brand and has introduced me to many contacts. I have also made genuine friends off of Twitter, a couple who are very close to me. Another good thing that Twitter has done for me is pave the way for me to start this blog! One of the main reasons why I started “Don’t Blink” was so it could serve as an extension of my Twitter account. I felt the need to expand on some of my 140 character thoughts.
Reaching my 7,000th tweet today really made me reflect on the above and realize how big of a part Twitter is for me and how crucial it is in society as a whole. So what are you waiting for?! If you already have a Twitter account, start tweeting! If you don’t, sign up for one right now. But most importantly, be sure to follow me!! Send a follow request to @BrentR7 ASAP! Don’t Blink.