I realized how important Twitter was when I was at home one day working on some school stuff. I tend to check my Twitter feed about every half hour. It is more a compulsion now than an actually need. I do it out of habit, like picking my nose. I checked Tweetie and the people I follow in California started messaging that there was an Earthquake. Later that night, sure enough, there was an Earthquake out on the left-coast that caused minor structural damage. A week later, I was waiting on the bus and a guy that I follow (who works for NASA!) popped up a message about LGA closing one of their terminals. Two hours later, CNN had a story up about a weird cellphone making the cops in the airport nervous. It happens all the time now, especially since interesting, intelligent people are using Twitter. And that is the major point. Using Twitter takes a level of intelligence to use properly. The more it is used, the more it will become an un-detachable part of our current cultural make-up.
Twitter proved its importance during the Iranian Protests. There were people using it to organize and shout to the rest of the world. Before that, everyone was using it to talk about what we were eating for dinner. But the protestors were using it to try and save people’s lives. Now almost every major pundit and journalist either has a Twitter account or has looked at Twitter for major news. And why not? This is information direct from a source. Granted, it might not be terribly accurate information, but it is information none-the-less. And no one is making you read any of it. If you don’t want to follow someone, you don’t have to. You can even block people so you never see any messages from them. That is the part about Twitter that is hard to push past and argue. It is 100% voluntary. If you don’t want to be apart of it, go to your room and lock your door. People who hate Twitter can’t say much about it because, in order to know what you are hating, you have to actively engage with it. And most people don’t engage with things they hate, even with a small amount of curiosity.
It isn’t without its problems, however. You give a person a voice and they tend to use it. I’ve been accused, rightly so, of updating to the point of absurdity and hilarity. This is true. I enjoy communicating to a massive amount of people. I can’t really argue this. There is something amazingly addictive about having a voice that reaches out to people that are as interested in the world as you are. Yes, you can just watch the news and read the paper. That is fine. Or, you can follow the journalist that reports in the paper on Twitter and find out how he got the story idea. You can just read videogame blogs, or you can follow the game developers that are making the game and learn about their updates. There is nothing right or wrong about this. This is just the steady progression of the human experience. This is why our children are addicted to Facebook and text messaging. This is why we travel. This is why we argue about domestic policy and our Foreign Interest decisions. We are becoming more intelligent and more willing to discuss the matters that plague our souls. We are also bored. Put those things together and it is understandable that Twitter is not only popular, but solidified in our social consciousness. Sorry to say it, but Twitter isn’t going anywhere.