Twitter was created in 2006. It is an online social networking service that allows users to send text-based messages of 140 characters. It i
s a newer type of blog, called a micro blog, that is smaller in size and is made up of the messages that are called tweets.
Originally twitter was used by people who wanted to communicate to small groups during happenings such as sporting events like the 2010 FIFA World Cup. In 2010 the designers at Twitter revamped the site allow
ing users to post pictures and watch video.
Twitter uses the # as way for people to collect and share ideas. For example as of December 3, 2012 the trending #’s are:
#LeaveItIn2012, #NameTheLedgend , #WELOVEYOU1D
It also allows users to “re-tweet” other user’s tweets, which provides a way of sharing of jokes, thoughts and information.
Since then the uses for Twitter have evolved from people posting about their favorite
team to tracking the spread of influenza across the country to protesters communicating to one another in various cities.
One of the first events where people began to look to Twitter as a source for news and communication was the Arab Spring that happened in 2011. Some people wonder if Twitter helped the Arab Spring, or if since then the Arab Spring has helped Twitter more.
We also have seen and can track the Occupy Movement use of Twitter as well.
What first began as a social media website used for communication between groups of people has now become a person’s source for news and even real time event coverage. People can see tweets from around the world the second that they are tweeted.
Even more recently we have seen this social media tool being used by political leaders in the Israel and Palestine conflict. Twitter is no longer just a toy for the younger generation, but an information source for students, teachers, parents, political leaders, musicians and athletes, all people of young and old.
What does all this mean? We know we’ve been in the age of technology for almost my whole life which is really only the last two decades, but we can’t help but ask my self where will this technology be in 10, or even 20 years from now? We know that this being able to communicate around the world in real time is great and breaks so many limitations from the past and can be seen as a positive accomplishment, but anyone can post almost anything on Twitter. This means bombings, executions, violence, and other harmful visuals can be available to the public more, now that ever.
Even though Twitter can be used in harmful ways the benefits are great as well. The communication that it can create and the way that it can unite people will only strengthen future social movements.