Twitterology: Living Life in 140 Characters or Less

It’s hard to believe that four short years ago the terms retweet, hashtag, hootsuite, tweetdeck, Twitter as a noun, Klout with a k”, DM’s and the @ symbol before names had never been uttered, much less tweeted, on the face of this earth.

And now…

Twitter has forever changed the world as we know it.

Careers and even countries are made and destroyed in 140 characters or less.

From the landmark Tweets screaming from the unrest in revolutionary countries such as Egypt and Libya to the first news update about ice on Mars, Twitter has dramatically shortened our lives, or at the very least, the way we communicate them.

Don’t believe it?

Read the 10 Most Extraordinary Twitter Updates via @Mashable.

Consider this:

On April 10th, 2008, James Karl Buck and his translator were arrested by the Egyptian police while covering an anti-government protest. James, a grad student from Berkeley, was able to tweet one word while being taken away by Egyptian authorities: Arrested. This one update sparked his friends and followers into action, eventually leading to his university hiring a lawyer on his behalf and his release a day later.

This is proof that one update, even if it’s a single word, can mobilize people to action and change the course of events.

With status updates, it takes only 140 characters.

Plane crash: When a Continental Airlines 737 crashed into the ground in Denver, Colorado, the news media weren’t the first to break it – passenger Mike Wilson was the first to tell the tale.

Earthquake in China: On May 12th, 2008, China was rocked by a magnitude 7.8 earthquake. Who broke the story first? Users on Twitter.

Terrorism in Mumbai: When horrendous terrorist attacks gripped the city of Mumbai in India, Tweeters were once again the first to break the news. Some of the tweets were heart-wrenching, but ensured we all knew what was happening.

Here is the first Twitter status update ever sent on March 21st, 2006 by Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey.

Question: What is the most extraordinary Twitter update you have witnessed or Tweeted? 

If you enjoyed this Twitter trivia, please share it with your friends!

6 Responses to “Twitterology: Living Life in 140 Characters or Less”

  1. in 2008 I remember when it clicked that Twitter was next level.

    There was an earthquake in SoCal where I was and within a matter of 5 minutes I knew where it originated, what the magnitude was and that all may friends were safe. All on twitter

  2. One of the interesting things I found is that many of the same people who praised Twitter for it’s role in the revolution in Egypt, vilified it in its role in the London riots. Those who railed against the closing down of the internet in Egypt suggested the same ought to be possible in riot situations in the west.

    Any type of free speech medium carries with it equal parts hope and danger. If you try to hard to suppress the danger, you destroy the hope along with it. LIke wheat and tares, they must grow together until the Lord of the Harvest sorts it out at season’s end.

  3. For me it was the Mumbai attacks – following updates from those in the city and knowing that the reports on the ground were generally more accurate than what was coming from any of the major news sites.

Created by Randy Elrod
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