If you know anything about me, you know that I am a bonafide Twitter aficionado. Even with it’s API issues and that darn fail whale, Twitter is still my favorite social media platform.
Having attended (and livetweeted) the #140confDC in June, I heard a lot about the “power of Twitter.” It enables people to communicate and spread messages across the world – be it about education, sports, technology, you name it! It is truly amazing what can be conveyed in 140 characters or less. I’ve made connections with people via Twitter that have turned into job offers and other types of opportunities, so I certainly realize the power that being able to communicate with people in real time holds. For me; however, the real power has come in the connections that have been made offline. I attended two events this past weekend, a surprise birthday party and a cookout, and both were given by people who I met via Twitter – people that I did not know four months ago!
The surprise party was given for a sweetheart of a lady named Charlotte whom I have adopted as my sister. I love her to pieces and more pieces. It really struck me when she said that she couldn’t believe that these people that she had met on Twitter had done this for her, when she couldn’t even get something like that from family. John, who is just so sweet you could put him on pancakes, invited me into his home to enjoy his food and hospitality, and told me I could bring a guest – and we met on Twitter! Seriously. Now if that’s not the REAL power of Twitter, I don’t know what is. Not only are people connecting, they’re engaging, they’re relating, they’re coming together – in real life, for real events and real causes. And sometimes just to hang out.
If someone had told me about this phenomena, but I hadn’t witnessed it with my own eyes, I wouldn’t believe it. I still have a hard time believing it. Somehow, some way, I have stumbled upon this group of individuals who are for the most part cool, friendly, down-to-earth, welcoming, supportive of each other’s endeavors..the list goes on. This isn’t how I grew up. I’m always on the defensive; always wondering “what’s the catch?” People just aren’t like that. The power of Twitter.
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that every person that I’ve met via Twitter has become my instant best friend, but most definitely there are a lot of them that I can hang with in or out of a Tweetup. The best part about it is, these people are accepting me for me. I don’t know how to be anybody else, so my motto is “if you can’t take it, leave it.” So far, I keep getting twtvites, so I guess my tweeps can take it.
My “tweeps” as I call people I’ve met via Twitter, are like an extended family – they’re my cousins, my uncles, my aunties…they’re my sisters and my homegirls who are like sisters…they’re my brothers and my homeboys who are like brothers. Some of them are my “damn, he’s cute; does he really have to be my brother?” homeboys, but I digress.
The bottom line is that, for me, the real power of Twitter lies in what happens offline. The conversation may start on Twitter, but it sure doesn’t have to end there.