NBC 10's Tracy Davidson On Twitter Value
It's not just for sharing pictures of your food. Twitter keeps us in the loop, no matter how many twists and turns there may be.
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“Tweets, by their nature, seem trivial, with little that is original or menacing. Collectively, however, the tweets can create a personality or environment that reflects the emotions of the moment and helps drive opinion.”
—New York Times columnist Noam Cohen
My name is Tracy, and I’m a Twitter-aholic … an obsessive tweeter ... a 140-character voyeur. I’m in the business of information, so whatever gets me what I need quickly, that’s for me.
What sort of information? Take, for example, one of my top Twitter regulars, @mainlinewife. A few weeks ago, she tweeted: “Will one of you young ’uns take #mainlinehusband shopping? He thinks a fleece jacket w/ a corporate logo is proper Sat nite attire.”
Granted, that’s not the sort of information I really need. But it is information I want. It’s the sort of stuff that makes me laugh out loud—and I do that quite often with @mainlinewife’s tweets.
It isn’t much—140 characters. On the other hand, it’s often just enough. Twitter’s immediacy and reach can be intoxicating. On the night of May 2, 2011, a Pakistani man in Abbottabad used Twitter to express his frustration over the helicopter noise keeping him awake. It turns out he was referring to the raid on Osama bin Laden’s compound. Raise your hand if you tweeted—or read tweets—about the presidential election. Just look at that forest of arms. That’s what Twitter is all about.
From Bala Cynwyd to Downingtown, the local Twitter nation is abuzz with restaurant and shopping news, parking tips, fashion and family advice, and much more—all of it arriving so much faster than the trains that once carried Philadelphia’s elite to their Main Line country homes decades ago. And with Superstorm Sandy still a vivid memory, we truly know that Twitter can be much more than a diversion. It’s how power outages are reported, a crucial way to get help to those who need it, and a godsend for family members and friends in times of crisis, no matter how great the distance between them.
It makes perfect sense that a region clamoring for information—whether it’s about the world at large or what’s going on closer to our well-manicured lawns—would be exploding with tweets. I try and read as many of them as I can, every day. I seriously do.