Have you ever had someone you were very close to really make it big? On one hand, you’re happy for their success and were even wondering how it might even benefit you. But on the other hand, you’re worried that they will blow up so large that all you’ll have is the memories of when the two of you could connect so easily, enjoy each other’s company and believe in your hearts that it would always be that way.
That’s sort of how I feel about Twitter going public. You see, my favorite micro-blogging site and I go way back, all the way to the beginning.
Yep, before Twitter was hip and popular, we met and it was practically love at first Tweet. Even though I was able to communicate with merely a fraction of the people who follow me now, there was something sweet and innocent about chatting with another group of people that could say what they needed to say in 140 characters or less. I was with Twitter when it was the butt of jokes and thought to be a passing fad. After all, who really cared about what MC Hammer was watching on television? I did. Well, not really, but I Ioved the fact that he was taking the time to share such ordinary stuff with the rest of us. He and Shaq, Ashton Kutcher, Joan Rivers, Kim Kardashian, Liz Taylor and Russell Simmons were among the earliest celebrity Tweeters. You’d never see that group of people together anywhere at the same time, except on Twitter.
Oprah’s first Tweet in 2009 said:
Never mind that she misused the noun form of those who Tweet and posted it in all caps. The point is this record will last forever. I imagine it’s what it might have felt like to have recorded the first telephone conversation or to have the first fax transmission ever sent.
Granted, the first Tweets were pretty boring. Barbara Walters posting “getting ready to do the View, must get my hair done” or Bill Cosby’s, corny “I will write tweet nothings in your ear,” probably were turn offs to some, but not me. I knew I was in it for the long haul.
You know the rest of the story. By its 7th birthday in March of this year, it was clear that my virtual BFF was indeed something to chirp about. After more than a billion tweets, it had gone from a platform for mindless chatter among a few pioneers to the source of breaking news stories that included everything from death threats to our president to the confirmation that there was ice on Mars. It has become the go-to- medium for the good, the bad, the ugly, and the amazing. It has changed the way we market products, watch television and stalk people we have crushes on.
It’s special to me because it’s made me laugh and cry, it’s where I’ve met new friends and, for some reason, it’s added a spark to the chats I have with old ones.
And now instead of the fun and silly words linked with Twitter, like re-tweet, hashtags, and avatars, all the talk is about IPO, Wall Street and NASDAQ, and I’m starting to empathize with President Obama’s junior high school girl friend.
I know what we had was real, but can it ever be like it was?
Hey Twitter, Tweet me, okay?