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Twitter helped Haiti…Iran…whatever…

February 28, 2010

While I have been using twitter, I have seen the tweets coming inside civil unrest, that hasn’t made my mainstream news. I have read tweets from inside some of the biggest news events in the past year.  I saw the pictures of the inside of Tehran University  minutes after the Basji left. I have seen some of the highest quality articles, about issues that I didn’t even know were being reported on. I have received them, within hours of being written.

I have seen self congratulatory articles, about ‘twitter revolutions’, and twitter saving lives. I have seen articles dismissing Twitter as a passing fad. I I have seen articles warning of the dangers of facebook, the dangers of Youtube.

Twitter did not rescue people in Port Au Prince. Twitter did not have a revolution in Iran(especially given the last revolution in Iran, was the year after I was born). Facebook is not dangerous.  Twitter may be a passing fad, but it will only pass when a new tool, which has a wider reach, and is more effective, comes along.

Social networking is just a tool for communication. It has changed the way people communicate, beyond all recognition. It has given people the tools to connect to each other, in a way that could never have been imagined. That doesn’t make it any less a tool, than say, a telephone. We are clear that the telephone is a means by which we communicate, but it is people, who do the communication, so we don’t give the telephone credit, or congratulate ourselves on being clever enough to use it.

Twitter, facebook, email. All just tools we use to communicate. Changing the way we communicate, no doubt. Allowing more people to communicate with each other, in ways that could never have been imagined, definitely. We do need some perspective though. This new way of communicating, is here to stay-but it is a tool. When you see articles about how ‘Twitter’ rescued ‘quake victims’, substitute the word ‘Twitter’ with ‘people’. Twitter didn’t do anything. People did. People can do amazing things, if you give them the tools.

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2 comments

  1. Brilliant. I love that last paragraph. In fact, so much so, that I’m gonna read it again. I might even communicate to other people that they should read it, twice, because it’s that good.


  2. Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by slummymummy1: https://deeplyflawedbuttrying.wordpress.com/2010/02/28/twitter-helped-haiti-iran-whatever/



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