I Wonder How Twitter Has Changed Our Lives!


Recently a tweet by @librarycongress (The U.S. Library of Congress) caught my eyes while I was poking around on Twitter.  The Library of Congress is going to archive all public tweets made since March, 2006 for the future generation. As per latest statistics there are over 105 million twitter users across the globe that are constantly tweeting on what’s happening in their part of the world. And the number of tweets is 50 million per day. Twitter’s real-time data and facts (read tweets) can become a rich resource to be used as a chronicle.

I wondered how Twitter has changed our lives and thought I must pen down my thoughts on it.

When I was introduced to Twitter by a friend I was skeptic about this micro-blogging site. So many questions filled up my mind – “why should I tweet when I can blog?” I was not sure whether any one will ever follow me (except my friends who were already on twitter)! “What to tweet and what not” –  Twitter was quite an enigma to me then.”Is it always possible to be within the limit of 140 characters?” But gradually I found answers to all my questions. My perspective towards this micro-blogging site changed completely and I got addicted to Twitter. Now it has become such a favorite that I never mind writing an entire blog post on this. 🙂

I have been using other social networking sites of late. They are more or less similar when it comes to messaging and interaction. Twitter’s uniqueness lies in its simplicity and 140 characters limit for posting messages (read ‘tweets’). I find Twitter interesting in many ways.

The environment here is not that serious like other professional online networks and not so casual either such as the social media, even though you’ll find successful professionals from all fields on Twitter. It’s crisp and quick. It gives you freedom (you can tweet whatever you like) yet binds you in limit with short space. In other way twitter teaches you to be candid but precise; brief yet interesting.

As a social networking site Twitter nicely blends professionalism with friendliness. And it proves fruitful when the online friendship of professionals is directed to offline meeting in the name of charitable events like Twitter Festival. It will be sheer benefit of the society if we can leverage the power of twitter fraternity in a productive manner.  Twitter has given the educated mass a platform to raise their voices and share their thoughts.

Twitter has already brought change in our society and thus in our life. We see more and more celebrities and eminent personalities from all spheres – be it politics, entertainment, journalism, art and literature – are joining Twitter now making it a trend. Previously it was only the media that had access to the world of celebrities and politicians. Whatever they said or did reached us in form of news via media. Now it comes directly to us (Twitter users) in form of tweets. Twitter has been able to bridge the gap.

Courtesy twitter that Shashi Tharoor can speak his mind right to his 7 lacs followers even though it has caused him a lot of trouble.

We never had any clue about what Ashton Kutcher thinks when he is on a flight before we had Twitter.

Have we ever thought of getting a glimpse into an astronaut’s mind right at the moment he is working at a space station or watching the Mother Earth from the outer space?  It is Twitter that has made all these possible.

The Twitter-scope is not anymore limited within a particular status of the society for a particular purpose of socializing; rather it opens up a new horizon to the global citizen. Capturing the entire universe in just 140 characters Twitter provides a wider angle to look at things and teaches us to think differently.

Kolkata Twitter Festival: Missed It This Time :(

kolkata twestival
Kolkata Twestival Poster Image courtesy: @Shilps31

Twestival… Twitter Festival … TwestivalKol (abbreviation for Kolkata Twestival) were the topics I was tweeting about (retweeted more…) for the last one week since I met some of the Kolkata Tweeps  who volunteered the entire event and who do tweet for a greater cause – @shilps31 (Shilpa Srivastava), @doubts (Kamanasish Roy), @saikatblogger (Saikat Sengupta), @subhojit_g (Subhojit Goswami), @shimulseo (Shimul Aich), @_samiran (Samiran Ghosh), @_anamus (Sumana Chakraborty), the cute and intelligent @princessmithai (Rajrupa Das) and @Shrabasti (Shrabasti Ghatak) and @DaMoViEmAnIaC (the movie maniac) in its true sense Aniruddha Chatterjee… :). Some of them I know personally and I felt honored when they asked me to join them in a pre-Twestival meeting and discussion (even though I was good for nothing… :)) on March 19, 2010.

I enjoyed watching them talking, joking, pulling each other’s leg while planning for the event at the same time. It’s truly inspiring how they managed time from their busy life to stand for what they believe… that is, “education for every child” … and they really worked hard to make Twestival Kolkata happen.

Twestival, since its birth in 2008 when a few London tweeple (people using Twitter) came up with an intention to “leverage the power of online networking” for social cause, has gone global with a total of 175 cities worldwide celebrating it simultaneously this year on March 25.

Twestival supports Concern Worldwide, an international charitable organization working to improve the living standard of people in some of world’s poorest nations. Some other cities like Mumbai, Bangalore and Delhi are already acquainted with Twestival in India. But it was relatively new to Kolkata as the city has its Twestival for the first time to bring twitter users living in this part of the world together for the cause of raising fund and supporting the education of under privileged children across the globe.

The mantra was “Tweet. Meet. Give”.

Tweet for a noble cause.

Meet offline to strengthen the support.

Give donation in the aid of world’s poorest.

kolkata twestival
Kolkata Twestival Collage Image courtsey @shilps31 & @sahaanirban

Therefore, in every reason I wanted to be there at Natya Bhavan, Salt Lake where the Kolkata Twestival was being held on 25th March. But alas!…the same old story again… I planned for Twestival and Destiny had planned something else for me. I was assigned an urgent work lately in the afternoon and had to complete it by that evening. So, when I got out from my office it was already 7:15. By the time I could reach the venue (from Kalikapur near Ruby Hospital) the program would be over. I rushed towards home hoping to catch up with some live tweets on the event and of course the snaps that people uploaded on @twitsnaps.

It was an enjoyable evening for everyone present there. Kolkata Twitter Festival was an assortment of painting exhibition by destitute children from SOS Village, a video show on the sufferings of the under privileged and deprived children; a musical performance by a local band and most interestingly a candid speech by the chief guest @greatbong aka Arnab Ray, the renowned blogger and writer whose blog I just love reading… and so much I wished to meet him in person and hear his speech. I also had one question for him – ‘why does he follow MrTweet only’? Doesn’t he find anyone else worthy of following (on Twitter of course …:P )!

A friend who attended the event told me that @greatbong talked about how to use twitter effectively for business promotion while sharing his views on blogging which I think I did miss greatly.

To end, I must mention that a sum of Rs. 17000, raised from Kolkata Twestival will go to the charity Concern. But I personally feel that had Twestival t-shirts (quite attractive!) been available at the venue (profits earned from the sale will be sent to charity), the amount could be higher. Well…. 17000 is not  bad at all for a debut performance! Hoping for more funds, more fun and stronger fraternity next year – a bigger Kolkata Twestival in every way …!