Sunday, September 18, 2011

#TwitterChangedMyLife

For the past 10 months I  have desperately been seeking inspiration for a blog post. My need to word vomit in more than 140 character bursts has just been reignited by a simple tweet. 

I asked "What has happened to you in the past year that never would have happened if you weren't on Twitter?" 

There were too many stories to include all of them but some of the responses blew me away (some of them just made me laugh really loudly)...

@JoziGoddess I was on 3talk, I started writing, I was offered a column...Lots

@NatalieRoos I met my boyfriend and moved to Cape Town. 

@SchweppesRocka I got a photo published in a prominent national Australian music magazine. 

@TegzAshley Made moving to CT this year so much easier. Got advice on living in CT. Met new people and have made amazing friends!

@BarryTuck watched @followthebounce do Loftus in a Speedo. Picked up @KirstyBisset as an appendage. Rocked Miller's Boat. Lost my virginity. 

@StaceFace248 wouldn't have made an amazing friend @MishToTheD :)

@ShannonS19 I got motivated to start exercising after everyone's tweets about boot camp etc. Have lost 6kgs to date!

@kambabe I met my partner and he got a job, all via twitter

@AmandaSevasti I met my best Joburg friends through twitter. It made moving to the city a lot less lonely. 

@KirstyBisset Oh, you know... Met a really hot surfer dude, made @Noeleen3Talk blush, threw name in @CosmopolitanSA. Just your average year. 

@KirstyStoRAWR I met you! And we were in Cosmo. Became a tomtom ambassador. And embarrassed a lot of my family by saying 'vagina' online a lot. 

@LeetBee I met the girl of my dreams, on twitter, no lies

@CreateAStirSA I learnt that I can still be naive - tweep who pretended to be terminally I'll but was lying. Conned us into caring. 

I have witnessed lives changing, friendships developing and love blossoming. I have seen courage found, new ventures embarked upon, motivation, inspiration and determination. Inevitably, have also seen manipulation, cries for help, sadness and sorrow. 

I know how it's changed the lives of friends. I've seen them find their paths. I've watched them take steps in directions that will forever define them. Some of the big, life altering stuff, life's giant moments, the ones they'll remember in the twilight of their lives, happened on Twitter. 

So many profound things have happened to people I care about, just because of Twitter. Ironically, these people I care about are the ones I met online. Their stories are their own to share but I know that they wouldn't have found the courage to do what they have done this year if it weren't for all of you. 

This might sound dramatic but keep your eye on your timeline. Watch closely. You'll see it too. I've seen it all start with a flirt, a question, or just a curiosity about someone else's hobby. You'll see unlikely friendships begin that will last a lifetime. You'll see confidence grow, strength gained, renewed focus and energy. 

For many, social networking might just be a way to pass time, but it's impossible to escape the underworld of Twitter without being affected. You can't log in or out without witnessing someone else's joy, accomplishments or sadness. 

And what did Twitter do for me this year? 
Besides providing me with an unrivaled outlet, I have made best friends, real, true friends,  it gave me a voice even when I wasn't that keen on being heard, it's given me hope when I've felt a little depleted in that department and it's changed the way I do my job (it's surprisingly made me more effective). 

In the less profound department, I've won great prizes, scored phenomenal swag and it got me into Cosmopolitan. 

Twoogle has gotten me through my first year of being a cat-mom, helped me with research and resulted in the discovery of Joburg's finest Red Velvet Cake (damn you, Twoogle). 

On a final note, if you feel like you're not getting anything from Twitter or it hasn't changed your life at all, you're following the wrong people! Please go to my timeline, check out who I follow, and follow them all. (I don't know if Jeremy Piven will change your life but he's Ari fucking Gold. Ok?)