A Decade on Twitter

Ten years ago today, I sent my first tweet.

I was in college, working as the News Editor at my college newspaper, The Daily Helmsman.

Figuring out how to use Twitter was a slow process. For those first couple of years, my tweets were sporadic and basically glorified AIM away messages. I shared my status in short bursts, but only really interacted with local friends as I would on Facebook.

I remember the excitement of Facebook finally coming to the University of Memphis. Twitter’s eventually didn’t feel like that to me. Facebook was for the here-and-now of college life; Twitter became about my growing desire to be part of the online Mac nerd community.

Many of the amazing people I work with today I first met on Twitter. Best I can tell, this was Myke and I’s first interaction:

Now we own a company together.

That’s the beauty of services like Twitter. 140 characters may not seem like much, but it’s all you need to strike up a conversation with everyone.

Even as I sit here reflecting on what the service has made possible for me and my career, I know that’s not the case for everyone. Every single day, people are subject to unspeakable abuse from other Twitter users. The company itself seems to struggle in getting even basic decisions right. I often joke that Twitter may be doomed, but I don’t say it in pure jest.

If Twitter were to go away, I would miss it. The communities I enjoy in places like Slack are great, but Twitter’s strength is its open nature. I hope the company can make sense of things, and it needs to get the abuse problem resolved, but if it does, I hope I can enjoy another decade of talking to nerds in short bursts.