Where does the time go?
Twitter celebrates nine years – nine years! – on March 21, which is about 50 years in tech years.
Really though, in the world of tech, you’re more likely to be a flash in the pan than a long-lasting juggernaut, but Twitter’s micro-blogging platform has grown and grown, with over 284 million users around the world currently, tweeting, livetweeting and hashtagging in 140 characters or less.
In its nine years of existence, Twitter has changed a lot in the way we interact with each other, the world and even how we deal with other media and our lives. For instance, everything must tweeted, from your morning routine to your cat to, especially, TV shows. Twitter helped shaped shows like Mad Men, The Walking Dead, Breaking Bad, Arrow, Flash, Downton Abbey and Game of Thrones into gigantic social events where viewers and showrunners alike livetweet their opinions, snark and experiences all while watching the same thing.
Sporting events, too, go through regular livetweet cycles including the Super Bowl and March Madness. Live shows like the Academy Awards and NBC’s recent-ish edition of Peter Pan are especially susceptible to “hate-watching”, a phenomenon that wouldn’t be nearly as satisfying were it not for the aid of Twitter.
Celebrities have joined the platform to commiserate with fans and each other, to the point where virtual shouting matches can occur such as the bouts between comedian Patton Oswalt and website Slate.com or actors Seth Rogen and Adam Baldwin.
Twitter has also become a platform for protest. "Hashtagivism" is a major force where Twitter users trending hashtags to call attention to numerous causes, such as #ICantBreathe for the death of Eric Garner, to #Moscow for Russian elections and protests, to #ChangeTheCover for widespread dissatisfaction with Batgirl comics.
And of course, news and journalism have faced massive changes thanks to the effects of Twitter. News outlets basically crowdsource information now, scouring the social media landscape for scoops, quotes and whatever’s trending to write about.
Then there are the repercussions for using Twitter. If you tweet something offensive, then go on a plane flight without access to Wi-Fi you could come back to find your insensitive tweet got you fired. So, remember: tweet responsibly.
Click here if you want to see Twitter recount its history briefly with some landmark tweets, including Ellen DeGeneres’ famous selfie from the 2014 Academy Awards.
Also, here's how 9 year olds think Twitter should celebrate its 9th Birthday:
— Twitter (@twitter) March 21, 2015