Twitter Saves Lives

Posted By: Skylar Bergl

Looking for one more reason to join Twitter? It could save your life. According to this Associated Press article from this morning, it could end up helping save your life if you’re smart enough. Kosuke Tsuneoka, a Japanese freelance reporter who was captured in Afghanistan five months ago, successfully got himself freed by tricking his captors after they asked how to use the cell phone that they had. Even though it’s apparent that they never actually planned to kill him, the message here is about how he ended up getting himself free.

In the long run though, it’s not about Twitter’s  ability to somehow miraculously save lives. It’s about being able to get important and urgent news out quickly and without hassle. Think about it, in the time that these young militants were asking him about how it worked, Tsuneoka managed to get a dire message out quick enough that they didn’t find out about it.

As many have seen in class, I’ll always be a Twitter advocate whether you use it for releasing news quickly or just for personal pleasure, just don’t doubt the power that it could eventually lead to. More importantly, it’s not a one-way medium, it pushes for a conversation and feedback for each post made.

You have just 140 characters to say everything that you need to say and if you’re putting a link or a reply in there, it’s even less than that. Twitter is concise and direct. No BS. That’s why it’s a good medium for quick, hard news. There’s a reason it’s popular and widely used by every kind of publication whether it’s a newspaper, magazine or news source. So next time you use it, realize its importance to the development of news and the world of journalism we’re currently living in.

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3 responses to “Twitter Saves Lives

  1. I’m sold. But seriously, I am starting to realize the usefulness and, yes, fun of Twitter. I’ll probably even create an account for my blog in the near future, gasp. I agree that Twitter is and will continue to be important in probably more and more situations. I see that people are using it to get the news and get news out that is important or even life-saving – not only what Skylar described above, but also about fires or severe weather.

    • You may want to consider simply promoting your blog with your personal account Depending on what you blog about, using your personal twitter account can help you 1) build a more identifiable web presence for yourself and 2) encourage your readers to interact with you because they see you as more of a real person. Now, you may not want your readers to have that direct of an interaction with you, and in that case you should probably make a separate account.

      I had a separate twitter account for my Iowa Hawkeyes blog because more people are going to search “Iowa Hawkeyes” on twitter and that simply helped me gain more of a following. That’s another reason to consider when deciding.

      Either way, having a twitter account for your blog or using your personal account to promote it and interact with readers is a must, in my opinion.

  2. My teenager mocks Twitter: “Only old people use Twitter.” That may be. But those “old people” are the folks who influence public opinion – and hire job-seeking college grads.

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