40,000

Last week, my Twitter account reached the (at least for me) impressive milestone of 40,000 tweets sent. I don’t know when it happened, exactly, as I was probably busy tweeting, writing, or both.

I signed up for Twitter three years ago, In February 2009. That was a few months before launching MacStories with its own domain, back when I was “blogging” with a site hosted on Wordpress.com that doesn’t exist anymore. I had no idea back then both MacStories and Twitter would become such an important part of my life.

Unlike most web services I try every day, I have an emotional connection with Twitter. Like an Apple product, the essence of Twitter transcends its commercial nature of social network to become a lifestyle, a people network, which for me is inherently different from simply social.

40,000 tweets isn’t important as a number in itself; I might as well have written this post when I had 20,000 or will have 100,000 someday. But the fact that I reached this figure just in time for my “Twitter birthday” helped me realize how Twitter went beyond 140 characters and #memes and posting pictures of what you’re having for dinner (I’m still doing that by the way). For me, Twitter is the place where I easily get to connect with friends and co-workers, people around the world who are probably busy doing something else, yet decide it’s worth engaging in a conversation with you about anything that’s going on in a particular moment. I’d take Twitter over my website’s comments any day, and that’s exactly what we’re doing.

But it is not just about the feedback to my articles or commentary about the latest Apple news. I went to Twitter when I found out I have cancer, and I am keeping my followers posted about it every week. Because I don’t see them just as “followers”, they are people interested in what I have to say. I value those people. I got to know all the members of my team via Twitter, and I’m sure we wouldn’t have find in each other’s way otherwise. They are basically my second family now. I had the privilege of starting conversations with amazing developers and designers and writers thanks to Twitter over the years, and new connections happen every day, in this precise moment as I write this. Like the Apple community, Twitter has taught me that the things we do and say and share online can have an impact on real life. Because it’s all real life in the end.

So I look back at these three years of Twitter, and I look forward with excitement and genuine curiosity to the years ahead. I was there when the service changed its focus, when they officialized retweets and introduced lists. I was there when Twitter went mainstream and bought Tweetie. I was there, but it’s not as important as the people that were with me. Online, tweeting, sharing 140 characters at a time.

Here’s to another 40,000.

 
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