In January 2009 a friend suggested I join Twitter. At the time I was into Facebook and didn't really know much about Twitter, but I figured I'd give it a try. I signed up and started following some news and entertainment accounts. It took about six weeks for me to really "get" Twitter and understand that you need to be interactive with others and follow people in order to get the full Twitter experience.
A few great things have happened since I joined Twitter. First, I have been able to meet and become friends with some fabulous people. There is a great group of women I have the pleasure of knowing. We laugh with each other - and sometimes at each other! We feel their pain when a loved one is sick or dies. We cheer for their child's accomplishments. We have shared personal stories. We are truly friends. We live in New York, Canada, Washington, DC, Indiana, Pennsylvania, Great Britain, Texas, New Jersey, Oregon, but the distance does not matter, because we all meet here on Twitter. Although, in a few months when a number of us meet in person, New York City may never be the same!
In October 2009 I stumble across another group of amazing people on Twitter, writers of haiku, senryu and poetry, and I now consider them another group of friends, scattered throughout the world. An interesting facet of Twitter is that you can become friends with people you've never seen and don't even know their name. To me it actually doesn't matter because you get a sense of who they are by their tweets.
After following these great poets for a bit, I decided to jump into the pool, so to speak, and started tweeting my own haiku and senryu. It has become an important creative and cathartic outlet for me, at what has been a difficult time in my life.
Trying to explain Twitter to someone who has never used it can be difficult. It's a bit like narrowing down six degrees of separation by at least half. It's a way to meet people from all over this planet that we might otherwise never get the opportunity to meet. It can be a creative outlet. It can be a way to meet people who will be friends for life. For me Twitter is all of that and more.