Today marks a very special day in the social media world – and no, it has nothing to do with Kylie Jenner’s latest Snapchat story or Kanye West’s most recent Twitter rant. Believe it or not, today social media fanatics are celebrating Twitter’s 10th birthday. That’s right – it has already been a decade since we were blessed with the hashtag, with entertaining celebrity feuds, and with the ability to rant to our followers about pretty much anything in 140 characters or less.
In all seriousness, Twitter has had a massive impact on our society and shaped the way we interact with one another. The founding of Twitter opened so many doors of communication that were previously closed. Think about it – Twitter has opened the lines of communication between the “regular” people, news outlets, celebrities, corporations, nonprofit organizations, and so on. The days of waiting on hold for an hour to speak with a customer service representative about your package that never arrived are over. Twitter’s format allows for users to send public or private messages back and forth to each other – meaning that you could send a tweet to that clothing company that messed up your online order and they can respond with a solution within a matter of minutes. And what’s fan mail? Now you can send your favorite celebrity an endless amount of love through tweets, and they might even send you some love back if you’re lucky!
Besides acting as a source of convenience and entertainment, Twitter has also given a voice to our generation and sparked conversation between people from all across the world. Whether you love it or hate it, there’s no denying the fact that Twitter has become a place for political debate and discussion. This is evidenced during election seasons, when the Supreme Court ruled that same-sex marriage is a Constitutional right, when the Planned Parenthood videos were leaked, when the U.S. re-established diplomatic relations with Cuba, and when Pope Francis visited the United States in 2015. While not all political information distributed throughout Twitter is accurate (a lot of it is just opinion), it has given people the opportunity to express their views, hear different perspectives than their own and generate conversation that was previously nonexistent to many.
Plus, if we didn’t have Twitter, how would we be able to see epic selfies like this one posted by Ellen Degeneres from the 2014 Academy Awards? After all, it was the site’s most retweeted picture! Here’s to you, Twitter.