Twitter is helping to create world peace by making us realize that regardless of how different we may be we all want to be loved and validated – that’s what I learned today
It’s 7: 09 PM on day 407 of my journey towards independence and I’ve managed to brush my teeth, feed myself a boiled egg for breakfast, drink coffee by myself, publish my Disability of the Day feature, tweet about my Clean Water For All Campaign – no luck – feed myself rice and curry for lunch, watch TV, feed myself a banana for dinner and brush my teeth once more.
As you probably know by now if you’ve been reading by blog for a while I LOVE LOVE LOVE Twitter – a micro-blogging platform which boasts millions of users ranging from celebrities to teachers from all over the world– so today I’m going to tell you why am I love it so much, give you the definitions of the symbols and terms commonly used on Twitter and share with you some of my Twitter tips and tricks. Take a look:
Twitter 101: Everything you need to know before you click Log in
Why do I love Twitter?
1. The fact that I have Cerebral Palsy means that most people who I meet in person will have preconceived notions about me whereas on Twitter it’s a non-issue because people cannot see me – people only find out that I have Cerebral Palsy when I tell them, when they read my Twitter bio or when they log on to this blog.
2. You get to meet all sorts of people from different walks of life – teachers, doctors, lawyers, celebrities – who live oceans away from you and share in their lives – my friend, Emma (@sapphire100), who I have been interacting with via Twitter for months just had a baby (congratulations again Emma) and she sent me a picture of her son, Aiden Tate, a few days ago.
3. It has made it possible for me to raise thousands of dollars for my campaign without stepping a foot outside my house – I can’t drive and my parents are teachers who work eight hours a days so it would be impossible for me to go to the mall and set up a stand or something to raise money for my campaign.
4. It has exposed this blog to a worldwide audience at no cost to me – every time I publish a new post the name of my post and the link to the post appears automatically on my Twitter profile because I turned on the ‘publicize’ feature on this blog.
Symbols and terms commonly used on Twitter
The # symbol, called a hashtag, is used to mark keywords or topics in a Tweet. It was created organically by Twitter users as a way to categorize messages.
The @ sign is used to call out usernames in Tweets, like this: Hello @Twitter! When a username is preceded by the @ sign, it becomes a link to a Twitter profile.
The personal image uploaded to your Twitter profile in the Settings tab of your account.
A short personal description of 160 characters or fewer used to define who you are on Twitter.
To block someone on Twitter means they will be unable to follow you or add you to their lists, and we will not deliver their mentions to your mentions tab.
Also called a DM and most recently called simply a “message,” these Tweets are private between the sender and recipient. Tweets sent over SMS become DMs when they begin with “d username” to specify who the message is for.
To favorite a Tweet means to mark it as one of your favorites by clicking the yellow star next to the message.
To follow someone on Twitter is to subscribe to their Tweets or updates on the site.
The numbers that reflect how many people you follow, and how many people follow you. Found on your Twitter Profile.
A follower is another Twitter user who has followed you.
Your following number reflects the quantity of other Twitter users you have chosen to follow on the site.
A user’s “Twitter handle” is the username they have selected and the accompanying URL, like so: http://twitter.com/username.
A real-time list of Tweets from those you follow. It appears on your Twitter home page.
To be included in another Twitter user’s list. Listed numbers and details appear in the statistics section of your profile.
Curated groups of other Twitter users. Used to tie specific individuals into a group on your Twitter account. Displayed on the right side menu of your homepage.
Mentioning another user in your Tweet by including the @ sign followed directly by their username is called a “mention”. Also refers to Tweets in which your username was included.
A Twitter page displaying information about a user, as well as all the Tweets they have posted from their account.
A Tweet posted in reply to another user’s message, usually posted by clicking the “reply” button next to their Tweet in your timeline. Always begins with @username.
A Tweet by another user, forwarded to you by someone you follow. Often used to spread news or share valuable findings on Twitter.
To retweet, retweeting, retweeted. The act of forwarding another user’s Tweet to all of your followers.
Abbreviated version of “retweet.” Placed before the retweeted text when users manually retweet a message.
A subject algorithmically determined to be one of the most popular on Twitter at the moment.
Tweet, tweeting, tweeted. The act of posting a message, often called a “Tweet”, on Twitter.
A message posted via Twitter containing 140 characters or fewer.
My Twitter Tips and Tricks
1. When you log in to Twitter the first time around click on the ‘Who to Follow’ tab at the top of your screen, type in whatever your interested in and start interacting with people who share your interest chances are they will follow you.
2. ALWAYS follow back someone who follows you because otherwise they’ll unfollow you unless that user is not the type of follow you want – I once had someone following me who tweeted about foreskin suffice to say I unfollowed him because he wasn’t my target market.
3. ALWAYS thank people for retweeting your tweets and mentioning you because whether in real life or on Twitter appreciation never goes unnoticed.
4. Reciprocate: If someone often retweets your tweets or mentions you, you should retweet their tweets and mention them whenever you can.
5. NEVER ask someone you just started interacting with on Twitter to do something for you that you would not ask a stranger on the street to do for you – when I started on Twitter I used to tweet links to my campaign to people I hadn’t even introduced myself to needless to say that didn’t go over too well (people thought I was a spammer) but then one day I realized that I should stop trying to get people to invest in my campaign and start trying to get them to invest in me by showing them who I was.
6. If you’re a blogger blogging about a specific topic e.g. Cerebral Palsy you would want your tweets about your blog post to look something like this: Day 407 #SpecialNeeds #CerebralPalsy #HumanRights #Water #TwitterTips (Note: This tweet contains two components the name of my post and the hashtags that will attract my target market to this blog).
Are we connecting on Twitter? If not, say hi at
If you’ve given to my cause or you can’t give now, please help me by sharing my cause with others. You can tweet about it like my friend Stan Faryna. This is the tweet he uses: @Nisha360 is a brave, smart young woman trying to make a better world for us all. Please help her do an amazing thing.
Stan’s very sweet for saying so, but feel free to write what reflects you best.
Thanks to all my friends out there who are helping me make my dream come true: to make a better world for all of us!