Over a decade ago, I started my first Twitter account. It was a 140-character space to vent about the day, talk about a food craving, or stress out about final exams. Then celebrities took to Twitter, and I followed them and re-tweeted some of their one-liners… for no reason other than to say I agreed with the statement. It was kind of silly, all in all, and I jumped off the Twitter bandwagon JUUUUST as it started weaving with Facebook and when people started linking FB/Twitter/pictures all together. It was starting to get toooooo complicated.
My first Twitter account stayed dormant for years – maybe about five years. It would have stayed entirely dormant, but a couple of years ago a friend told me that my Twitter was spamming out crap so I had to change my password and all of those shenanigans when one of your social media accounts gets hacked. Le sigh.
Then this class came around, and I decided maybe not so much to resurrect the old Twitter, but start a more purposeful one. And thus, SunBerkeley, was born. Yes… I am SO creative. You’re jealous, I know.
I feel like signing up for my first Twitter account was waaaaay easier: choose a name, a password, and then do whatever the heck you wanted! I think the biggest choice for me at the time was choosing what color theme, and how I was going to “soup” up my page channeling all that Geocities web programming glory I had under my belt. MIDI files of sappy love songs to accompany my posts of angst? You got it!
But this time around, for my grown up Twitter, Twitter forced me to follow people. To friend people. Why, Twitter, how kind of you to be in cahoots with my PH class! After all the intro stuff, though, I still feel like a Twitter n00b.
So I started following a bunch of health organizations and some classmates!
Okay onto the serious stuff.
Here’s a tweet by WHO that caught my eye and humbled the crap out of me:
So here’s how revisiting an old friend can teach you NEW things you never knew you never knew:
1) I never considered that people in Guinea didn’t know proper hand washing techniques
2) I never knew anthropologists did anything beyond write textbooks and STUDY people – somehow it never occurred to me that those books and studies were done by not only OBSERVING people but by INTERACTING with them! It’s so obvious, but… I never knew that. Anthropology… to me is Anthroplogie, the store. Shopaholic, remember?
3) Initially, I didn’t know that hand washing was such a huge part in reduction of ebola transmission. But then it forced me to do a little researching on my own to realize that proper hand washing technique is UPSTREAM of transmission, and thus can help reduce rates of ebola. *LIGHT BULB*
4) Then I realized, hey, I don’t really know much else about ebola other than hemorrhage and most probable death. So I spent a half an hour or so reading up on the disease itself. It’s actually even scarier if you know more about it…
5) A technical thing – WHOA – you can add pictures with your tweets! If you read my blog posting in its entirety, you will remember that I stopped using Twitter when the pictures started being embedded. But my mind is blown – and the impact that a simple picture like this can have is far more valuable than, well, Kim Kardashian’s new Manolos. 😉
Micro-blogging is powerful! Twelve words, one mini url, and one hashtag later, I’ve learned SO much!