“What is Twitter all about?” This is the question I am most often asked when someone knows nothing about Twitter and hears that I'm referred to as a Twitter expert. (Which is about as valuable as being an expert on potato chips)
In truth, there are a myriad of different ways that individuals use Twitter. So Twitter is really different for each person and each person might use Twitter in a myriad of ways depending what what they are experiencing in real life.
In general, Twitter is a short form multi-functional communication tool. But the truth is that most people typically just use Twitter as a public Instant Messenger.
Recently I saw a blog post entitled, “I will dig you out” on the Twitter Blog. The post documents another use of Twitter which I am fascinated by: Twitter is powerful to those in crisis.
Cory Booker, the mayor of Newark, has shown how one politician can prove his message simply by engaging with people on Twitter.
It began with a simple “let me know” Tweet a few hours after Sunday’s blizzard dumped more than two feet of snow on New Jersey’s largest city. Soon, Tweets by Newark residents were providing Mayor @CoryBooker with critical real-time information as he directed the massive cleanup.
Patrolling the streets of his city with a Blackberry in hand, Booker responded to a report of a woman in labor – arriving to aid the expectant mother before EMS could get to the scene. As residents reported unplowed streets and stuck cars, the mayor dispatched city plows and tow trucks, often showing up himself to help shovel or push.
This is servant leadership in action!
This left me to wonder. If a politician can validate his campaign message by simply remaining attentive and responsive to his people when they are in crisis… how much more powerful would the message of the Gospel be if we, as youth workers, validated our message to our students by remaining as engaged, attentive, and response as the mayor of Newark, New Jersey?
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in the YS Blog are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinion or position of YS.