Today marks my 5-year anniversary of having an account on this website.
Christmas Day 2010 changed my life forever for the better. It was far from my first time on Twitter. I had been lurking for about nine months on a pretty frequent basis, using the search feature without being signed in to keep up with big news and sports stories.
My friend Kevin had been telling me to create an account for the past few months, saying that I would love it, with the selling point of being able to discuss sports with so many people and have unprecedented access to breaking news.
His handle at the time was [(lowercase) first name, (capital) middle initial, (lowercase) last name], so I decided to model mine the same way.
Minutes later, I fired off my first tweet:
I would tweet stupid stuff like asking Landon Donovan for a retweet (which I sadly never got) or talking about waking up for class hungover once, but more importantly, I started engaging and trying to build a brand for myself.
Mentions were my competitive advantage. I had this not-so crazy notion that people wanted to be heard, and simply responding back to them would go a long way toward building equity.
One of the most fascinating things at times is to observe the behavior of others on the site, the subcultures that have developed within it, and the 180° shifts that occurred over periods of time.
People went from manually retweeting things to complaining and outright yelling at other people for manually retweeting things.
I will never understand the allure of tweeting weird things at Adam Schefter whenever he breaks legitimate news, but doing just that makes some folks jump out of bed in the morning.
My goal was to make friends, and be respectful of everyone, but I always had this belief that if you didn’t have a couple haters, you were doing something wrong. There were combative, worthless trolls like DadSelfie, and members of Slap Bet’s now shut down crew who hated me, but encountering those people was worth it for all of the positive relationships that were built along the way.
Through Twitter, I was invited to tailgates, bars, parties, weddings, and more. There are people who I have never met IRL who I consider some of my best friends in this world solely because of Twitter. It’s the first thing I check on my phone when I wake up in the morning and the final thing my eyes look at before they close for the night.
I owe my career to this website and the two-way communication style it created.
Thank you to everyone who has been a part of the last five years here. Can’t wait to see what things will be like on Christmas Day 2020.