Twitter is turning out to be a great way for people who care about each other to stay in touch.
A few months ago, most of our family signed up for twitter. Parts of our family are in California, Texas, South Carolina, and Tennessee. Everybody stays very busy. Yes we can make phone calls, and we do from time to time. But sometimes just a brief sentence or two is a great way to keep everyone informed about what’s happening at a particular moment in our lives, especially when phone calls to everyone might be difficult or time consuming.
Twitter (http://twitter.com) provides a way to send a brief (140 characters) message to everyone who wishes to follow you. They can receive the messages on their computers or as text messages on their cell phones. Similarly, you can send “tweets” using your computer or your cell phone.
There are other applications that work in conjunction with twitter that enable you to send pictures (e.g., http://twitpic.com/), shorten long urls down to text message size (e.g., http://www.twhirl.org/), and (for a fee of $3.95 per month) even let you use your voice over your cell phone to send text messages. It transcribes your voice message to a text message and then sends it to twitter, facebook, or even to individuals you may choose (http://jott.com/). Jott even allows you to use your voice to add events to your google calendar.
Twitter is free. And, with a few exceptions (like Jott), most of the applications are free too. However, the incoming messages may cost you. It depends on your cell-phone plan. Most cell-phone companies now offer plans that include free incoming text messages. If you do not have free incoming text messages, your cell phone charges might go up. Of course, you can also use twitter exclusively on your computer if you do not wish to get the text messages on your phone.
Here are some examples of some of our family members’ recent twitters…
A few minutes ago I sent out two tweets: “Only 5 1/2 more days of Summer school! Kids have been guessing my Bible verses every day! Here’s Friday’s: BMGSSAYN… ATHRIG… BCJ”
The second tweet: “Vickie and I have had a great Saturday enjoying God’s beautiful creation in Southeast Tennessee and Northern Georgia!”
My wife, Vickie, once tweeted: “Kim,Melissa,Natalie,Lacey,Crystal-I am blessed to have each one of you as the mother of my grandchildren-HAPPY MOTHERS DAY! I love you all!!”
A few days ago our daughter-in-law, Kim, tweeted: “I am so proud of Colton, he pitched his first game today and did awesome. We won 7-5 and Colton went 2-2 at the plate. I am a proud mom.”
The other day one of our sons, Jacob, tweeted: “Kinzer got his first hair cut yesterday”
Another of our sons tweeted: “davidalanhall has finally become one with his iPhone. Watch Dave dance? There’s an app for that. Stop Dave from dancing? Ha. Like you’d want that.”
Another son, Daniel, tweeted: “Boyd [his beloved dog] n i r on the lake again n tim n nats lil boat!”
Our daughter-in-law Crystal tweeted: “I am just leaving a wonderful church service and sunday school meeting:)”
One of our sons, Tim, tweeted: “I am the Silver Ladle, spooning out its Frothy Cream of Justice over the freshly-picked Strawberries of Crime.” (No, I didn’t understand that one either.)
But you get the idea.
140 characters sounds kind of puny to us wordy types. But actually you can say a lot in 140 characters!
Think about it. Is God doing something in your life? Do you have a prayer request? Do you need an answer to a question? Are you proud of a loved one for something he/she did? Twitter is a great way to get the message out quickly to people who are interested. And you don’t even have to be at your computer!
Dr. Al Mohler (whom I believe to be one of the most articulate spokesmen for Christian values on the scene today) posted an interesting article about twitter to his weblog and had an interesting discussion of twitter on his radio program. You can listen to the program here:
I would encourage you to check Twitter out! Use it to stay up with your loved ones. And use it to extend your usefulness for the glory of God!
And… as an added bonus… it’s fun!
Guess I’d better close with the obligatory: Follow me on twitter at http://twitter.com/stevehall777
And, stay in the battle!