Today I experienced that thing about Twitter which so many people rave about. I watched, in real time, as history was made - following the hash tag, my home page bumping up every few seconds with another 20 tweets, another 30 tweets, another 60 tweets as the announcement was made.
#BlackTuesday out-trended Thanksgiving for a moment today. Apparently that's huge.
I wish the historical event I was following was a more positive one. I wish I'd been outside Parliament to experience it with my peers, not reading about it once removed - albeit only a few seconds removed.
But Twitter totally came through for me on this one, and I get it now. Fucking marvelous technology.
Not just the real-time connection with the event, but being able to garner all the varied comments - from SA's top newspaper editors to comedians, political commentators, assholes - the voices of reason, of hysteria - to instantly have ones own reaction tempered, inflamed, counter-balanced, validated, refuted. Great stuff.
And instantly those (South Africans) whom I follow fell into two stark categories: those who were talking #blacktuesday and those who weren't. How could anyone really have been tweeting about anything else today?
Twitter, I take it all back. You totally came through for me today.
Even if my government shamefully and horrifyingly didn't.