Happy birthday, Twitter! We weren’t sure what to do with you at first.
“I spend too much time online. What’s another addiction?”
That was my first tweet, posted on March 6, 2008. Little did I know how addictive Twitter would eventually become.
The social media network celebrates 10 years of existence today. It’s hard to overstate Twitter’s role in journalism over the past decade, from being the go-to platform for breaking news, to allowing audiences to unite and influence what stories are covered by the press.
Among social networks, Twitter is arguably the platform of choice for journalists. A 2015 study found that journalists account for nearly a quarter of the service’s users. Journalists and news organizations are also the most active group on Twitter — if we’ve produced content, you can bet we’ll tweet it.
In honor of Twitter’s birthday, here’s a selection of first tweets from some notable journalists and active tweeters.
I'm trying Twitter.
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) April 24, 2008
Setting up my Twitter account to see if I like it.
— Jay Rosen (@jayrosen_nyu) May 19, 2008
trying twitter for the first time.
— Melissa Harris-Perry (@MHarrisPerry) January 3, 2009
— ann friedman (@annfriedman) February 5, 2009
just joined twitter! not sure how i feel about this!
— Callie Schweitzer (@cschweitz) February 23, 2009
I just lost my Twitter virginity.
— Bill Simmons (@BillSimmons) April 30, 2009
Some people, like media futurist Jeff Jarvis, were annoyingly ahead of the game.
OK, I'm trying Twitter again
— Jeff Jarvis (@jeffjarvis) December 22, 2007
Others, such as commentator Donna Brazile, adopted the "_____ is doing this" approach. Remember when that was the norm on Facebook?
has just joined Twitter!
— Donna Brazile (@donnabrazile) July 30, 2009
Given the personas that some journalists have built on Twitter, it's odd to look back and see such personal, mundane glimpses into their lives.
Watching Kayleigh play in her Exersaucer while Susanne rips up some pita for the hummus.
— Andy Carvin (@acarvin) February 17, 2007
Made a vegetarian dinner. But added bacon. So didn't make a vegetarian dinner.
— Ezra Klein (@ezraklein) January 5, 2009
Several reporters, like The Washington Post's Wesley Lowery, have become less stuffy and more conversational over time.
At The Post working on a piece about the benefits of the semester system to students seeking internships
— Wesley Lowery (@WesleyLowery) January 6, 2009
And some people are just weirdly consistent.
Bunning Retirement Might Not Save GOP in Kentucky - http://tinyurl.com/cmc3bb
— Nate Silver (@natesilver) May 1, 2009
You can follow the author on Twitter @katiehawk.