— Shaun McGill (@stmcgill) June 25, 2012
Twitter is one of the two biggest social networks on the planet, the other is of course Facebook. It is quick, eventful, timely and most of all informative. The simplicity of the structure and the way it works goes against what it has become which is a strangely complicated beast that feels remarkable obvious and simple all of the time.
Twitter is a 20 times a day visit for me via a mobile app, my desktop and any other method I can find, but the fact that it works perfectly in the mobile environment is likely one of the main drivers for its success. Open the app, refresh and all of the people you want to hear from have spoken and if they haven’t, they will next time. With a carefully curated follow list you can read all of the news you want, follow those you admire and get involved every step of the way.
As you can tell I am a fan of Twitter, but often in an unconscious way. When you come to use a service so much that you forget you are even using it, you know you have struck gold. It becomes a part of your life. A small part, but it’s there keeping you in contact whenever you want.
All of the above has probably been written before and the point of this article concerns what happened when England played Italy in Euro 2012. I squirmed like the rest of the nation as Italy thumped England for 120 minutes without managing to score, I expected the inevitable loss in the penalty shoot out and I was somewhat sad at the end. And this from someone who supports Scotland avidly. What I realised was that I had my phone with me throughout the match to read the comments of others as the match went on. I shared a small debate with Jim ‘the beard’ Dalrymple, watched while Joey Barton got slammed left, right and centre by those who opposed everything he said during the match and generally enjoyed the extra dimension Twitter brought to the experience.
It then dawned on me that my smartphone and Twitter are my companions during major sporting events, hideous reality TV my children force me to watch and anything else worth commenting on. With the right set of people, Twitter adds another dimension to each event and even though I miss the occasional important part of the event I am watching, it is all so much more immersive with Twitter and my phone next to me.