'What's happening?'

by Lis Lewis-Jones

Over the past few years, millions of us have responded to Twitter by telling our followers what we're up to. It quickly became a new way of communication; pushing information out and receiving comments back. The ability to retweet made the platform even more appealing as messages, news, information and even calls to arms spread quickly.

Unexpectedly out of this simple question came the development of relationships with complete strangers. Twitter has the power to make you bond with people you have never met before.

One of my closest friends @Dave_Hodgson has terminal cancer. He tweets to his 2,000 or so followers about his treatment, his fears and his battle. For him, Twitter has been both a way of raising awareness of #cancer and a significant support line for him too. The online community has sent messages of encouragement, friendship and hope. Complete strangers from across the globe have provided an unexpected and powerful support mechanism. Dave, always brave and often witty, admits it would have been harder to go through treatment without his 'Twitter family'.

Today's communications environment is about much more than just pushing out news and information. The monologue has become authentic dialogue. We build relationships and cultivate a virtual community through our postmodern, social media fuelled world.

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