Many people still wonder about the usefulness of a service like Twitter. Most criticism revolves around the seemingly arbitrary limit of 140 characters a user is allowed per tweet. But the power of Twitter is not found in the individual tweets themselves, but in the agglomerate. Taken together, the millions of tweets continuously funneled through the site offer a glimpse into the current global zeitgeist. Twitter's search function, in which all public tweets can be searched and filtered, sorts through millions of conversations and compiles a list of relevant tweets. It is strangely thrilling, almost like eavesdropping on thousands of conversations at once. A proverbial ear to the world's door. (Read a great NYTimes profile on the power of Twitter here).
I've recently been watching the search term "adventism" (Twitter account needed) to get a picture of what the world, and what Adventists themselves, are saying about the church. The results are at times banal, but occasionally they capture a unique story or perspective. The tweets often center on themes to which Adventists are often associated including healthcare, lifestyle, and the Sabbath.
Below are several tweets, sorted by topic, that give an interesting perspective on people interacting with the church and its culture in their daily lives. I have removed the usernames of each tweet for privacy.
Many tweets refer to health or food:
I have it is good!! You know being adventist, I get to try meat-free Caribbean dishes.
A Chik patty with hot marinara over provolone on a bun -- from my alma mater, Southern Adventist University.
Ick. They gave me turkey bacon at the Seven Day Adventist hospital. I prefer life without bacon.
Southern Adventist College is a vegetarian campus, so our lunch today was very healthy. With the exception of Adam's--he smuggled in ribs.
http://twitpic.com/4d6m3 - Gummi Bear Anatomy chart. At Parker Adventist Hospital. Funny!
or Swine flu:
“A case was diagnosed here in Orlando today on a tourist from Mexico who came to Disney attractions two days ago to visit,” Adventist HS.
Yeah every Adventist's facebook status is touting the fact that they don't eat pork so that's why they don't have to worry
i should get a few days of fun out of baiting my adventist mother with comments about swine flu being another sign of the end of the world.
or finally, experiences with the Church and its members:
Becoming Seventh Day Adventist again. You are ABSOLUTELY forbidden to bother me on the Sabbath.
Going through the formalities of leaving the SDA, Seventh Day Adventist church. They are trying to keep me.
Getting ready to rock the 7th day adventist church in arlington. First time for everything.
I'm going to a Seventh Day Adventist church, I'm hoping they don't eat my brains.
Been up since 7:30 am cause this girl wants me to go to church with her. I've never been to an Adventist service."
Hey, do you have a minute for a quick sermon?" -dude outside of 7th day Adventist center #quickie?
Just opened door to 7th Day Adventist dressed in Hell's Angel leathers. He told me to 'f@#$ off'
My Super Hero Adventist grandmother asked me y do I wear earrings...looked @ her and sed "Grama, I DO IT FOR HIP_HOP!" lol
So.. an Adventist and a Baptist walk into a bar... no.. that's the whole joke, get it?! :)
Isn't it strange how life changes? My first straight adventist kiss is now a married gay wiccan. O.o?
This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/1618