Of course he would have! In addition to being the perfect medium for the First American to campaign for colonial unity, his pithy quotes would have made excellent tweets. “In this world nothing is certain but death and taxes.” Perfect. Under 140 characters and straight to the point. He could have even added a shortened URL link to his website, which of course he would have had. A great way for Ben to keep up with his lady followers. While Twitter is hitting its stride in 2010, it is fun to speculate how it would have been used by some of the world’s most important historical figures.
Ernest Hemingway would have tweeted. He would have made fun of it, but its allure would have proven too great to resist. And he would have published a short story a day made up entirely of 140 character tweets. Perhaps he would have also used Twitter to protest the war: “In modern war... you will die like a dog for no good reason.”
Black_Moses “RT @Levi_Coffin: Swing low, sweet chariot, coming for to carry me home.” Twitter would have been a great – if somewhat dangerous – means of communicating for the engineers of the Underground Railroad. Harriet Tubman, or the Black Moses, as she was known, could have sent coded messages to a far-reaching network of supporters. Black spirituals were a form of social networking, after all. Today, would Harriet Tubman be tackling other issues of equality?
Twitter is a popular medium for the accused to protest their innocence. Maybe Sam Sheppard could have started a social media campaign to turn the tide of public opinion in his favor. “@F Lee Bailey: it wasn’t me, it was the bushy haired man. DNA testing can’t come soon enough.”
And some people just use Twitter to tell you what they had for lunch, what they are doing after work, or other minutia that no one really needs to know. This would be perfect for Oscar Wilde. “I have nothing to declare except my genius,” would be a perfect first post.