The Power of 140 Characters [TDIS]

Interesting Twitter Stories It’s that time of the week when we sit back and relax, reflecting on the days that went by. Like any other person, I love my Sundays and avoid doing work which involves the use of brain :P. So instead of writing some tech article, I thought of sharing these interesting stories related to twitter that I came across over time. These are not the normal stories of someone getting sacked because of a tweet. These are stories with a difference, and show the immense power 140 characters can wield.

Case#1: Woman saved from committing suicide

A woman tweeted about committing suicide and directed one such tweet to Demi Moore at @mrskutcher. It said, “@mrskutcher getting a knife, a big one that is sharp. Going to cut my arm down the whole arm so it doesn’t waste time”.

tweet Luckily Moore saw the tweet in time and retweeted it immediately. The tweet became viral and the police station got flooded with the calls about this. Fortunately the police was successful in tracking down the woman before she could take any such step.


Case#2: Twitter comes to the rescue of people tired of waiting for train

people waiting for train Commuters traveling through Caltrain between San Francisco and Bay Area (equivalent to Local train in Mumbai or Metro in Delhi) were often left waiting for hours for the train to arrive. With no proper system to communicate about the delays, getting real time status of the train was almost impossible. But not anymore- thanks to Twitter and Ravi Pina.

Ravi Pina- a tech enthusiast and sufferer at the hand of Caltrain, created a twitter account at @Caltrain. Now the riders on board can send latest updates about the whereabouts of train to @Caltrain which is then broadcasted to all the followers. Simple but effective! Interestingly, official Caltrain employees have fully embraced @caltrain.


Case#3: Man travels for free around the world

around-the-world The latest one is about Paul Smith (@paul_a_smith), a British freelance writer, who decided to get to Campbell Island, 200 miles off New Zealand’s coast, within 30 days. He tweeted about this 28 days before he was to leave. British actor Stephen Fry came across his tweet and retweeted it to his followers. The response was amazing. He traveled around the world for free! This is how he did it:

  • Ferry ticket from Newcastle to Amsterdam (tweeter called Leanne)
  • Train to Paris (two French tweeters)
  • Free bed at a hostel
  • Train to Saarbrucken
  • Lift in car to Frankfurt (German tweeter Andrea Juchem)
  • One-way flight from Frankfurt to New York (tweeter called Owen, using Air Miles)
  • Spare bed in hotel room (tweeter from Yorkshire called Mark)
  • Travel and stay in Washington DC, Chicago and San Francisco by plane, train and car (US tweeters)
  • Flight to San Francisco (Zurich-based tweeter)
  • Car to Los Angeles
  • Free flight from LA to Auckland (Air New Zealand)
  • Ferry to South Island
  • Lift to tip of South Island (tweeter called Smiley)
  • Sailed to Stewart Island.


Strange how kind people can be to total strangers! I am planning a trip to Pune, Mumbai and Delhi. Any tweeple here ;)?

Hope you enjoyed reading these stories as much as I enjoyed sharing them. Do share other interesting stories related to twitter through your comments. In the mean time also check out 10 Interesting facts about Twitter and 21 Interesting Facts about Google.


Rajeel August 23, 2010

This is great information. I haven’t heard of any of this events….Anyway i really understood the power of those 140 characters when sashi taroor lost his ‘minister’ position 🙂

Anshul August 23, 2010

Lolz.. and don’t forget Lalit Modi 😀

khalid August 23, 2010

Yeah, these 140 characters are very powerful worldwide. Nice article.

Anshul August 24, 2010

Yes you are right Khalid. Time and again Twitter has showed its power.

Thanks for commenting 🙂

Blogging tips August 24, 2010

Come to Tamilnadu to meet some interesting Bloggers, I will surely sponsor U 😛

BTW very nice collections dude….i love ur article

Anshul August 24, 2010

Thanks buddy 🙂

Customer Care Rep August 30, 2010

Wow! I would like to travel the world for free too!! The 140 chars are really powerful in so many ways, like your first example. People pour out emotions on the internet and strangers can help.

Khan September 10, 2010

I alwayz luv ur articles dear….gr8 collection

vicky November 6, 2010

i also heard . that a US traveller was saved form IRAN prison by tweeting just minutes before his arrest.