The Power Of Twitter (Twitterの新しい使い方)

My wife spotted a funny article on a Japanese website called Gadget Place that really highlights the power of Twitter and social media in the modern age. I’ve been a fan of Twitter for a long time now and thoroughly enjoy using it but I never thought it would ever help me get out of a sticky situation.

The incident took place last Wednesday as a man was visiting Yodabashi Camera in Akihabara, Tokyo and decided he needed to use the bathroom. Just to set the scene for those of you that don’t know, Akihabara is commonly referred to as “Electric Town” and for good reason as it’s an entire district in Tokyo devoted to computers, technology and gadgets. It’s the Mecca for tech-heads and when new geeks arrive there for the first time they quite literally orgasm as they disembark the subway train. Yodobashi is one of the biggest shops in the area (think 9 floors of pure tech) and filled to the brim with geeks.

So the young gent goes to the bathroom, enters a cubicle, drops his trousers and does his business only to discover once he’s finished that, yep you guessed it, there is no toilet paper to be found anywhere. So what does he do? Phoning a shop assistant would be far too mundane and obvious for this geek so, instead, he decides to tweet for help.

Wanted! Toilet paper in Akiba Yodobashi 3F men's restroom

“Wanted! Toilet paper in Akiba Yodobashi 3F men’s restroom”

Help there's no paper! In Akiba Yodobashi 3F men's restroom

“Help there’s no paper! In Akiba Yodobashi 3F men’s restroom”

Fortunately for Toilet Man (as he is now know in Japanese chat rooms) his followers leaped into action and retweeted the alert, imploring anyone nearby to help. The tweets snowballed and spread across the Matrix until eventually a fellow geek in Yodobashi Camera heard his cry for help and came to his aid, delivering a shiny new roll of toilet paper right to his door.

It took over 20 minutes and dozens of tweets but no one can deny that the outcome was effective. I had a similar incident back when I was at school but unfortunately Twitter wasn’t around in those days to help me out. All I had then was a textbook and a whole lot of nerve.

So there you have it, the next time someone calls Twitter pointless or a waste of time, just smugly inform them that it may well save their arse one day.


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  1. Wasdstomp says:

    I found a pretty good use for Twitter the other day. If you follow @waze it is a twitter powered gps. It basically lets people twitter locations of traffic accidents, cops, photo radar vans, and etc. directly to your smartphone.

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