Twitter games: What if...

Written by Mila Sanina on .

Journalists on Twitter and other denizens of the twittersphere played many 'What-if' games this week. It's been a week of anniversaries: Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, the 50th anniversary since JFK's assassination, the arrival of Mason and Dixon to Philadelphia.

Owners of rich imagination thought, "What is a better way to relive those moments than to commemorate them with tweets... describing those moments as if they were happening today?"

Imagine, if Twitter existed when President Lincoln was addressing the nation on November 19, 2013 rather than 1863.

So a Twitter version of the long-deceased president -- with a twitter handle @Mr_Lincoln -- live-tweeted, so to speak, the 200+ words, 10 sentences, in 140-character chunks...


And off... he went... I mean, tweeted, the @Mr_Lincoln, that is...

And today, NPR launched a Twitter account with a handle @todayin1963 to live-tweet last moments of John F. Kennedy's life. 

It's hard to imagine what the day of November 22nd, 1963, would have looked like had Twitter existed back then. It surely would not have been limited to tweets from a few accounts.

By definition, however, there is no such thing as alternative history, as David Shribman says. It is what it is. Human nature is such that we will continue to explore, but never agree upon, what-if scenarios.

Today, social media is a place where people are not only reliving that day but sharing and preserving common memories of the man who was larger than life, a role model, a profile in courage, even for people who never lived through that haunting day...

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