Twitter reminds us all to call our mothers


Twitter logo is displayed at the entrance of Twitter headquarters in San Francisco on March 11, 2011 in California. (KIMIHIRO HOSHINO/AFP/GETTY IMAGES)

In honor of Mother’s Day this Sunday, Twitter is encouraging users to stop tweeting, close down their apps and instead use their smartphones for the very thing they’re designed to do — make a phone call.

In a video “public service announcement” on its company blog Friday, Twitter was quick to point out all the cool things you can do on its network but also noted that sending your mother a 140-character (or fewer) message to celebrate her special day isn’t one of them.

As a nice touch, Twitter video producer Ian Padgham signed the message with the title “Elizabeth’s son,” and the video also includes a little shoutout to the ad creators’ mothers at the end.

Twitter also didn’t miss the opportunity to talk about how popular its site has become with moms, linking to articles about novel ways mothers have used Twitter. Those included stories that you’d probably expect, such as the Huffington Post’s list of the “Best Parenting Tweets” and an HLN article about the Houston woman who agreed to let a hospital live-tweet her C-section. As LiveScience’s Stephanie Pappas wrote, live-streaming and live-tweeting medical procedures has become a more common practice for hospitals — though the Society of Thoracic Surgeons discourages physicians from participating in any live surgery broadcasts.

The post also links to a Daily Mail article that reports that one in eight British parents creates a Facebook or Twitter profile for their baby — and four percent do so before the child is even born.

That is some serious dedication to social media — a devotion that’s helped Twitter climb to over 200 million active users in the past seven years. Still, there are some messages that should go past that famous character limit.

“You don’t need the Internet for everything. Twitter will still be here when you get back,” the spot says. “But, seriously, call your mom.”

Related stories:

Syrian hackers seize The Onion’s Twitter account, aren’t very funny

Hospitals use Twitter and live webcasts to showcase surgical procedures online

How to protect your Twitter feed: the same way you do for any online account

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Hayley Tsukayama covers consumer technology for The Washington Post.
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