I do not Twitter. Ostensibly this is because I forgot my username, but the real reason is that I just don't want to. I am happy to be out of the loop when someone I hardly know eats cheerios. And I like the serene feeling of self-sufficiency I get from eating cheerios without notifying anybody.

(Facebook update: "Nechama Posner is NOT Twittering!")

But I am reconsidering my elitist attitude.

This is due to what is happening in Iran, something that has slowly arrested my attention over the past few days. On June 12, Iran held elections. But the winner was announced before the votes could possibly have been counted, and for the past week, hundreds of thousands of young men and women have been gathering in huge demonstrations to protest the apparent election fraud. A number of protestors have been killed in clashes with police.

The Iranian government has (intermittently) blocked Facebook and Youtube and banned foreign journalists from covering the protests. But they could not shut down Twitter. Twitter has become Iran's lifeline to the outside, a way for Iranians to tell the world what's happening and to coordinate among themselves.

This is extraordinary. When they talked about "free press" during the American Revolution, they meant newspapers. It was a pioneering concept in a time of dictatorship.

Benjamin Franklin famously said: "I hereby invite all Men, who have Leisure, Inclination and Ability, to speak their Minds with Freedom, Sense and Moderation, and their Pieces shall be welcome to a Place in my Paper." But despite the high-minded enthusiasm of all those CAPS, communication was still centralized, and resources were limited.

Now we have surpassed the earthbound printing press; Twitter does not even need web access to work. You can Twitter from a phone. Individuals – many of whom likely lack the winning combination of "Leisure, Inclination, and Ability" – are communicating with the world and making their plight known.

Why Twitter? According to Time Magazine, "It's free, highly mobile, very personal and very quick. It's also built to spread, and fast."

When you read a tweet, you are aware that there is a real person there, someone who possibly needs to pocket his phone for a minute and tie his shoelaces. The style of a tweet is idiosyncratic and un-grammatical; often it's all in lower-case. It's the kind of thing from which English teachers recoil in dismay. But there is no lag time – tweets are received by followers instantaneously.

As a result, "What can be seen is the web's collective consciousness on Iran being updated every second of the day."

This diffuse way of bringing about change is a perfect analog for what is happening when we do mitzvot. There is no mitzvah generator central, no polished, professional "them." We all do what we can. Most of the things we do are very small and non-heroic. The coins we give to charity are grimy, and sometimes the kindnesses are halfhearted. But as a result, the world's collective consciousness becomes G‑dly and good.

And the wonder of it is that real people are doing this. Not angels with perfect syntax.

Ed.'s Note: For more on this topic, see Tzvi Freeman's When the Twitter Revolution Began.