History-changing wars have been started with much more lethal salvos than the one Taylor Baumstark fired last month. But how many have been started with a tweet?
Her shot heard ’round the world of social media was just two words: “Send help.”
Taylor, an 18-year-old senior at Timberland High in Wentzville, Mo., needed help making a big decision: Go to college at Maryville University or Missouri State University.
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She had already decided on the Bears of Missouri State — sent in a down payment on a dorm room and had a roommate all picked out — when she got an unexpected email from Maryville University, according to KSDK in St. Louis.
“Something had happened with their technology that I never got my acceptance letter even though I applied in September,” Taylor told the TV station. “They offered me a scholarship, and I was like maybe I should go tour there.”
So she visited Maryville — much closer to home than Missouri State — but couldn’t decide between the two colleges. So she tweeted her plea for help. Within minutes she had the two universities fighting for her affection on Twitter.
“I mean obviously it’s a big ordeal for me and my family to decide, but apparently it’s a big deal to the state of Missouri, too,” she said. “My phone had blown up completely. There was a whole twitter war was going on, and I was like, ‘Oh my god.’”
Chris Reimer, who runs all of Maryville’s social media accounts, was quick on the draw. “My personal policy is to respond first. I want to make that impression,” he told KSDK.
His shot landed. A back-and-forth quickly erupted between the two schools’ Twitter accounts.
People broke out the popcorn waiting for things to get ugly, which they never did.
The Maryville community chimed in with gusto.
Missouri State’s response, in comparison, was quieter.
Another country was heard from.
Taylor made her decision and announced it — what else? — with a tweet.
She picked Maryville.
She told the Maryville student newspaper that she was blown away by the response of the students there.
“I think the passion from some of the students and staff on Twitter gave me a little nudge in the direction of Maryville,” she said. “I mean if all these people love it, I will too, right?”
Maryville rejoiced and even gave the new Saint a surprise party.
Missouri State waved the white flag with good sportsmanship.