My Life with Twitter thus Far
I thought I would never open a Twitter account because I’m already addicted to Facebook. I really didn’t need another website to distract me from my homework. For the five “important” things I’ve learned while using Twitter, the first one was how to use it.
1. How to use Twitter
Facebook is pretty easy to use and to understand. When you first log in you are brought directly to your news feed, with status, photo, games, and other updates shared from your friends. Their profile photo shows up right beside their update, along with what their activity was for the day. When I look at Twitter, I see a bunch of numerical symbols, ‘at’ signs, and made up user names. I can’t follow who’s who, and what comments are being made on statuses, and I have to say, I got pretty lost trying to keep track of them all when I first started using the site. It’s more difficult to communicate with my “followers” than using Facebook. Most of my followers have facebook groups, pages, or profiles so I’ll probably go back and join them instead of trying to wade through the numerical and email symbols.
I’m also fairly lazy when it comes to the Internet, therefore, trying to keep track and read links is really annoying to me. I am pretty good at multi-tasking when it comes to activities, i.e. right now I’m writing this response to Twitter, doing homework, and watching MTV Live, however, I find it really difficult to read several things at once, especially on a computer screen. So for me to continue using Twitter after this week is slim to none- unless someone pays me to do it.
2. Know Thy Followers
I am following Jian Ghomeshi, a CBC radio reporter’s, tweets. He made a tweet about the UK’s coverage of the pro-democracy protests from Libya to Iran. He said “It is immediately apparent here in UK that coverage of pro-democracy protests from #Libya to #Iran is more comprehensive than in N America”.
With most of the protest coverage coming from Egypt, I haven’t heard much from Libya or Iran. It could also be just the news channel that I’m watching. However, by following Jian and other journalists, I can find out more about the news around me, what I can expect on CBC News radio and TV today, and what I should be following. I can also use the information for story ideas of my own. I also follow Jack Layton of the NDP. His “tweets” are usually informative as well but obviously biased in favour of his own political party. With that said, I find with some of my followers I have to take what they “tweet” with a grain of salt- sometimes they will be informative, other times they will stretch the truth or lie, and other times they won’t say anything useful at all.
Which brings me to my next few followers: my MTV crew. I am an avid watcher of MTV Live because it can be funny, entertaining, and I like interviews involving upcoming bands/singers and actors. However, the hosts, though funny on the air, they are RIDICULOUS on Twitter. I haven’t found one tweet from Daryn Jones or Paul the intern that wasn’t useless. They made tweets like: “Today i will have lunch at a stripclub, play slots at the track, and drink until I pass out in a snowbank. Happy Family Day everybody!” from Daryn Jones and “Just tried oil of oregano. That is all” from Paul.
This could be a useful tool for communicating, gathering information from around the world, and keeping people informed if we had more room to talk (rather than 140 characters), limited the amount of useless status updates (mine included) and spread stuff around that’s worth sharing (even though I probably won’t click on the links).
3. Fashion 4-11
After gaining some experience working as a reporter, I hope to find myself working for a fashion magazine. It’s hard for me to keep track of the latest trends and designers while being “stuck” in Fredericton but with Twitter I can find all of my favourite fashion magazines, columnists, and story ideas in one convenient package. I’m thinking about creating a blog/website dedicated to my thoughts, feelings, and ideas on fashion so by following fashion reporters like Hilary Alexander, I have a clearer picture on what I can do.
Though I must admit, I’m not a huge fan of Twitter and I would choose Facebook over the tweet any day, but Twitter is just as convenient. You get the same status updates, it’s fast and simple, and you can get it simply by searching the web on your computer or cell phone. This weekend was the first time I’ve ever used a cell phone (iPhone) to look at my Twitter page and Facebook page and I must say, it was nice to know that I can find out what my friends are up to at any time, at any place, in one convenient location. But isn’t that kind of “stalkerish” on my part?
The trends feature is fun and amusing for a bit. I found myself looking at status updates under the trend “neverwilli”, where you simply finish the sentence. So here it goes, “neverwilli …. Be someone I’m not for the sake of keeping you as a friend.” It’s as simple as that but it’s comforting and nice to read some of the tweets young people are saying like “neverwilli … do drugs” or “…drop out of school”. This world isn’t as bad as I thought it was.