A Reluctant Tweeter

I didn’t start using Twitter until last November, less than a year ago, long after it had become popular. I wasn’t unaware of the platform or opposed to it before that but I never saw the appeal. A lot of people at my school used it, but none of my close friends did. One tendency of mine regarding social media is that I only really care about being connected to people who I am close with in real life. I don’t see the point of “following” people I barely know and being updated about their lives constantly. I would occasionally use my sister’s twitter to read tweets from comedians or joke accounts, just because I thought they were funny. When I came to college, a friend managed to talk me into opening an account. I followed some joke accounts and my circle of friends at college. I have probably only tweeted about 7 or 8 times since I joined Twitter. I mainly just scroll through my news feed looking at other’s tweets. I rarely see anything of interest to be honest, which I why this assignment was the first time I had opened my Twitter app in about a month. I have never really used Twitter as a news source, unless I happen to see an interesting article linked on my feed.

I found this tweet which contained almost 4 layers of information from Jimmy Fallon regarding tonight’s show.

While I don’t use Twitter much, I am not opposed or disapproving of this form of media. Twitter is an incredibly useful tool for quickly sharing information and news. It is an easy way for news sources to share stories and update breaking ones. While this speed of news sharing can lead to innacuracy, it does allows people to be better aware of what is going on in the world. Overall, I think its a very convenient tool. And I think Dibbel makes an interesting point that Twitter is a way to capture “the fleeting thought.” I think its great and valuable for a person to be able to share and document their fleeting thoughts. Yes, some of them will be mundane and shallow, but as Shirky notes, any new media brings both intellectual and throwaway material with it. My uninterest in Twitter is mostly due to me having other direct news sources and that I guess I just don’t really care about my friend’s fleeting thoughts. (Sorry guys.) Which leads to my larger opinion- our interactions with media like Twitter reflect who we are more than they shape who we are. Twitter doesn’t make people share useless and shallow thoughts or updates about their day. It’s just a very convenient platform for people who enjoy sharing that kind of information with everyone they know. Most people I know who update Twitter constantly love talking about themselves in real life too. I’m a pretty reserved and private person, so I don’t update social media profiles very often. I don’t see the value in sharing that with people. I disagree with Carr that Google or any other new media makes us “stupid.” Tools like Twitter can be used in a variety of ways which are dependant on the user. I have a friend who uses Twitter solely to get updates on financial markets. Others use it to link to long form news articles. I think it is easy to forget that we do have control as individuals over how we use new media and how it affects us. We don’t have to let Twitter impact our brains negatively. This article offers some tips on how to not be consumed by Twitter

Do you think our personality and tendencies in real life influence how we use new media and the extent to which we use it? Does new media change our tendencies and even our personality? Are there more positive possibilities of new media like Twitter or do the consequences outweigh the potential positives?

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2 comments

  1. I too was very reluctant to use twitter because I felt like it was another social platform that prevented me from being present in the moment. It’s nice to be connected with companies and celebrities, I feel like it has become an obsession for some people to the point that it is unhealthy. They loose touch with reality.

  2. I do think that our personalities and traits influence how we use new media. For instance, I am a very visual person, so my Twitter use is limited, but I am ALWAYS on Instagram. I really only use Twitter when one of my friends tells me to look a specific tweet. I get very overwhelmed when I haven’t been on it for a few days.

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