As with many trends, twitter was one i was late to adopt, or actually to notice. Months after Twitter was what everyone was talking about, I still had no idea what it was. It was the same way when Facebook was the new big thing. Finally after hearing about it enough, I decided to check it out, just so I could know what it was. When I found out you were just supposed to write 140 characters about what you were doing at that moment, my first thought, was 'Who the hell would want to do that? It seemed a bit vain to think that anyone would even be interested in what I was doing at the moment. It took me months after that to get Twitter and consistently use it myself. (I prefer not to share my twitter account here, as it gets a bit more personal than this blog, but if you can find it, i'm both impressed and creeped out!)
Even though I still find it a bit exhibitionist to share with the world what you're doing, I find myself for some reason addicted. I only do it once a day, maybe twice, which isn't yet quite extreme. It's the people that tweet (what it's called when you post something on Twitter) constantly that worry me. It's like Twitter has replaced their real lives. With all the tweeting they do, I sometime wonder how they have time for a real life at all. I guess I like it because I feel connected with people that through geographical and time reasons, I don't have as much time to update on my real life anymore. It also is a bit satisfying to tweet that you did something interesting and exciting (and you aren't lying), and know it's out there for the world to see.
This brings me to a disturbing trend of people tweeting at times when their real life should have taken prescedence. There is this story: Where a woman tweets during a bank robbery instead of calling 911 http://www.1037kissfm.com/Woman-TWEETS-during-bank-robbery----instead-of-cal/4814832 . I think that when your life is in danger, and all you think of is going on Twitter, you have a bit of a problem. After that plane crashed into the Hudson earlier this year, passengers started tweeting about how crazy it was that their plane crashed into the Hudson river. If I were part of a disaster like that, Twitter would be the last thing on my mind. I think that kind of tweeting is a new spin on the old competition with friends. In elementary school coming back from summer vacation, most people would want to make their summer vacations soud better than their friends'. This is the new way to make your life sound more exciting than everyones' (and therefore make yourself better than them), but this time it's on a global scale. Also, in this new instantaneous culture, it's a way to let people know about major events when if they didn't know immediately they'd be offended.
It's not just us regular folks who use twitter. Demi moore, Ashton Kutcher, Britney Spears and Lance Armstrong are among a few of the celebrities found on Twitter (and most of them can). This article: http://www.torontosun.com/entertainment/celebrities/2009/04/05/9009931-sun.html suggests the ways in which it benefits celebrities to have Twitter accounts. It lets the fans know who they really are, sepearate from the paparazzi rumours that become more vicious every day. It lets them show what they're really doing without agents or any other intermediaries to get in the way. Of course, there's still the problem of fake celebrity accounts, posting untruths, but as of know it is mostly easy to determine which is the true celebrity. Celebrity twitter accounts also satisfy the sometimes rabid need fans have for anything celebrity. It also shows celebrities away from all the glitz and glamour that makes them seem a bit unreal. Twitter shows them do the same things as everyone else does, and it makes them seem more human.
There is one disturbing trend i've noticed recently while using Twitter, and I'm not yet sure of the implications. When you mention a product on Twitter, that product "follows" you. That means your tweets appear on their main page and they can see them. I think they use this for marketing purposes, though I'm not sure what they can get from my tweets that could help them with their advertizing. One real life example is when I tweeted about enjoying a certain video game, that video game started following me on twitter. I could block them, but I haven't. Realizing how Twitter can be used as a money maker has made me a bit more cautious about what I tweet.
Remember, my bloggers, that with any social media, there are risks. And hey, twitter gives us media junkies something new to talk about! That's something to tweet home about!
7 years ago