The Twitter era

As I sat down to write this article, I was scrolling through Twitter trying to think of a subject to write about. Something controversial, something that would, “get the people going!” But as I was browsing through, without a doubt, my favorite site, I realized that what I should write about wasn’t going to be inside that smartphone app, it was that smartphone app.

Yes, Twitter is the topic of the day… with just over 7,300 tweets at the moment (and probably closer to 8,000 by the time this is published, not to mention that this is my third account) I think of myself as an avid Twitter user. This specific social media site has been a blessing and a curse to me.

If you bothered to read inside the parenthesis in the paragraph above you’d have learned that the account that I’m currently using on Twitter is my third account. The first two were both deleted for two different reasons. The first one was terminated because I kept getting in arguments with people over quite stupid things and I finally realized that the emotional stress was pointless so the simplest solution for me was to just delete the account. The reason I got a second account was after I broke my back during my freshman year and was immobile for somewhere around nine weeks. I was so bored that I just decided to create another. That account was deleted for pure purpose of when I started being active again I just didn’t want it.

After using this site for so long I have realized a few things that really bother me about it and a few things that I really love about it that keep me coming back for more.

A few of the things that thoroughly disturb me about social media sites in general, not just Twitter, is how it gives people the opportunity to hide themselves behind a keyboard. Don’t get me wrong, Twitter is fun but if you can talk to people over the internet but can’t talk to anyone in real life you’re doing it wrong. I honestly think that our generation is losing face to face social skills because it’s just too easy to text someone about a difficult situation than to talk to them. Not to mention the extreme awkwardness of talking to someone on the internet before you meet them in real life.

Another thing that I hate about it is that if you let it, it can become a huge distraction and an enormous time waster. I’m a horrible victim of this myself. A perfect example is the fact that even while I’ve been writing this piece I’ve unlocked my phone and scrolled through my feed at least three or four times. It will keep you from doing homework, from working out and doing anything slightly productive, if you let it.

On the other hand though, Twitter is one of the best inventions of the 21st century. Being able to learn about the news moments after it happens instead of waiting for the evening news broadcast or the next morning’s newspaper is great. The best example of that is the horrible news of the Boston marathon bombing that was spread just seconds after the initial blast went off and went viral within minutes. Being able to stay connected with friends over the summer or if they move is a superb use of Twitter as well. Even talking to new people can be fun, as long as you don’t get too flirty before you’ve even talked to them face to face.

Being able to see other people’s opinions and argue them (although sometimes not very politely) or agree with them is probably my favorite aspect of the site though, because there’s nothing I love better than listening to other people’s point of view even if I don’t agree with it.

Another way that Twitter has changed society is it gives businesses ways to interact with their customers. The other day I tweeted about how I was really hungry for pizza and the Twitter page of a pizza company replied to my tweet telling me to come eat at their restaurant. It’s great for startup and local businesses looking for a free and fun way to advertise.

Lastly, I love the fact that you can follow celebrities and they can even follow you if and when they rarely would want to and you know that you’re actually reading their thoughts, as compared to Facebook where most celebrities didn’t run their own fan pages. It is honestly really exciting when someone that is famous follows you, for example Jordin Sparks follows me, and I find that really cool. I’m still trying to think of the best pickup line that I could direct message her though.

Twitter in itself for me is just a fun social website that has its own positives and negatives, just like everything else in life. But I’m happy that it was created and I don’t find myself deleting my current account anytime soon.

 

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Mason Hayes

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