I’ve avoided twitter for quite sometime. I always thought it was a bit narcissistic. I understood that entertainers or people who need to reach larger audiences have used it as a platform to communicate with their legion of fans. However for the “little” people or those that weren’t famous what was the use of it? I never really understood the concept.Why would anyone care about the couple of sentences or statements I would make if I wasn’t a celebrity? It wasn’t until I went to grad school where I learned how twitter can actually be useful for everyone. Last summer quarter I got re-introduced to twitter (I had an account many years ago but never used) and had to tweet about some of our readings and views. Coming up with tweets made me have a voice and feel empowered by it. Since the whole class was doing the same, I enjoyed reading other tweets and learning from my classmates. It made me feel connected, like I was a part of something. As I continue to tweet and browse twitter, I want to continue to learn and get ideas from colleagues, people I follow or things that I stumble upon. I think that is the beauty of being connected with such a huge network of people. There’s alot of freedom in your ideas and how you communicate. I think I’ve finally realized the power we all have and how can all learn, create and connect. I’m excited to continue to use twitter to network and connect with other people as well. I’m looking forward to scheduling some twitter chats in the next couple of weeks.
I do feel like my voice on twitter has gotten stronger during this quarter. With the character limit, I have learned how to condense my thoughts and say what I need to say. I realized that in the twitter world, we need to carefully phrase our tweets for them to be effective. We can’t just randomly tweet our thoughts, there needs to be a science to it for it to be engaging.
I also learned that in this medium, it’s important to connect with other people, take and give back. I started following alot of educators, teachers, writers, reporters, publications, programs, schools or really anyone who seems interesting to me. I’m really interested in equity and social justice so started following @shaunking, a social justice writer/commentator. From his twitter I was able to learn that he’s actually speaking in Franklin h.s., one of the high schools I recruit students from later this week! I’m also getting real time updates from several newsworthy channels like CNN, NYtimes, Washingtonpost, Time, etc. Of course I also started following many interesting celebrity and tv personalities as well. I’ve started following Michael Moore and John Oliver to name a few. With what’s going in the world and its political state, certain celebrities and commentators are stepping up. I’ve also started following some authors which we’ve been reading about in class like Howard Rheingold, John Seely Brown, Lee Rainie and Barry Wellman who spoke to us a few weeks ago. It’s pretty awesome too when they like one of your tweets!
With twitter, when it comes to politics, the journalists/commentators are not the only ones speaking out but more and more people from all different sectors are voicing their opinions. This makes twitter more interesting but also more overwhelming in my view. We have politics, we have news, we have trending topics, it’s alot! Before this class, I had never used twitter much. Now, although I’m still at times overwhelmed and intimidated, I know it’s such a vital tool to get news, learn and connect with so many people!