Twitterverse

Image representing Twitter as depicted in Crun...

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I was sitting in my Piano class as a sophomore in high school when I made my first Twitter account. I’m not sure exactly how I heard about this new social media phenomenon, but the idea of sending short little updates to the entire world was appealing. I tweeted my classmates as I was sitting across from them, and laughed at the senselessness of it all, but it kept me amused.

In her article, Atwood in the Twittersphere, Margaret Atwood poses an interesting question, asking “So what’s it all about, this Twitter? Is it signaling, like telegraphs? Is it Zen poetry?” (Atwood). I don’t even think that’s the beginning of explaining what this new craze is. From what I’ve seen over the past 4 years, Twitter provides an outlet to those who wish to speak their mind. I’ve come across tons of different kinds of accounts. Some actually use it professionally, like musicians, athletes, and professors. Others use it just to express their thoughts and to communicate with their friends. My personal favorite kind of accounts are ones that parody other things, such as TV characters.

As I continued to read Margaret Atwood’s article, she stated that someone sent her a tweet saying that “I love it when old ladies blog” (Atwood). I sat here and tried to picture this little old woman behind a laptop, skimming through the thoughts in her head to create a tweet. It just goes to show you how many different kinds of people are able to interact and participate in the Twittersphere or Twitterverse. No matter what coined term you use, this is a different kind of social media outlet that anyone can use. I’ve noticed that Twitter is mostly used by teenagers, celebrities, and super-fans of celebrities, but it’s nice to see the occasional outsider.

Now that I’ve sat here and rambled on about the use of Twitter who uses it, I’m finally going to get the point that I’ve been trying to make about permanence. Earlier I said that most Twitter users speak their mind and use this website to get all of their thoughts out. This is readable to anyone with an Internet connection. Tweets are basically open letters to the world. Once somebody reads your tweet, that’s it. It’s out there. Anyone can retweet it, quote you, save it on their phone or computers, take a picture of it, or send it along to someone else through different social media. Even if you decide to erase your tweet, it’s still there. Everything on the Internet has some kind of permanence.

So how does this affect an individual? You can’t take back what you say. With a website like this, which is accessible to anyone, everyone must be careful with what they say. We have the right to speak freely, but at the same time, this can be a dangerous tool. Those little thoughts that you Tweet might seem harmless, but they will always be there and may come back to haunt you one day. In short, watch what you say.

Love, Hope

PS- Happy tweeting.

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Free twitter badge (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 
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2 thoughts on “Twitterverse

  1. After reading your response, I wanted to kick myself. I left out some really good points about tweeting and permanence that you fit perfectly into your blog. By sending out tweets, others are able to spread your words around even more by retweeting, quoting, etc. Like spreading secrets in middle school, social networks host communication that is dispersed instantaneously. Tweets and Facebook statuses initialize the snowball effect–people see what their friends post, and then they comment on it (or retweet) so that a separate conversation or set of comments can take place. Again, like Margaret Atwood said, “…communication is something human beings like to do.” 🙂

    • I really liked when you said that “Tweets are basically open letters to the world.” This is so true. I feel that no one sends letters to people anymore because we have a new way of interacting with each other. The letters people used to send were a private world where no one could read what was in that envelope, only the receiver. Now we tweet online our thoughts and feelings for the whole world to see. We let them know what we would include in our “letter” in a tweet instead. And you are right, no one can take back what they said after they press send or tweet because then it is on the internet and in some way or another, someone will find that open letter.

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