Thursday, January 26, 2012

Pondering Twitter

Late last month, I needed to print a coupon from my young cousin’s computer. He forgot to sign out from his e-mail account and I was able to see (before I opened a new tab) that his latest batch of new e-mails were notifications from Twitter—he was being followed by x person, y person, z person, etc. You see my young cousin is a freshman in high school, meaning he is fourteen years old. And at the ripe old age of fourteen, while sheltered in a private school, he tweets about his “life” experiences. Things were just different when I was in high school. However, young or old, and sometimes even pets, have joined the world of tweeting, sharing to the world the nuggets of wisdom (we could only hope) or plain random thoughts in their daily lives.

Celebrities have obviously taken advantage of the ease of connecting with fans in 140 characters; though this doesn’t mean they are the most responsible in launching their opinions to society. To quote Joel Stein’s article published in Time: “So when celebrities got on Twitter, it was great. After years of publicist-vetted blandness, we got to read stars' unfiltered thoughts. Many of their personalities were just as big as we'd hoped. Alec Baldwin feuded with everyone; Ashton Kutcher befriended everyone; Gilbert Gottfried made fun of everyone; Kim Kardashian sold everyone.” Time also released a list of their top ten best tweets and top ten 10 worst tweets for the year 2011. Below is a sampling from each list. You be the judge under which one it falls.

First Lady Michelle Obama is one of the latest people that have joined the ranks of Twitter users. Last January 12, 2012, an account was created in her name, managed by a campaign staffer but personal tweets are signed with “mo.” Her tweets span various topics from promoting her advocacy (fighting child obesity) to her appearance in the Nickelodeon show, iCarly, to showing support for his husband’s address to the nation. In talking about Twitter, we mustn’t forget former Congressman Anthony Weiner, who managed to single-handedly ruin his political career buy tweeting a picture of his “weiner” to all his followers. He initially tried to explain that the release of the picture was the act of a hacker but the truth was revealed.

Twitter. It has its positive impact but it has its destructive effects. Some people go crazy about it, some dismiss it as a fad and some even create accounts for their pet dogs. A lot join the bandwagon, while some, like me, remain to be tweet-less. While it is true that there are quite a few that abuse the forum (tweeting almost every waking moment of their lives), my friend will forever be thanking Twitter for one waking moment of her life. Last Friday evening, she had a flat tire along EDSA. Her parents were out of coverage area and she didn’t know whom else to call. She decided to tweet, sending this general message of distress to the world that her car had ran a flat, and hope that at least 1 of her 218 followers will heed her call. And just for good measure, she tweeted @MMDA too. Luckily, a friend near her area responded and soon was on his way to help. Shortly before that MMDA’s Twitter account replied to her too asking for her whereabouts. She would’ve been stuck on a major thoroughfare at night, if not for this social media behemoth called Twitter. And while I still am currently out of Twitter, I just might change my mind, eventually.


Candice See
Entry # 6

No comments: