Mid-Term: ‘A Twitter Experience’ by: Sarah Hardey


Twitter Reflection Paper:
‘A Twitter Experience’

What an experience! I was not a Twitter fan at the beginning of this semester, after being required by two of my professors to tweet about class topics and other social media news, I grew to love Twitter and soon became a love-tweeting-bird. Twitter has so many good qualities, a long with a few not so good ones, but so does everything in our life. Twitter is something new that is sculpting a new way for our society to connect and communicate.

 

A few questions I was asked before writing this paper were; “What do I like about Twitter,” “Did I learn anything from this experiment,” and “Is Twitter a useful tool that will help shape something new for society?” Starting with the first question, what do I like about Twitter? I love how fast and instant posts and replies can be added and read. I have found that I will get more attention to my post, which lately have related to social media and communications in/with technology, can be spread out and viewed by everyone, unlike my small group of Facebook friends where only a handful would read my post and out of that small handful even fewer would post a comment to my post. Twitter, unlike so many communications sites today, has a simple layout that is very user-friend, although it does take a few tweets of practice to get the hang of the lingo; it thrives on simplicity

Did I learn anything from Twitter? Yes, I think I did. It’s opened my eyes to a different side of social media. I used to think that LinkedIn and Facebook were the definitions of social media, but Twitter has a different kind of social media to offer. The bottom line is to share everything with everyone, to communicate and interact with everyone. The CEO of Twitter, Dick Costolo (@dickc), says, “[Twitter] needs to be water. [Water is] instantly useful. It’s simple. I don’t have to re-learn how to use water,” he told the audience. “It’s always present” (Twitter Is Like Running Water). I think that Twitter is well on its way to becoming ‘water,’ it has the simplicity that I mentioned above. It’s so easy, almost too easy, and I think that is why some find it so foreign. The idea of having something that is super duper simple blows peoples mind in today’s world. Twitter also taught me how you can use it as a tool to promote yourself as well as a product or company. I do when I see cool deals like @s_hardey “Great Deal” from Groupon or LivingSocial (posted on Oct. 12, 2011).

Is Twitter a useful tool? How will it change our society, our way of life?  When you weigh pros and cons, which I think everyone should do on their own because every person will get something different from Twitter, you will see that Twitter is a useful tool. A tool that is used to communicate, share, ask questions, relay news, post stories and links to support other stories, used as a research device, and its a place to promote people, business, and companies. I honestly can see Twitter growing in our society. Because of Twitters simple layout, and simple idea in ways of communication make it easy for all users, no mater their age or technical skill, to post and talk about topics. It give everyone the opportunity to be involved. Twitter is growing like wild fire, like so many other popular social medias (i.e. MySpace and Facebook). The Internet changed they way we worked and the way we lived, then computers because more popular, laptops make work portable, then phone didn’t have to be attached to a cord, then cell phone became mini computers. All the while social media sites were born, lived, died and new ones were born and are adapting to survive (i.e. Facebook and Google+). Twitter part of that growing path that technology has been following this increasing trend of becoming part of our daily lives. For me Twitter has connected me to lots of my peers in the ATEC (Art and Technology) and EMAC (Emerging Media in Communications) programs at UTD, and it’s also connected me to few people that work in Marketing with Social Media and other technologies; to name a few: @jmh0p, @MarkTayl0r, @Jameshutto, and @SheltonSchool.  I have been able to use Twitter to contact my teachers asking questions about assignments, giving them the heads up when their sites have errors or when a post is missing, or even when my computer crashed and I need to get an emergency extension for a class presentation (@Janetnews and @emacdave). I hope that more of my teachers will be using Twitter in my future classes. It really helps keep the class discussion going hours after the class has been dismissed. For one of my classes we are encouraged to tweet during class about the presentations only a few minutes in others join the conversation and to give their own opinions and feedback about the topic. It’s really fun!

 

I finally want to add a few things that really surprised me during this experience. First, I fell in love with twitter. I was agents it in the beginning, not really seeing Twitter’s worth and thinking that it was just a place with lots of dump post about what people were doing like “eating dinner w x-bf WTF”, “watching TV…Zzzzz”, “talking the dog for a walk”, “I hate math K”, etc. I was surprised to fine all the connections and information posted by news stations or links posted by people I follow that lead to interesting topics and in-depth conversations (via Twitter). I didn’t think I would really get use to tweeting about my classes, discussing my reading assignments with my professors as well as other classmates in a free space outside of class. Second, I heard that most of the people on Twitter are not young college kids they are older adults who use Twitter as a new feed, a research tool, and a place to promote themselves and their business, said by @BigDNyeBooker when she came to UTD as a guest speaker. I hope that classes like mine will change that so more young people get involved and use Twitter as tools to make their own lives richer with information and to promote their creativity (I’m talking to all the ATEC and EMAC and other Art students out there).  The third thing that really got my attention is how everyone on Twitter ‘speaks’ the same ‘lingo’.  I know that not everyone speaks/types English and that is not what I mean by ‘lingo.’ It’s just so amazing to me that after a little practice (for me it was my 5 first tweets or so) you pick up on how posts are written. I learned that Hash Tags (#) are my favorite tool in a post, followed by URL links, and Twitter User ID/Names, and if you can use all 3 then your sure to have a post that is viewed my many and hopefully re-tweeted so even more can see.  Once I realized that Twitter was not a place for me to post commits about my every day social and student life (like some do on Facebook), I could really saw all the wonderful things that Twitter has to offer and what Twitter is willing to share with me. You have to open up a little and let Twitter become a part of you routine. You have to be proactive to be heard, and I think in doing so you become more confident in what you posting and by getting feedback from others you gain more knowledge, and it’s always a good idea to look through the eyes of another and see their point of view. I want to say a be “THANK YOU” to Dr. Johnson and Dr. Parry for requiring me to have a Twitter account this semester. In the future, after this semester, I plan on keeping my Twitter, and possibly adding another ID for more personal use to broadcast my work as a photographer, and talk to recruiters for future dream jobs in the ATEC and EMAC industries.

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