I Heard it on Twitter

November 5, 2011


Like most people, when I first heard about the new twitter trend I thought it was utterly ridiculous and was no more than constantly updating your facebook status, which is entirely annoying. I cared not to read every little detail of another person’s daily life because, frankly, who does care? Yet, this summer I broke down and finally made one for myself and since then have been raving about it to every single person who feels as I once did. While there are still those people who tweet every hour, on the hour, about what they are doing I, myself, have found it to be quite amusing. Like over any internet site, twitter allows people to be more of themselves; whether that be more humorous, mean or sociable, simply because like them, everyone else is trying to do the same.

In this past year, almost everything is reported over twitter. I was in New York City this summer when the ‘earthquake’ struck and although I didn’t feel it myself, I knew it had occurred instantly through twitter. All the important (or sometimes not so important) events that occur in this modern age can be found reported through a twitter from such things as the death of Osama Bin Laden, to Kim Kardashian’s divorce. Twitter has become the place for all the breaking news reports all around the world. Yet because of this, it has also grown into another moneymaking source for celebrities, corporations and the like.

Celebrities are now getting paid to endorse products through twitter, so in between tweets of their “real, everyday life” and thanking their fans for “supporting them during this difficult time”, they are also making thousands of dollars by just saying they use a certain product. However are these endorsements, in a way, dirty politics by the corporations selling their products to the masses? The general population of twitter ‘follows’ (think of being friends with someone on facebook) celebrities because they entertaining, whether they are comical themselves or act humorously, and not to be even more caught up in the pull of big corporations.

Sadly, this is what twitter, like every other social media site, has become. There are little sites left on the Internet that haven’t been turned into a moneymaking venture. Yet, in this modern world when we hear of news seconds after it occurs, someone is going to find a way to make money off of it. Corporations need to endorse their products by whatever means necessary to get the consumer to purchase, so then they can have more money to produce newer innovations, and the cycle will continue onward as long as there people to buy the products and a way to reach them.

No matter how ludicrous twitter is, or what is has become it is going to play an important role in the news, and the economy, in the coming years. I, like many others who also have a twitter, will still recommend it to others who haven’t become part of the ‘tweeting’ trend. In it’s short 5 years, twitter has been able to change the way we learn about breaking news, how we shop, what we buy, and who we know; and that is not soon to change. People are constantly searching for new ways to be entertained and for new crazes to be a part of. While twitter is not yet on the scale of facebook, it is quickly rising up towards that number one spot. As more people join, incidents such as Pippa Middleton crashing the site on her sister’s wedding day will become more common, and news will move across the world faster than ever.

So my question is, what do you think of the concept of twitter (whether you have one or not)? Do you think it’s an important resource for news in the modern age? What is the effect you think it will have on other aspects of our social world such as the economy or political environment in the coming years? Is it’s only real use as a source of entertainment value, or could it exist as something more?



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8 Comments on “I Heard it on Twitter”

  1. chkeeler Says:

    I too began to use twitter this summer as my girlfriend claimed it was a life-changing experience. Prior to this happening, I was one of those who ridiculed people who “tweeted” every forty minutes just to be heard. After joining the site, I feel the same way. I understand that when used properly as a source of real-time news updates, it can be an effective form of communication. However, there a times when Twitter misinforms. Today, my buddy told me that he just saw on his twitter that Denard Robinson had a fractured collarbone and would miss the rest of the game; he came in on the very next series. The validity of the site cannot be used as an actual source for news.
    I also feel that twitter has helping to kill the newspaper industry. People now go to twitter to get a 140 character or less news update instead of reading a professional article. It will be a sad day in society when newspapers are no longer printed, but rather only accessible online. I also feel that twitter will become a place for influential people, like politicians, to “sell” themselves. Celebrities now use their twitter account to promote political candidates, as they have millions of followers eager to read their next tweet. It’s no longer just a place to truly express yourself, but a marketplace where people try to get others to support their causes. I think in the near future, people will be able to buy/sell items from one another on the site.
    Twitter should only be used as a form of entertainment. Anything more than that, and it starts to make society a lot less private. Athletes get in trouble constantly for saying something that’s bugging them on their twitter, often resulting in reprimand from both the media and their teams. This should not be the case. Twitter should be a place where people go to express themselves and not have to worry about what the world will think. If people are going to “follow” you just to hate on you, then what good does the website serve?

  2. julieele Says:

    I will admit that I have had a Twitter since my sophomore year of high school. At first I hated it because I felt that the people on it were self-absorbed but then I realized that it’s a great resource. I specifically follow the New York Times on Twitter and as soon as anything major occurs, they tweet about it, and attach a link to a full length article. Twitter keeps everything short and simple.

    People also use Twitter as an emotional outlet but it creates an issue of privacy. Of course anyone that uses it should know that they can’t expect anything they write on the internet to remain “private.” But it is true that people often use Twitter to ridicule each other publicly. I have seen an endless amount of “Twitter Wars” and I find that ridiculous that people take time out of their day to knock somebody else down. Twitter as well as the internet in general allows people to hide behind anonymity.

    A beneficial aspect of Twitter is that it allows businesses or even politicians to promote themselves. Most people on Twitter follow celebrities who give you insight to their lives through a first hand account. Businesses are also able to promote sales, deals, or new merchandise. People that may follow a store religiously are able to have a better probability of receiving a promotional code. Because the businesses are able to readily advertise new deals, they are able to make more money quicker. The more that the customers see these deals, the more they would want to shop.

    Twitter is viewed as an entertainment source but it has been useful to me intellectually and monetarily wise. Twitter is definitely resourceful since the news is easily accessible and great deals by retailers are often tweeted. I am also able to better see people’s views and concerns on many different aspects as well. All in all, Twitter now plays a major role in society and affects the way people may now view certain things.

  3. aclieb Says:

    Just like the author of this post, I refused to make a twitter account… for a while. All summer a friend of mine kept insisting I get one. He said it’s way better and different that facebook and that I wouldn’t regret making one. Finally by the end of the summer I was convinced (I’m not going to claim that I was “bored” one day and decided to make an account like many people say) and made one. My friend was right, I absolutely love twitter. I don’t tweet much myself but I love to read what my favorite actors, comedians, musicians, sports teams, etc., have to say on a daily basis. I love twitter because all of the people I follow do not have a facebook so I’m able to keep up with them through this social network.
    I absolutely think twitter is an important resource for news. Just like the author of this blog mentioned about learning about the earthquake through twitter, I too have learned various important news through it. Whether it is late breaking injury news that is relevant to my fantasy football team or something like the death of Bin Laden, twitter is always there to keep one informed.
    Twitter already has a strong influence in regards to politics. I mean, the President has a twitter (I acknowledge the vast majority of his tweets aren’t actually ones that he personally wrote, but still). I don’t follow other politicians but I’m confident the Vice President has one as well as many of the Republicans running for President as well as many Senators and House of Rep members. Politicians can easily communicate with constituents or all of the American people (the ones on twitter) through a simple tweet.
    Twitter is far more than a source of entertainment. It’s a news source, a way to keep in touch, a way to be kept up to date, a way to voice one’s opinion, and much, much more.

  4. kaitlinlapka Says:

    Like all things that have turned into moneymaking ventures and more on current social media and consumer culture… check out this! https://gameofroles.wordpress.com/2011/11/03/keeping-up-with-the-kardashians-again/

  5. maxmoray Says:

    Twitter has become something much bigger then what anyone expected. In my eyes, how did something that seems so similar to a Facebook status, become such a big commodity? In a recent article I read in the New York Times, a way small percent of teenagers use twitter then I would have assumed. Just 11 percent of its users are aged 12 to 17, according to comScore. Instead, Twitter’s unmatched explosion in popularity has been driven by a decidedly older group. This success has demolished a widely held claim that young people lead the way to popularizing innovations.
    Teenagers obviously drove the early growth of the social networks such as Facebook and Myspace. Twitter’s success then represents a new model for Internet success. This notion mentions that children are essential to a new technology’s success has proved to be largely a myth. No example has proven the huge growth in Twitter better then what is going on in sports. Seemingly every athlete has their own Twitter, where they constantly update their fan bases on recent thoughts, views, and expectations. Likewise, musicians are using Twitter to promote their new concerts and albums and share music others might not have found. Twitter’s worst accomplishment though has to be described as the “Kardashian affect.” Like the girl who commented above me, an overwhelmingly high number of females use twitter to keep up with their favorite group of sisters.

  6. JustinMandeltort Says:

    Just like the author of this post, I didn’t have a twitter for awhile, and was very against the entire notion. I eventually decided to create one, solely to follow some of my favorite athletes and celebrities. I love that aspect of twitter, it’s a way to learn and hear things about your favorite athletes and people in general. You get to see a personal side of them that you wouldn’t be able to basically anywhere else. Over the years though twitter has turned into a social media king. Everyone has one, all athletes and celebrities can be found on it. News that you haven’t heard regarding our nations politics or just a simple entertainment news break can be found and talked about on twitter. I believe it is a useful source for news in the modern age, when everyone has an account and everyone uses it, news gets spread to everyone quickly. Interesting, useful and funny material can be found on twitter, it covers a wide range of news that people want to hear.

  7. jsimon99 Says:

    I was one of those people who said Twitter is just like a bunch of people updating their facebook status every hour, and even after getting a twitter, I still am part of that group. Maybe it’s the fact that I have not warmed up to Twitter yet but I still think it’s annoying. I respect everyone who uses it but I don’t believe it’s for me. I do believe that it is really cool that you can follow famous people for entertainment purposes and it is a great source for keeping up with the news as fast as you want. But I still believe it is annoying especially when your close friends are always tweeting what they are doing. And everyone has that friend they follow that constantly fills your page where everyone tweets. I would rather see how my friends are doing in the long run by seeing what they are up to on facebook and looking at their pictures(not saying that in a creepy way cause we all facebook stalk). I don’t need to know what my friends are doing throughout the day, I’d rather see how their weekend party was with the pictures they post, or just how my friends are doing overall by seeing their profile and statues on facebook. I also see statues from my friends with facebook on big news events just as fast as I would on twitter. Overall, I believe twitter will continue to do well but I don’t believe it could exist as something more.

  8. emilyloz Says:

    Yep, I was once against Twitter until I finally gave in and got an account. I follow twitter daily, and I find myself laughing in public because of how entertaining it can be. The main reason I have a Twitter is to better express myself. I can tweet topics that I wouldn’t dare to put on Facebook. I feel as if the twitter population is a lot more accepting and way less judgmental than the Facebook population.

    I find it fascinating how influential media can be. Twitter is a big influence in modern day, as well as every new ‘trendy’ thing introduced to our generation. When something funny happens in my life, the first thing I think about is to tweet it, or Facebook it.

    I definitely agree that it is going to be impossible to keep big companies from promoting their business through any type of media. It is a great way to get your name out in the world and make people question who you are and what you represent. Twitter is getting big (whether or not it will get bigger than Facebook is questionable), but it is definitely trying- Twitter allowed me to follow the Michigan vs Ohio State game while sitting in the library on a saturday afternoon. I was able to follow every tweet that UM football was posting, and I re-tweeted everyone. On the other hand, Facebook allowed me to look at pictures and see all of my fellow Michigan friends posting statuses about the Michigan difference, loving their school, and having the best day of their lives. Both websites allowed me to be a part of the experience even from the library.

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