To Tweet, or Not to Tweet, a good question to ask!

twitter

So, you’re sitting at home watching Scandal. A hot steamy scene is about to appear, but you don’t have any of your girlfriends present.

What’s a gal to do?

I got it!

We start a twitter account, and join the world in sharing our random and serious thoughts.

Don’t worry if you don’t like it; you can join the other first time users who sign up, and then stop using it within the following month, 60% to be exact.

Much like a never-ending story plot-line, Twitter creates many media literary issues for consumers, business professionals, and governments alike.

The biggest problem that Howard Rheingold espouses in his article for the San Francisco Gate is that most people can’t do “ tuning and feeding.”

This is where we must tune into the types of people that we want to follow, and participate in the conversation about specific things that they’re doing. We also must be able to feed the twitter feed with content. This can be a chore for some.

But wait there is more,

Howard Rheingold believes in the idea of “Reciprocity” as a way to participate, and also to meet new people.

He believes that Twitter is one of those things that you get out of it what you put into it. If you use it for the things that you love, you’ll find a more rewarding experience.

This idea leads us to the different types of social media experiences: asymmetrical, and symmetrical. The later meaning whole, or shall we say complete, and the first one.

You got it, means incomplete.

Mark Suster penned an article titled “We Have Only Scratched the Surface of the True Value of Twitter. Here’s what You’re Missing.” Suster stated that “Twitter is an asymmetrical platform,” meaning that if someone follows you. You don’t have to follow them back.

It’s kind of like someone following you trying to be friends, but you don’t want too. So you turn around kick them in the nuts, but they’re still stepping in tow.

Got it?

A great example of a symmetrical platform would be Facebook, someone adds you, and you automatically add them back.

It’s kind of like that friend of ours from earlier. He follows you, but this time you can’t kick him in the nuts, and keep moving. You have to be nice, and be joined at the hip.

These are a few ideas that Mark Suster presented within his article. He also went on to state that content generated on Twitter can be predictable, and yield some institutions a competitive advantage, due to the augmented (steam & meta stream) and predictive data it produces.

But seriously, don’t just remember the boy kicking his friend in the nuts.

Please remember that Authority, Trust, and Persuasiveness are king with regards to Twitter. These fundamental principles can lead to a myriad of ideas, fun, and in some cases bring about social awareness.

Ala #HashtagActivism,

#HashtagActivism, W-T-F is that?

It’s like, you know Martin Luther King and Selma in the digital era; except without the water hoses, dogs, and the painful beat downs.

#HashtagActivism sprouted on twitter as away to bring awareness to many injustices that transpired in the world.

From the comforts of our bed, we can scroll through our Twitter feed, retweet an article and a picture along with #Kony2012, or #BLACKLIVES MATTER, and continue on with our merry day. All the while feeling good about our contribution to humanity by participating in social causes via twitter.

Great, Right?

A model human being, yes?

Not so fast, says Teju Cole, who during the #BringBackOurGirls Twitter campaign stated that #HASHTAGACTIVISM does nothing, and it doesn’t change the situation that Nigerians face. Specifically, he said “Much as we might wish this to be a single issue with a clear solution, it isn’t and it cannot be. It never was.”

But what about the idea of social awareness argues some?

Via a twitter battle with Teju Cole, Clarke Wolfe stated “ Shaming people for awareness, even if it comes from a #, simplifies everything and also solves nothing (thanks).”

Twitter is being used to bring awareness to a group of people that wouldn’t even care. That has to be worth something, right?

Activist that bring social awareness about Nigeria’s problems, and not mention Colonialism?

#EpicFail

To many who are living the nightmare, and dealing with the day to day rifts created by many social injustices find that Twitter #HashtagActivism lacks empathy, and is another way for the Hegemonic powers of the West to levy their paternalistic and privilege views upon non-westerners.

Others still say there is more good than bad, think #TrayvonMartin.

The case was reopened after #HashtagActivism brought the spotlight upon the Sanford police station.

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29 thoughts on “To Tweet, or Not to Tweet, a good question to ask!

  1. Carly Hernandez January 28, 2015 / 7:13 pm

    Right now I think that the most popular thing about Twitter is following the people who you personally want to see what they have to say. I think the reason people sign up and don’t use their accounts again is because they don’t generally have much to say or don’t have enough followers at first. I know that I haven’t used my personal Twitter account in months but I do like scrolling through my feed to see what others have to say. Hashtag Activism is something that I have different opinions on. Spreading the word and getting information out there is one of the strong points about Twitter. Using hashtags for different causes, events in the news and even your favorite show on tv can help you community with others on a global scale. I don’t think that we are bringing awareness to “people who don’t care” but instead people behind the computer screen may be helping in their own ways. Although #Bringbackourgirls, #StandwithPP and #Kony2012 are all important issues that affected the whole Twitter sphere, they all slowed down on the amount of attention they were receiving. Just making a tweet about the issue doesn’t fix the problem; it makes us feel more proactive than we really are. I do agree that tweets, hashtags and retweets each help to spread the word especially when they reach the attention of celebrities and famous people. If we really wanted to make a significant change we would spread the word but also do things that are proactive in helping these causes. I also agree with the article about ‘Hashtag Activism’ in that we are lazy when it comes to thinking that we are making a significant change in the world just by retweeting and using hashtags. We have the ability to do more than only be a part of a social media movement.

    Liked by 1 person

    • kevinpayton1 February 1, 2015 / 4:56 pm

      I agree that the most popular thing about Twitter is following the people you personally want to see or would like to see what comment or statement they may have to say. I did not have a Twitter account prior to this class and had no desire to get one. After I signed up and noticed how many people in my social network had a Twitter account I was shocked. I see Twitter as away for normal, everyday people to feel closer to celebrities or people they wish to no more about. I do think its kind of creepy that Twitter can be a one way street, meaning anyone can follow you, unlike Facebook where the two parties must mutually agree to share info. But I see the advantages in just following someone because there is no way for athletes, actors, etc could keep up with that many friend request. As far as hashtag activism I agree that we could do more and I see it as an easy way to say you did something. I see hashtag activism as fad, no different than the ice bucket challenge, here on day gone the next. But at least with the icebucket challenge money was raised for the cause.

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  2. asibo January 28, 2015 / 10:51 pm

    In regards to social media and hashtag activism, there are certainly examples of people such as Teju Cole who take ownership of a single issue and deride others who choose to participate in engaging with and encouraging awareness of that issue based on the fact that they are not as engaged and committing their entire lives to the issue as Teju Cole presumably is (conversely he is in a convenient position to rail against the people who did nothing to contribute to awareness or his cause of choice). It’s easy to say that simply tweeting or sharing something on social media is a hollow gesture, but there are also a number of hashtags that have contributed more than simple fleeting awareness to a cause. In particular, Canadian media company Bell has spearheaded the #BellLetsTalk campaign for mental health awareness. Bell has donated large sums of money towards mental illness causes and with their hashtag today (1/28/2015) they are helping to both promote conversation about mental illness through twitter hashtags and social media sharing. Not only does Bell’s hashtag promote awareness, but Bell donates five cents for every interaction. At the time of this writing, there have been over 78 million interactions which equates to over $3.9 million. Clearly, Bell media has capitalized on using hashtag activism to not only increase awareness but to make a monetary difference.

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  3. mvzang January 29, 2015 / 10:26 am

    There are many positive things that come out of Twitter like getting a problem that is relatively small some momentum and publicity. Like hashtag activism. It does spread the word but I couldn’t agree more that it gives us a false sense of being proactive. I’m really not doing much good for anyone by sitting in my bed, wearing pajamas, watching TV, eating a bowl of ice cream, while re-tweeting believing I’m making a difference in someone’s life. No matter how many times myself or a celebrity re-tweets something, the problem is still real, it still exists.

    In response to the section on the asymmetrical platform that is used by Twitter, I like it. I like it a lot. I can guarantee the pope isn’t too interested in what I have to say about the Detroit Red Wings, but I do thoroughly enjoy reading Mickey Redmond’s comments about the game. Rheingold believes that we get out of Twitter what we put into it, but I have a hard time reading through all these news outlets tweeting about every little thing, which turns me away from using Twitter. So no matter how much I try and stay focused, reading through all the small tidbits of useless news, I get frustrated and put my phone down.

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    • eakoonter January 30, 2015 / 6:21 pm

      I always thought that Twitter’s asymmetrical platform was odd. I agree with the writer that it’s like somebody wants to be your friend, but you don’t…so they stalk you and follow you around. I do enjoy hashtags though. I use them on Facebook all the time (since I’m not a huge fan of Twitter). I feel that they are powerful and raise awareness.

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  4. Brandon Coulter January 29, 2015 / 4:56 pm

    The section of the article titled “#Bringbackourgirls, #Kony2012, and the Complete, Divisive History of ‘Hashtag Activism’” that concerned Teju Cole’s almost smug arguments against the “hashtag activism” campaign #Bringbackourgirls truly made me realize the lack of understanding that a majority of individuals may have towards the usefulness of Twitter activist campaigns. Cole was arguing that the campaign promoted nothing positive and solved absolutely nothing for the Nigerian people, a group that has been persecuted and subject to countless murders and other forms of oppression for quite a long time. While “hashtag activism” doesn’t necessarily entail rallying Americans en mass for a triumphant invasion into whatever area is being campaigned for in order to enact justice, it is absolutely an integral and wide-spread start to the public awareness that must be achieved in order to promote change. Sure, by the time “hashtag activism” takes place within the Twitterverse for different issues, it seems to be much later on than the beginning of the said problems for the people being campaigned for. This being said, it is still an effort nonetheless, linking together the sometimes rational collective consciousness known as Twitter. While the majority of people are linking the cause to their accounts simply for personal gain and to show others that they “care” without acting, it is inevitable that at some point someone who is willing to create change will stumble upon the issue, giving them the opportunity to act and assisting those in need once and for all.

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  5. adrianhormsby January 29, 2015 / 4:41 pm

    I’m not sure what your question was on this blog post, but I agree with your statement that Twitter is bringing awareness to people that don’t even care. Maybe in my case a person that would care had he known about it. Let me explain, following on from Julia Angwin’s WSJ article about Web Secrets, I was so impressed by her writing that I went on to her Twitter page and found a whole bunch of interesting news items about secret police surveillance as part of her work with Propublica. The most disturbing item that I was blissfully unaware of however was the use of stun grenades by law enforcement which due to poor training is harming innocent US citizens. The video article done by the Huffington Post aired an interview with a mother who tearfully explained how police in a botched drug aid on their home threw a stun grenade into her house landing in the crib of their infant son, sleeping with 3 other children under age 8. The grenade severely damaged his face and caused burns all over his body. He was in a coma for a month and has had to endure multiple surgeries over the last 4 months. The police refused to allow her to see her son for 5 hours after the grenade went off, after which she found him on a ventilator with burns all over his body. I was so affected by this newpiece that I posted it on our class cyberspace Tweet page. If you haven’t seen it you should, it’s something that every American should be aware of. Thankyou Twitter and thankyou Julia Angwin for bringing us in to the real world.

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  6. bjuhasz10 January 29, 2015 / 4:53 pm

    I agree with many points of Rheingold’s article, “Twitter Literacy”, and how he mentions that ” successful use of Twitter comes down to tuning and feeding”. I have been on twitter for about 3 years now, and only have 600 tweets. Yet I check my twitter nearly every day. I think there are a lot of people such as myself, who simply use twitter as a platform to check news, global issues, sports information, of just keep up with their friends, but don’t really tweet much and interact. Additionally, I follow about 160 people, yet only about 80 follow me. Clearly I am much more interested in what others have to say than they are in what I have to say.

    I think a lot of people are like myself and don’t care about being “successful” on twitter, they just use it for fun. However, for those people, businesses, celebrities, and corporations seeking attention, power, and the ability to make a change, it is important to “give” to twitter. This isn’t necessarily just done by the number of tweets you can send out in a day, but rather the content and substance of your tweets as well as your ability to interact with others. The more people you can reach, the better the chance that you will be followed, and more importantly, your voice will be heard.

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  7. spgregor January 31, 2015 / 9:08 pm

    I think Rheingold’s article mentioned the key point of success when tweeting. You must be able to “tune and feed” it. It is easy to join Facebook and “friend” all of our friends, family, and co-workers. Twitter on the other hand is not that easy, you have to find interesting people or feeds to follow and participate in. Without interesting conversations to participate in it would be mundane postings. Those who have the time to find the true value of Twitter will probably love it. I am not one who has found the true value of Twitter. I don’t have time to spend looking for interesting tweets or conversations to follow. I have only used it for this class and to follow the local news and weather.

    It seems to me that Twitter is a better platform for groups like celebrities, corporations, politicians, and news stations. Groups like this would have larger followings and more people would probably find their posts relevant or interesting. They would find Twitter a useful social media to try to reach many people on issues important to them.

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  8. cseejay February 1, 2015 / 3:52 am

    There are a lot of issues surrounding Hashtag Activism, but I’ll start this off with saying that, the fact that it does raise awareness around issues and gets the public talking about issues (even if it’s for a few weeks) that need to be discussed, is a great thing. I personally love twitter, and how rich the information is, how quick you can obtain it, and how informative it can be. It’s a great way to inform oneself with current events and stay in touch with people who you’re acquainted with. I also don’t want to be a buzz kill of sorts because it’s apparent that how people feel about Hastag Activism and the intention behind rallying on the internet is different from what the actual result of said actions are. I get people want to help, and there have been more recent instances where Hashtag Activism has worked (Trayvon Martin), but the ability for this type of activism to spread false information, ultimately influencing the public on investigations or issues without having all the facts or information. Thus, you have people reacting and deciding whether someone is guilty or innocent before they’ve had due process. Literally, the country can hate a person, for being ACCUSED of something, and that’s scary to me. I know I’m in the minority, considering that most people agree that in cases like Trayvon Martin individuals, who are responsible for being honest and stand for justice above all else, typically don’t, and it happens frequently. So when Clarke Wolfe says shaming people for Twitter awareness, “doesn’t solve anything,” why not? I tend to agree, and if you really look at the last five years, there’s a trend where people talk about an issue for a small amount of time and move on. Comments like Wolfe’s annoy me somewhat because it falls under the same category where people get any at me for criticizing the military, or this country’s ridiculous defense budget, as if I’m criticizing every person that puts on a uniform, I’m talking about the system. So because Hashtag Activism spreads some awareness, we should be happy; absolutely not.

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  9. nebior February 1, 2015 / 1:58 pm

    There was a lot of good material in this article, but I am going to focus on the last bit about #HashtagActivism. Popular hashtags that focus on major events in the world can be helpful, but I believe some people feel that they accomplish more than they really do. People are in no way directly changing the lives of anyone involved in the events related to these hashtags. There is no way I could sit in my room, feet up in my recliner, tweet an article, and cure cancer. If it was that easy then there would not be issues in the world. Spreading articles with the hashtags, however, does raise awareness of these issues. If enough people spread the word of a major world travesty then people who have the power to do something to help these people may decide to do so after seeing how many people believe that something should be done.

    The flip side of this issue, though, is that many people may use these hashtags and spread these articles for personal glory. Social media is a breeding ground for attention seekers and these major world events are a giant bandwagon to hop on in order to bring attention to one’s profile. Many people may post about world issues for the right reasons, and I hope more people spread the word for those suffering instead of just for their own personal gain.

    –Ben Walker

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    • seananthony3 February 1, 2015 / 3:20 pm

      First of all, I liked the structure of your post! It was very “news like”. Where it would sound like you are telling us on the radio. But anyways, there are some points made up about #Hashtagactivism that seem valid. Before reading the article that painted the positives of it, I always thought that it could be the silliest thing. The awareness was good, but it was solving nothing, at least, in #Kony2012’s sense. However, the awareness did get several countries to send people over to assist, that was a point where awareness worked.

      Awareness of anything is why I now like Twitter. I used to hate it and think that the small word count was the silliest idea for a social media platform. However, with the campaigns that come out, Twitter is a useful source of spreading news, awareness or the start of ideas. It encourages people to look below the surface, and that’s what we need more of.

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    • seananthony3 February 1, 2015 / 3:20 pm

      Oops! I am sorry! I meant to reply to the whole post, not your comment!!!!

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  10. jaemillz411 February 1, 2015 / 3:41 pm

    I really enjoyed the article about hashtag activism. No matter what negative people say about Twitter or hashtags there is still power in it. Twitter is a platform for people to voice their feelings about any a subject as well as to find other communities that share the same or different outlooks. That freedom allows the world to have a voice instead of just people in power. I was conflicted about hashtags because I think campaigns and other movements should not be promoted or joined lackadaisically. A hashtag allows a person to voice their acceptance or rejection of a cause without knowing if a person has clarification as to what the cause is about. And that can lead to dangerous outcomes. But the few cons to this type of activism does not outweigh the pros. For instance, during the Mike Brown sentencing people everywhere saw the outrage unfold. There were multiple riots, arrests, and fires. Twitter is an avenue for some to protest peacefully. People can take pictures and voice their outrage from their home. Hashtag activism gives people a way to support without endangering their lives or send their support from far away. This helps people realize that they are not alone and that people do care. There is nothing wrong with that.

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  11. thegradytrain February 1, 2015 / 6:31 pm

    When I was catching up with my TV shows this week, I noticed a lot of them have relative hashtags for the episode. I feel like now I am more aware of these now and I am almost tempted to Tweet the hashtag, but I still do not see much of the point as of yet. I think the reason I got into Twitter was a contest that took tweets as entries, I didn’t win and after that I kind abandoned my Twitter account. Because of this class I think my attitude towards Twitter has gotten better. I can easily see the use in news linking similar to RSS feeds or Google Alerts, albeit more real time. I think the asymmetric nature of Twitter is also great, but it makes me wonder how many of my followers read the things I post and genuinely care. With other platforms like Facebook I feel more comfortable posting because the people I am friends with on Facebook are people I know from real life and there is a different connection with that. I rarely actually put out status updates on Facebook anyways and I don’t see much incentive for me doing it on Twitter.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. akuelbs February 1, 2015 / 7:37 pm

    If we look at twitter and it being either symmetrical or asymmetrical, i don’t think it has to be symmetrical at all for it to be successful at all. If we look at the average user, minus celebrities, they generally have less followers than people following them. This creates asymmetry throughout twitter. Plus if you generally look at a good amount of people who use twitter, a lot of people will favorite and retweet what people saying, but wont actually post information of their own.
    I personally feel twitter is a good way to portray information fast and to allow it to spread if it is a late notice. For instance, i follow some artist for my favorite musical groups, and they can use twitter to let the fans know about show information at the last moments. So say that show times change or there are delays for the show, members can post on twitter this information and their followers in who it effects can see the post and know this information. Then the follower can retweet the post for others to see who might not have seen it before. so twitter being asymmetrical can still function successfully without it having to change to being symmetrical.

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  13. mstor763 February 1, 2015 / 7:59 pm

    I am not sure of what your question(s) were or may be here in your blog. I am not sure on what your point was either. I do have to say though the kicking of the nuts was rather humorous though.

    When talking about the asymmetrical platform, I do have to say it is rather nice to be able to follow certain people or companies to see what is going on. Its having the advantage of following what you want to but without interfering….but isn’t that kind of creepy? Thinking this of a female view, i know that instagram you can like or w/e it is, a persons photo without even knowing them or being friends. Same principle happens here in twitter and I personally am not a fan of it. The random groups liking my tweets is annoying to me. I want to know who genuinely has an interest in what I am saying.

    When it comes to re-tweets and actual hashtags, i can see how it can be very positive when trying to share certain information. But what does hash tagging really get you? attention and awareness – this can be good or bad

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    • bubbastinx February 1, 2015 / 8:11 pm

      It seems your comprehension of my article went well, keep up the good work.👍

      Like

    • mvzang February 1, 2015 / 11:58 pm

      You’re right @mstor763. I get random people following me too after I tweet. I wonder why?

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      • jennproc February 5, 2015 / 7:23 pm

        @mvzang and @mstor763 It’s often bots or spammers that are grabbing tweets from the larger public feed. They’re pretty harmless, but they do make you feel popular!

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  14. smkiraco February 1, 2015 / 8:08 pm

    Firstly, I would like to start with hashtag activism. I think there is a easily overlooked trail of hashtag activism and how it bring social awareness, and that is it is a great indication of how the population of the country thinks on certain matters. It is an easily measurable metric. This is a great way for our government, state and federal, as well as companies to gauge reactions and act on certain matters.

    A recent example would be the Charlie Hebdo attacks. Our government has seen heavy criticism on how late they responded to those attacks and, in terms of image, its absence from the march that contained numerous world leaders.

    However, because of issues similar to #CancelColbert certain activism should be looked at much more closely than just a metric. Some hashtags have a blurry context, intentional or not.

    As for the rest of the post, I can only generally somethings as I have been very hesitant towards getting a Twitter account. I appreciate how much “tuning and feeding” you can adjust, especially compared to Facebook which I do have, and would love to treat it as a news feed. This is something I have been planning on doing for a while now. However, I do not like to spread myself thin, for lack of a better term, over the Internet. Because of this I might be one of those 60% to stop using it but for a different reason than reluctance to “tune” it. I just find it redundant and the 140 character limit really bothers me.

    I am going to stop here before I go off on a tangent filled rant.

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  15. mwiedmeyer February 1, 2015 / 8:50 pm

    I don’t think hashtag activism is harmful at all. I believe that if the more people aware of a problem, more people will actually do something about it, even if it’s something as small as signing a petition or amplifying the message. For example, the situation in Ferguson, Missouri this past summer. Without social media platforms like Twitter, the injustice in the Ferguson case received the attention it deserved and helped bring light to other cases of a similar nature.
    Personally, I’m much more socially aware than I ever have been before, and I owe it all to social media. I read the news, but there are many stories that don’t receive the attention they need in traditional media, like the recent Boko Haram killings in Nigeria. I didn’t hear about those through traditional news outlets because they were reporting on the Charlie Hebdo case. Social media can help shed light on important issues.

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  16. Ms.McCollum February 1, 2015 / 9:34 pm

    I agree with Howard Rheingold on how he believes that Twitter is one of those things that you get out of it what you put into it. Twitter does take work and if you keep up with it you’ll have Twitter success. I don’t there is any one specific thing that will give you Twitter success, but rather you just have to stay disciplined and cater to your audience. While it is true that Twitter is asymmetrical you’ll, in my experience, find greater success when you treat it as symmetrical. Of course you don’t have to follow everyone back that follows you, but if you do follow some it will get the attention of others. You’ll have a greater chance of your content outreach and it shows your audience that you’re interested in them. More times than not the people that follow you have common interests.

    I wouldn’t count hashtag activism as a common interest though. While hashtag activism does quickly promote social movements, whether for the good or bad, you are not really involved. It’s good that you’ve taken part and have shared that hashtag with your followers and them to theirs, but you have not done anything. I think the positive end of hashtag activism is that it gives the right people the fuel they need to get involved.

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  17. lewenzel93 February 1, 2015 / 10:48 pm

    I think Twitter’s appeal lies in it’s simple and effective information sharing. Just because someone spreads the word about a bad situation, doesn’t mean it will necessarily change it, but at the same time, that has to be a step in the right direction. Many of the problems people face today, are burdensome simply because those around them are ignorant to these problems. While #HashtagActivism may not guarantee any kind of concrete justice, it still makes Twitter users aware and spreads an underlying message of hope. This hope being that by the click of a button, maybe someone somewhere really does have the legitimate means to solve said problem. Even if someone, like myself, isn’t so well connected, the possibilities are endless. If I retweeted something drawing attention to a problem, someone that follows me might see it, and do the same, and so on and so on. Who knows where the information may end up? There’s billions of connections on Twitter and I think that’s the point of the whole site. We live in a time where information is spread like wildfire. It would just be irresponsible not to harness this ability and use it for something positive.

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  18. efekete February 1, 2015 / 11:42 pm

    Twitter does create awareness for issues that normally wouldn’t be given full attention. But also it keeps people in the loop of whats going on. I mostly use Twitter to find articles from news sources I trust and find interesting. I don’t really have any friends that follow me on twitter, having been using facebook all throughout high school, I find it strange to keep in contact with someone. Mostly I scroll through to find headlines then I click a link to an article for viewing. If you come at Twitter with the same expectations of how facebook is run then you definitely will be disappointed and less likely to keep using the service.

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  19. rmpaulk February 2, 2015 / 12:02 am

    I really enjoyed reading your post. It brought humor to a serious topic, which made it more enjoyable to read. It also “dumbed” down the information making it both entertaining and more accessible. I also really enjoyed that you displayed both sides of the argument (is Twitter good or bad?). I, personally, don’t know what side of the argument you fall on, and I really like that because as a “journalist” your job is to let the reader decide where they fall without persuading them. I do find it difficult to pinpoint what side of the argument I am on, because there are points that I agree with on both sides. I agree that hashtag activism brings awareness, but I also agree that for those living through that injustice it isn’t enough. The people tweeting and re-tweeting are sitting at home, safe, while they are in danger. I do believe that Twitter can be used as an effective tool for personal lives, business, and social injustices, but I also believe that not all users are using it properly. That is the problem. We haven’t gotten to the point where ALL Twitter users, or even majority, are taking advantage of all the benefits Twitter offers, thus we still have users who still use Twitter to tweet cat pictures and post their daily lives.

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  20. elrader2015 February 2, 2015 / 10:37 pm

    Hi!
    I really like the style of your post and the way you explained some things on here such as following and choosing to not follow back, etc. Just to stem off your initial thought about tweeting while watching a show, I absolutely adore live tweeting during an epic tv episode or event, such as the Oscars, VMAs, Super Bowl or even presidential or political debates. Something about seeing others excited responses and opinions gets me even more into whatever it is I’m watching or makes me take a closer look. What I don’t like about this, however, is missing an epic finale and trying to avoid all social media to avoid the spoilers.
    To get into the conversation of hashtag activism, I personally just think it’s great to educate the masses, even if it’s only on a small scale. I understand where people are coming from when they say that this lacks empathy or seriousness, but at the end of the day it’s at least better to have people know something is going on than to know nothing of it. It’s also useful to use a hashtag as a way to follow a conversation and get involved in it; this helps expand both knowledge and help you gain insight into what others are thinking. I know that some people take their opinions way too far on sites like Twitter where they can hide behind a keyboard and username then just bash people for their opinions, but thankfully there’s a reporting tool and on the whole, the hashtags for activism are a great tool. Additionally, I still can’t get over the Susan G Coleman Twitter hashtag gaining so much attention that it almost forced them to give back funding, or the millions raised thanks to the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge that dominated social media for a while. At the end of the day we have to take the good with the bad and realize that this is a great tool for sparking up attention for a cause.

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  21. hessaj February 3, 2015 / 10:36 pm

    If it wasn’t for hashtag activism, most of the news we saw lately, wouldn’t of made your local news, or even CNN. The hashtags are meant to bring awareness to the people who aren’t being broadcasted the news we need to know. It’s only our right, right? It’s hard to keep up though, the biggest one lately, #BlackLivesMatter, has cooled down a bit, which is sad. Through one hashtag, the people are trying to become truly equal among each other. Yeah, it’ll take a while. Something that could work is what the ALS ice bucket challenge did, get the people involved. I’ve noticed on Tumblr though, that I’ve seen stories that haven’t even made it to American news at all, not even Twitter. Tragedies going on it other countries, we should know this! It’s not like we’re not going to care, well some of us, because that’s America for yah.

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  22. blcarr February 6, 2015 / 1:54 pm

    I am a fan for #activism and I don’t think it’s harmful but helpful. If more people are aware of the situation, the stronger the rate of success it will become. Without the hashtag, I as well as many other citizens would not be aware of what’s going on around the world. For example #nojusticenopeace or #icantbreath when the NYC cop suffocated that man. Although it was caught on camera, I didn’t see it or hear about it until it became a trending topic on twitter.

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