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.
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.
#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.
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?
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.