Tuesday, 27 November 2012

#8reasonswhyimontwitter

by Louisa Dassow


#8reasonswhyimontwitter was a trend on November 7th 2012 and the majority of my Twitter timeline consisted of “Because Twitter is better than Facebook”. I disagree. It's not better, it's different. So I thought I would compile my own reasons :

#1 Hashtags and Trends


Who actually used hash tags before Twitter? I've always liked the thought of a hash tag; its place on the keyboard intrigued me, but I had never used it before Twitter. Now I can use it in my tweets and press the button on my keyboard as often as I want. Hash tags weren't originally part of twitter and were incorporated in later after users started using them of their own accord, introducing trends to Twitter.


#2 Trends


Trends show what people in a certain place are talking about. There are some interesting trends; I could give examples, but the funniest ones appear when you're least expecting them. The beauty of the trends is that they accurately cover the world, and you can see exactly what is being discussed in Bogotá, Columbia whenever you want. I find it entertaining to investigate the trending topics of small foreign countries and see how many of their trends are in English.


#3 The Fandoms


This is a good and bad point. Twitter seems to be the home of Beliebers and Directioners; they're nightmares and it is unfortunate how their (“MARRYME!!”) rubbish seeps into the trends (No I do not want to #PartyHardwithDirectioners). On the other hand there are Potterheads, Whovians and Sherlockians. There are rugby and cricket fans who you can chat with and when the Olympics were on it was lovely to see how everyone on Twitter got behind their country. You can discuss issues with the team or the show, or gossip about the actors in your favourite film with people who love them just as much as you do.


#4 The People in general


I find that most tweeters are nice people, it's probably because I choose to follow the people who have similar interests to me. I've found people who share exactly the same views as me and it means that I can have an interesting conversation with a person who ordinarily would never be part of my life. And it's nice to be able to talk to them and read snippets of their lives or to hear their opinions, whilst knowing it's unlikely that I'll remember their username in a couple of months.



#5 It's completely safe if you're not stupid.


Everyone is anonymous, including yourself. You can say what you want and no-one will find you hidden away in your house and this unfortunately leads to the abusive tweeters. I think of them as the darkest side of Twitter, even worse than Beliebers. But they're avoidable, blockable, and, if their petty comments offend you, then you can report them (or give them 140 characters of your mind). I personally think that if Twitter wasn't anonymous then it would really be dangerous – the people you interact with are strangers and, whilst there are some wonderful strangers, there are also really weird ones. So if you tweet keep your anonymity; as a rule, I don't post any personal details that I wouldn't reveal to a person I met on the street and I won't post anything I wouldn't show my family.



#6 The Sad Depressed Anxious People who need to be cheered up.

You will find a lot of these people on Twitter; they use it because they have no-one else to talk to and it's their last resort. I suppose this is not a particularly great thing to have on Twitter, but these people do exist and Twitter is their outlet of choice. Whenever I see a tweet where the person is worried about an upcoming event in their life, I'll wish them luck. If it's someone's birthday, then I'll wish them a Happy Birthday. And if someone posts a tweet along the lines of “I'm useless and worth nothing.”, then you can talk to them and try to make them smile. I've learnt about a girl who is jealous of her older sibling and feels pressured by her parents to act like him and so I spoke to her about it and by the end she said she felt better. That's a great reason to be on Twitter. (Although I'm not suggesting it's advisable to give out your personal information see #5) I've been wished luck and I've had Happy Birthday wishes from my followers. It takes very little effort and it can really brighten your day.

#7 It's a great source of news.

I've got to be honest I found out who won the American election by skimming down my timeline when I woke up the day after the election. This morning I found out through Twitter that one of my favourite BBC television series, Merlin, was being cancelled. And Twitter is always one of the first places to know when someone famous has died, and often when they haven't actually died. Of course I follow all of the BBC news accounts, but I find the best news comes from the average person. I must also point out that not all “news” on Twitter is true and it may just be speculative gossip which is what makes up a lot of Twitter.

#8 Sometimes I can't face Facebook.

Twitter is where I put all of my amusing thoughts and sometimes Facebook is not a suitable place for those outbursts. Sometimes I know that my Twitter followers will be more interested in a particular thought than my friends will be. And everything that you do on Facebook you will be judged by people visiting your profile and the judgements feed back into your everyday life, but on Twitter there is no-one to judge you and you can speak with people who share your opinions without their judgement. That doesn't mean to say I don't spend equal amounts of time on both websites, but they are different types of social media and I use them for different purposes.

They are my top eight reasons for spending so much time on Twitter, but the best reason for why I’m on Twitter is that I enjoy it.

Follow the Portsmouth Point on twitter @PortsmouthPoint

3 comments:

  1. I also love Twitter, I often find out about stuff hours before anyone else as it cuts out the "middle men", writers and news editors and delivers you the raw news as it happens. Unfortunately this sometimes leads to misinformation going viral but most of the time this is quickly checked.
    Another reason I love twitter is that it allows you to connect to people who have the same specialist interests as you. While it's hard to find people who are interested in an obscure indie band in "real life", there may be hundreds of twitter.

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  2. And let's not even get started on #YOLO...

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  3. i think twitter is great

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