Twitter: A Multipurpose Social Media Tool

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Hannah Buntrock, Writer

For today’s students, distractions from school are not only sports, work and social lives, but social media as well. Students are on these sites and apps constantly, one of the most popular being Twitter, home to the tweet. Twitter states that, “A Tweet is any message posted to Twitter which may contain photos, videos, links and up to 140 characters of text.” A tweet is visible to followers and can be shared in a matter of seconds to with those who are not, causing word to spread extremely fast. Twitter is where drama begins and news spreads, but is it really all that and a bag of chips? What are the real benefits people can gain from Twitter.

I, as well as many other people, allow Twitter to consume a great amount of time every day. The site is not only an update on the latest gossip in the world, but can also be beneficial in providing news to the public. The rapid speed with which one can connect and discover news can be both helpful and frightening. False information and news is often leaked onto Twitter, and many are unaware that the source may be not be the most credible or reliable. Many students do not have the time or even care to look at who the source is, but knowing this is important. For example, CNN and local news channels are more likely to be correct than a site that provides biased, inaccurate, or abbreviated information. On the other hand, Twitter’s rapid spread of news can be beneficial to the public in that it informs.

Twitter can be a news outlet for anyone. Twitter users have the option to follow an individual, group or organization and whenever they post updates, articles or simply facts, the follower receives them. According to the Web site Statista, 42.6 million people were using Twitter on smartphones in 2015 This means that 42.6 million people, a number equal to one-sixth the American population, could potentially be getting their news from Twitter. By following CNN or local news stations, one is able to have the news in the palm of his or her hand, and the best part is that it is free. For those who do not have the time to read a newspaper or choose not to watch news on the television, they are able to access it on their mobile device.

Another way Twitter could be beneficial is in a school setting. High school teachers and college professors could run a course, send updates and contact students and parents on Twitter if they truly wanted to. Students will likely check their Twitter more often than they check their online school site or emails. Twitter makes it easy to stay up to date with the latest news, in a way that makes reaching out to a teacher or classmate more enjoyable and laidback.

Twitter also offers a tool that could be useful for many people or businesses. “The Tweet activity dashboard is a tool you can use to learn more about your tweets and how they resonate with your audience,” the site says. With this tool, one can see almost any statistic regarding his or her tweet, like the amount of times someone opens the tweet as well as the time of day it is opened. This can be beneficial for someone trying to target or reach out to a certain group or someone who wants to know who is looking at the tweets and when.

In today’s technological society, we must not get sucked completely into the drama of others’ lives, but also come to realize the benefits at our fingertips. The opportunities held in these apps are endless and can provide more for us than we expect.

 

Sources:

New user FAQs. (n.d.). Retrieved March 29, 2016, from https://support.twitter.com/articles/13920

 

Tweet activity dashboard. (n.d.). Retrieved March 29, 2016, from https://support.twitter.com/articles/20171990

 

Twitter: Number of U.S. smartphone users 2018 | Statistic. (n.d.). Retrieved March 30, 2016, from http://www.statista.com/statistics/293764/number-of-smartphone-twitter-users-in-the-united-states/