Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Feature: Five reasons why I love Twitter

You are what you Tweet

Twitter (for the few of you who have somehow managed to completely avoid it) is a social networking, micro-blogging site which launched in 2006. It has since become a driving force in making the worlds of television and celebrity culture interactive experiences for the everyday man. Thanks to Twitter, television viewers can engage in live chats about what they are watching with other viewers through the use of the hashtag, or send messages to celebrities who use the service, many of whom will write them back. I have been using the site since 2009 and now the biggest factor in my often more than daily tweets is the smartphone. Since downloading the official Twitter app my time spent reading and posting tweets has soared. There are many many reasons I love Twitter but I've chosen five:

5. Twitter is a great way to share new music or other media and for artists and writers to promote their new work. It was through Twitter I discovered Jane Espenson's (a writer for Buffy the Vampire Slayer) hilarious web series 'Husbands' and Emma Caulfield's (Buffy actress) blog and web series.  It is a great tool for bands and comedians as they can post gigs and links for tickets quickly and easily which all of their followers then have access to. Through 'retweeting' you can share these with your followers or send them directly to people who may be interested.

4. Twitter is a quick and efficient way to hear breaking news. Through the 'trending topics' feature. Everyone who uses Twitter is able to see the most talked about subjects of the day. You can quickly view all the most recent and 'top' tweets on the topic. Some of these topics aren't very interesting, in fact usually on a daily basis fans of Justin Bieber or Lady Gaga have all tweeted something like 'Justin is our Boyfriend' or 'Gaga is Queen of Pop'. However, in cases of big news like natural disasters or elections, Twitter can be the quickest way to hear about it.

3. Twitter allows me to rant as much as I like. As there is a 140 character limit to each tweet it is easy to post a quick remark without giving it much thought. It is equally as easy to post a stream of tweets about how annoying a loud group of schoolgirls are on the bus you just got on to. Anything more than one status a day can be thought of as excessive on Facebook, whereas on Twitter, you are welcome to post as much as you like without anyone giving the volume of your tweets a second thought.

2. Twitter allows me to see what my favourite television actors are getting up to. Now when I say television, I'm probably being too general. It's mainly the cast of Firefly and Buffy that I'm interested in. It really places you at the frontline for news of the people you follow. This probably sounds more creepy than it actually is, but it's nice to see tweets from the likes of Simon Pegg with attached pictures of him and the cast of the newest Star Trek movie, chilling out at a bar after work.  

1. Twitter is a great way to keep entertained while killing time. Now that I have Twitter on my phone, it is my first port of call when I am waiting for a bus or on the bike at the gym, trying to take my mind off moving my legs. I follow BBC news which often links to full articles on their site which offers further time killing material in between comedians' jokes and actors' cute pet pictures. As soon as I get bored I automatically look to my phone to find out what everyone is up to and that the world hasn't ended while I was playing Dead Rising. Most importantly, it is the place I will hear first if Justin Bieber were to be fatally injured in a tragic hairspray accident.

- Emma-Lee Davidson


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