I’m so glad I didn’t listen to my parents…

Have you ever watched a musical like Glee and someone just starts randomly singing? It’s quite odd, it has no meaning and I’m not going to lie, but it can be quite painful to watch. But then everyone else magically joins in and become an ensemble, you start to enjoy it and it all being to make sense.

The way I see it, twitter is similar to this.

If you just read one tweet, it has no real meaning, it may not even be true and usually we just disregard it. But if we see a whole twitter feed about a certain topic, we being to realise its purpose. Axel Bruns (2009) put it kind of perfectly when he said it’s a ‘suspension bridge made out of pebbles’.

This suspension bridge demonstrates the effect that citizen journalism has upon an event. Citizen journalism invited us to participate, it plays on our desire to always talk back to someone we disagree with.  (Isn’t it good we never listen to our parent about not talking back, otherwise citizen journalism might not be what it is today?) When it comes up on our screen it just j=look like an ordinary twitter feed or comment section but if we look closely at the content we are actually able to gain an understanding of current event, issues and debates.

When I first became a internet addicted teenager, my parents fear that this would prevent me from learning about the world, give me square eyes and somehow hinder my ability to participate in the outside world. But I give me much pride to say THEY WERE WRONG!

So far I have not got square eyes. I am more educated and in tune with the world than if I actually went outside and got fresh air. I am continually participating with online discussions, and I can achieve all this just through the use of twitter. If one website can give so many individuals a voice then what about the rest of the internet, there are endless possibilities to get our voice out there and get our point across.





5 thoughts on “I’m so glad I didn’t listen to my parents…

  1. Great comparison to Glee!! I’ve never thought of it that way. I think that it’s a huge thing that we are learning is that the Internet, whilst it was scary to our parents, is not all that bad a place after all. It’s ability to update us to the second is astounding and I think that it’s a tool that I would definitely want my children growing up being able to use. Going back to the tweets, I think the metaphor of the suspension bridge is very poignant and accurate. However, I think we do need to keep in mind that source credibility isn’t exactly Twitter’s selling point. Legacy media, whilst outdated, still holds that professional island stronghold in the wake of this new collective intelligence, that still gets carried away on trends and tangents. Although in saying that, I do not think it will be too long before the suspension bridge reaches that island and industrial media will have to adapt to our new demands for news.

  2. The suspension bridge of pebbles is an interesting one. It can be a positive thing and can allow breaking news to be disseminated quickly but it can also be a significant negative if this information is not accurate. The reporting of the Boston bombings is one example that comes to mind. After a suspect photo was released by the FBI rumours about the suspects identity began circulating on social media. Sunil Tripathi, a missing student, began circulating on reddit and became a trending topic on Twitter. Sunil wasn’t a suspect and had been wrongly identified by false crowdsourced information. Sunil was later found dead and it is suspected he took his own life. http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2013/04/25/boston-bombing-social-media-student-brown-university-reddit/2112309/

  3. Twitter is a great tool to connect with different people and ideas around the world, and for people who previously had no opportunity to have a voice that could reach other people who cared and who mattered. Twitter doesn’t need to be 100% credible, because the majority of the tweets on a topic will create the general consensus, (which hopefully is the truth). News stories are even using Twitter as their only source. Mostly it’s in the confines of entertainment news, but I wonder how much we will come to rely on Twitter and other social networking sites as a source for news?

  4. Whilst no one could possibly argue with you regarding the endless possibilities the Internet is able to provide, I think you may have missed the larger picture here. (Also, “a suspension bridge made of pebbles” was a metaphor coined by S. Johnson (2009) not Alex Bruns). As Johnson’s metaphor for twitter seems to sum up the purpose of prosumer tweets perfectly, you also need to explore the implications of this. You say that people will disregard a single tweet for being untrue, but just because there is multiple tweets regarding the same topic, doesn’t necessarily mean they are all true either. Johnson makes the point that ‘Tweets become valuable when aggregated” and is the exact reason for the metaphor he has chosen to explain this. The credibility of a source has always been a problem for investigative journalists and will only continue to become more of an issue as social media authorizes citizen journalists to create their own news and eventually emerging to become the ‘go to’ source for mainstream media. Here is an example of what could happen when information a twitter sources are not aggregated and checked for accurate facts and credibility. Shashank Tripathi sent out a number of tweets during the event of Hurricane Sandy stating that the “New York Stock Exchange was under three feet of water”. This then lead to sources such as CNN and the Weather channel (which are both considered to be trustworthy, credible sources) reporting this news, which was later, found to be untrue. http://www.poynter.org/latest-news/mediawire/193737/comfortablysmug-apologizes-for-misleading-tweets-resigns-from-gop-campaign/
    I think its great that your proving to your parents that the internet is a useful learning tool, although, just be aware to learn that with the rise of citizen journalism through social media platforms, you cant believe everything that you read, always check your sources first!

  5. I do think society has moved and is moving towards a better understanding of the value of digital interaction in all its forms. The fear is starting to fade, though it still there and mainstream society has well and truly embraced the internet as a norm. That anti-social stereotype will always be around, but I think the majority of society sees the value now and that that will only increase as the younger generations become more prolific and a prosumer mentality takes over. Musicals however, are of the devil and should all be destroyed.

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