Apr 20, 2010 Comments Off
This exercise confirmed my dislike of Twitter. I feel that a large portion of Twitter users use the site in order to post play-by-plays of their daily lives which I have no interest in doing. Originally I used a fake name in my account because I was unfamiliar with the privacy settings and uncomfortable with sharing personal information with anyone online. However, I ended up changing my name to “Becca C” because it felt unnatural posting about my life under a different identity. That being said, I still tried to keep my posts as ambiguous as possible. My Facebook account is set to private, and since I was not fully informed about all of Twitter’s settings, I tried to be cautious when posting.
The default setting on Twitter is to have a completely public profile- even more open than Facebook, which only allows for your network to view all of your information. Additionally, the search function picks up on both usernames and tweet topics, making it extremely easy to locate a person even when not intentionally searching for them. Last night I posted a tweet about doing my calc homework and when I logged on again, CalcABProfessor was suddenly following me. This profile had a ton of followers, and I find it unlikely that it was actually an individual person’s profile. That being said, I find it extremely unsettling that a Twitter user could simply catch the word “calc” in my Tweet, find my profile, and then be able to follow me. Another feature that I feel uncomfortable with is the “Top Tweets” feature. Without even having a profile, a person on the Internet could go to the website and see a random feed of tweets, and therefore see profiles (granted the individual does not have his/her profile set to private).
What I did not realize is that my Twitter account would show up on a Google search of somebody I was following. Once again, a random individual was directed to my profile even though he/she was not intentionally searching for me.
In addition to my discomfort with the default privacy settings, I really found no use for my Twitter account. In doing my required tweets, I found it difficult to find things that I actually wanted to share. When I use my Facebook account, I rarely update my status. For this assignment I had to provide 15 status updates in a 6-day period, but I found that most of my tweets were very forced. I feel like my daily life is nothing worth sharing with everyone. However, I did enjoy being able to have a conversation and respond to other tweets of my classmates.
In my opinion Twitter is perfect for celebrities, many of whom do update their profiles religiously. It provides a way for them to let their curious fans know what they’re doing without having to deal with uploading pictures and having friends. People can follow their favorite celebrities’ profiles without the celebrity having to follow them (i.e. the celebrity does not have to be the equivalent of a “Facebook friend”). In that sense, the interaction is much more one-sided and therefore less indicative of a true friend (in comparison to Facebook). Personally, I much prefer the ability to live chat with my friends, which cannot be accomplished through Twitter.
While I am not a huge fan of Twitter, I still found myself becoming slightly addicted to it (just like Facebook all over again). I would go online at least once an hour just to see what my other classmates were up to and to read the latest tweets. I suppose this is just part of the curiosity factor that brings individuals onto social networking sties to begin with. And despite all of my concerns with surveillance, I’m not sure if I’m going to end up deleting my account. I’m fairly certain I will not continue to update my page, but I might still log in just to see what everybody else is up to.