To Tweet or Not to Tweet?

allison harwood

On August 14, 2009 Ashton Kutcher beat news anchor Larry King in a race to have one million followers on Twitter. Most students had not even hear about Twitter at this point.
Twitter’s popularity originated with celebrities. Stars such as Kutcher, Oprah Winfrey and Ryan Seacrest all used this new social network to broadcast their thoughts to anyone who would take the time to follow them.
“[The first time I heard about Twitter] was at the Jonas Brothers concert a couple of years ago,” sophomore Kylie Dever said. “They said to follow them on Twitter so I decided to make one.”
It seems as though a large majority of students had little to no interest in Twitter a year ago, but now has a good number of students who have created and use their accounts actively.
Junior Taylor Augustine said that although Twitter sounded stupid at first, she is now an active user.
“It is just status updates, but now it is really addicting,” Augustine said.
Just like most things in life, peer influence has impacted Twitter’s popularity.
“More people in the school have gotten Twitter, so it is more appealing since you can follow your friends,” senior Katy Thellman said.
The popular social networking site, Facebook, includes photos, videos, apps, and status updates. Twitter, however, is only status updates. Also unlike Facebook, Tweets are limited to 140 characters. Twitter creates a, shorter and more casual alternative to Facebook status updates.
“You can post whatever is really on your mind,” Dever said. “If one of your friends says something funny you can just quickly tweet it.”
Students can swiftly tweet what they are doing or thinking and add “hash tags”. In order to create a hash tag a student adds a pound sign in front of a word or phrase with no spaces. If a hash tag is clicked, Tweeters can see who else has tweeted the same word or phrase.
Even though Twitter has gained considerable popularity, many students still do not have the desire to join the site.
“I do not think there is really any point to Twitter,” sophomore Jordan Rietcheck said. ”It is all sort of ‘jibber-jabber’. I would feel stupid if I got one.”
Other students simply just do not understand how to start an account.
“[The only reason] I haven’t gotten one yet is I do not know how to,” junior Kitty Tootle said. “I might get one if it gets popular enough, I might not.”
In addition to gaining popularity among high school students, Twitter is used by businesses and newspapers across the country to broadcast their news to their followers. Whether it is something funny a friend just said, or a business broadcasting its latest sale, Twitter continues to grow as a quick way for people all over the world to receive news in quick 140 characters.