Twit­ter: My new fa­vorite so­cial me­dia plat­form

Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro - - Opinion -

na­ture of the plat­form), hence be­com­ing “Cur­rently walk­ing 20 kilo­me­ters.” Lastly, Twit­ter also had a more “global” feel to it. Whereas only a hand­ful of in­ter­na­tional celebri­ties and icons had of­fi­cial FB ac­counts, on Twit­ter, many of these folks had ver­i­fied ac­counts, al­low­ing us or­di­nary fol­low­ers at least even a brief glimpse into their lives, their thoughts.

For a sec­ond there, I ac­tu­ally thought Twit­ter was set to be the next big so­cial me­dia plat­form, des­tined to de­throne Face­book the same way the lat­ter had de­throned Friend­ster only a few years be­fore. Fast for­ward to to­day, how­ever, and a good num­ber of those same col­lege class­mates who goaded me in the first place haven’t tweeted any­thing in years.

Dur­ing my first go-around on the site, I fol­lowed the more pub­li­cized pro­files—my fa­vorite ac­tors, mu­si­cal artists, au­thors, film di­rec­tors, other celebri­ties. I soon started fol­low­ing more en­trepreneurial ac­counts when I went through this brief phase ob­sess­ing over Shark Tank (@ABCSharkTank). And then, when the some­what tem­pes­tu­ous year that was 2016 hit, I re­al­ized I was more of a so­cial­ist than a so­cial clim­ber, so I started search­ing for the Twit­ter ac­counts of those per­son­al­i­ties and en­ti­ties who could think “out­side the cur­rent nar­ra­tive,” so to speak. Just a few ex­am­ples: jour­nal­ist Naomi Klein (@NaomiAKlein), politi­cian Bernie San­ders (@BernieSan­ders), nov­el­ist Glenn Diaz (@ GlennnDiaz), and non­profit org Ox­fam (@Ox­fam). (Side note: Hon­estly sucks, though, that Arund­hati Roy and Noam Chom­sky don’t have their own ver­i­fied Twit­ter ac­counts.)

I’ve since deemed Twit­ter a valu­able well­spring of in­sight and in­for­ma­tion—rich with tid­bits of knowl­edge and pre­cisely threshed-out opin­ions that I oth­er­wise wouldn’t have dis­cov­ered had I still needed to sift through the clut­ter of FB’s news­feed. I’ve en­coun­tered tweets and commentaries that of­fer an al­ter­na­tive, more hope­ful, but ever-vig­i­lant view on top­ics my pe­tit bour­geois up­bring­ing tends to hastily con­clude as “good” or “pro­gres­sive” with­out first con­sid­er­ing var­i­ous, of­ten marginal­ized and si­lenced an­gles.

In­ci­den­tally, I’ve also found Twit­ter to be less ad­dic­tive than FB, and there­fore not as time­con­sum­ing. There’s only so much fun you can have when the ma­jor­ity of ac­counts you fol­low aren’t those of peo­ple you per­son­ally know. Twit­ter also tends to be a no­tably less toxic (more agree­able) venue for po­lit­i­cal dis­course, and thus it feels like a safer, less dis­heart­en­ing place.

In the seven years since I first joined, Twit­ter—the un­der­dog of the Philip­pine so­cial me­dia scene—sur­pris­ingly feels like my per­sonal an­ti­dote for all the noise of the world. And I’m glad I’m more ac­tive on it now than I’ve ever been.

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