A Twitterific World

Mobile Technology has exploded within recent years, from becoming a fashion statement to being a part of a necessary object to have before you leave the house. As a society we surround ourselves with advertisements of why it’s hip to have this phone compared to the other phone. Growing up I remember only getting a phone that was free and jumped on the chance when a razor became a free phone. If you look on any phone someone has a lot of users will have one application downloaded, Twitter.

As more and more people get into fashion, it seems that your clothes are not the only things that can give you street cred, but the phone can as well. Currently if you don’t have a smart phone, you’re not cool. However, depending on the advertisement you look at a certain smartphone can make you look/feel old, or not creative enough. Since when has such a simple technological device made such a statement about you? In Mobile Phones as Fashion Statements, this idea is discussed in detail about how this growing accessory is vastly becoming a necessary. We all saw this coming from the days on the schoolyard, comparing phones to other phones. Heck, even when we got our first phone we all remember our age and why our parents got them for us.

My first phone was in 2004; I was given it because I would stay after school for theater practice and what not. I was told the phone was to share with my sister, but I always had the cell phone with me. Now I don’t recall what type of phone it was, besides a simple flip phone we shared but I remember using it a lot for phone calls. I can recall the first time I got exposed to what a SMS was, my sister was away for a conference and had the phone and received a text from my girlfriend at the time. Still not understanding what an SMS was, I disregarded it.

Flash forward to today, its definitely the opposite I text way more that I call, in fact I have unlimited messaging and only 2000 minutes. In fact the way I use the phone lines up perfectly with Handbook of Communication Studies my iPhone is always on. To the point that if the phone dies, I have a mini panic attack trying to figure out how I’m going to survive. It’s silly I know, but its kind of the world we live in today.

What Twitter was originally designed to look like
What Twitter was originally designed to look like

Everywhere you look people have a cell phone, if you don’t have one you get judged. But, it’s not about having a phone but instead about how a person uses the phone. Distance is not a problem for anyone you could be sitting right next to one another or on a completely different continent, either way we a milliseconds apart. We are clearly losing our ideas of socializing, or are we not?

Within the article Katz goes on to talk about how we communicate and how the machines are shaping our world. It’s not that far removed from Turkle’s point on the fashion statements our phones make. The authors summarize that we are relying on this objects a lot more now than before. The question should be why have they become so important to our lives? An invention like the telephone was a life changer for the good, we were able to quickly talk to others over the phone. As the invention has evolved does this really turn to a life changer or is is not good for us at all? Are we becoming to depended on these devices? A lot of people my age are cutting the cord, and using exclusively their cell phones as their home phones. If you look at it the movement is just for the technology but it’s also about features. One that if you don’t have a smart phone you can still use the app by dialing 40404, Twitter.

Twitter was a company founded in 2006; it’s an application that part of the “Social Media” movement. Like all media, its original purpose was to be an Internet SMS for the company that founded Twttr (Twitter’s original name). After six years, Twitter has expanded to over 500 million users, posting 340 million tweets a day. This app is a part of what people define as “social network.” The question is what defines a social network, and does it require a person to actively engage with users? Twitter, clearly has it’s advantages by being online or networked, it is also a social aspect in our lives. In theory Twitter is taking over all mediums of media. There is not a screen you look at, internet or television, that mentions Twitter. Every show has a corner with a hashtag for you to get in on the action. In late 2013, Nielsen ratings announced that in partnership with Twitter they will track the amount of mentions a certain show has.

No one app has shaped the way we live or interact with others, and remember its 140 characters or less. Myspace and Live Journal kicked social media off and then Facebook took it into its adolescent years, but Twitter is making it evolve into a full grown adult. Turkle talked about the phone being an accessory, twitter is an extent of an individual. As a media major, we expected to have a twitter account and know how to use it. Were expected to understand what a DM, LT, RT, MT all means. Its an branch of our resume, future employers are looking at what we post and rating us on it. To talk about Katz’s point its another communicating device. I leave you with this idea, how many communicating devices to we need on a communicating device to communicate to an individual? Thats exactly what we are doing every time we are using Twitter on a mobile phone.


Turkle, Sherry. (2008). “Always-On/Always-On-You: The Tethered Self.” In Katz, J. E. (Ed.). Handbook of Mobile Communication Studies. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. P. 121-137.

Katz, James E., Lever, Katie M., and Chen, Yi-Fan. (2008). “Mobile Music as Environmental Control and Prosocial Entertainment.” In Katz, J. E. (Ed.). Handbook of Mobile Communication Studies. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. P. 367-376

iJustine. (2009, June 15) “The Twitter Song” – Rockin’ Robin Spoof. Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DopuArSils0

Karnjanaprakorn, M (2001, February 21) JackDorseyOriginalSketch [Photography] Retrieved from http://www.mikekarnj.com/blog/2011/02/21/creating-a-product-focused-startup-culture/



One thought on “A Twitterific World”

  1. The concept of using Twitter was great. I really enjoy Twitter and posting to it when I feel the need to. Mostly, I use it to talk to people who I wouldn’t text day to day. Mentioning how Twitter is promoted in everyday life: billboards, news, television shows, and businesses. I would have liked to see some more details about Twitter regarding their features, if I was reading this as a non-user of Twitter, I would want some type of backstory on the application and why its so popular. Mentioning the hashtags for TV shows and other branding products would have been confusing if I didn’t know what they were. Giving an example on how effective Twitter is would have also made this a little more in depth regarding the site itself.
    I was also confused for a bit on why you chose to bring up text messaging and fashion. I didn’t correlate the two being tied to twitter in that way but I eventually understood it. Maybe going into detail of why they are trends would help because it didn’t feel that way the first time I read it. Starting off with them should have been helpful.
    Adding the picture of how Twitter was supposed to be was a nice touch and the video was horrible but had a lot of truth into it. When I really got into Twitter, all I did was tweet and follow people and tweet everything. Now, it’s different for a lot of social networking sites, I post things mostly interesting and my thoughts but not like I used to. I liked how you questioned the type of communication people used and not the phone itself. “But, it’s not about having a phone but instead about how a person uses the phone. Distance is not a problem for anyone you could be sitting right next to one another or on a completely different continent, either way we a milliseconds apart.” This is my favorite part because it opens up a lot of thought behind why we use our and how we make assumptions about how people should be using it. I know a few people who don’t engage in social media and I find it actually refreshing because not being tied to a network and being actively engaging with people seems nice.

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