Venue: Twitter Conversations

Twitter is a venue that I still find fascinating, years after its popularity spiked. I love that it is 140 characters, forcing the writer to either write something insightful and concise, or write something boring that will drown in a sea of bad jokes and comments about the Bachelor. Writers know that their tweet could be received by anyone on the platform, but they tailor it to a very specific audience based on the content of the tweet. However, what is most interesting about Twitter is the conversations about current issues that are made possible. As soon as a breaking political event occurs, I pull up Twitter and can immediately see the most recent updates, and exactly what people are talking about regarding the event. Twitter enables users to see directly the competing sides of a debate, and the overall sentiment toward a recent event. Also, it enables normal, non-famous people to engage in a debate with renowned authors and politicians (and even sometimes receive a response). The conversations that occur, while not always direct dialogue, form their own niches through the use of hashtags. For example, as scenes of fire-covered streets covered the news during protest in Ferguson last year, I was able to type in #FergusonProtests and join in a national dialogue about the event, as the nation grieved together. This type of dialogue is one that is very controlled, deeply limiting in the length of each comment, and connects niche groups of people all over the world. I think this is incredibly unique, and when used as a tool, Twitter can be really amazing. Of course, this is only an aspect of Twitter. I described Twitter this way to my grandma one day, and she nearly created an account. (She would have been disappointed.)

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