Twitter’s Celebrity Problem

Twitter’s Celebrity Problem

The most followed person on Twitter is Katy Perry. The second most followed is Justin Bieber. In fact out of the top 20 most followed on Twitter, 15 of them are celebrities. Society’s obsession with celebrity culture is alive and kicking on the world’s most popular micro-blogging site.

For celebrities that gained fame by offline means, Twitter is used a tool of self-promotion, a means by which they can continue to market themselves when not acting/singing/modelling etc. The platform seemingly provides a glimpse into celebrity lives, allowing their followers to interact by commenting, favouriting and retweeting. The scale that which celebrity tweets are retweeted by followers is excessive. Let’s use one of Katy Perry’s latest tweets as an example;

This banal comment has been (at time of writing) favourited 6,923 times and retweeted 3,313 times. All for a sentence about someone’s dinner. Whilst Twitter’s celebrity focus may seem harmless, it still tends to lend authority to the (usually subjective, sometimes harmful) words of the rich and famous.

In Twitter’s defense, it also hosts a vast number of accounts focused on science, education, news, charities etc. Let’s hope that in the future more attention is paid to the 140 characters of accounts such as  NASA, Malala Yousafzai or National Geographic than the 140 characters of celebrities.

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How to feel old at 21

How to feel old at 21

Wow!My name is Nicola and I can’t believe I’ve already completed my first week at the University of Wollongong! Just started a blog for my convergent media practices class BCM112! Super excited to start learning about WordPress and Twitter and all the rest!

Oh right. This is actually my third year studying at UOW.

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Doing a double degree (Creative Arts/Media & Communications if you’re interested) can result in an ~interesting~ schedule of subjects, hence why I’m doing a 100 level course in my third year.

Which makes me feel old. At the ripe old age of 21.

Now now. I hear you.

“21 is not old”

“You’ve still got your whole life ahead of you”

“How do you think that makes ME feel?” <—My Mum’s favourite

But hear me out.

The students enrolled in this course who came straight from high school either turned 18 last year or this year. Some may have even yet to turn 18 (I knew one girl in my first year who wasn’t legally able to drink till May of her first uni session, the poor lamb). This means there are potentially students in my course who were born in 1997.

THAT IS FOUR ENTIRE YEARS YOUNGER THAN ME!!!

And this feeling old thing isn’t pure vanity either (though a lot of it is). I reckon these young whippersnappers have the upperhand when it comes to a course with a heavy focus on new media platforms. Like learning a new language or binge eating without consequence, young people are simply better at it. The younger you are, the more likely you grew up in a world where there was always internet, and more of a focus on computer skills in your formative years. And I’m still like;

“Gosh I hate Twitter. I have absolutely nothing of interest to say and none of my food looks pretty enough to post”

Today my breakfast was Weetbix. It looked like sadness.

To put it in perspective, last week I found out that there are now sharks in Western Australia that are tweeting.

Read: There are sharks that are better at Twitter than I am.

Better looking too.
                 Better looking too.


But after all, the reason any of us are at university is to learn. And I’m all too aware of the necessity for an online social presence in whatever industry I eventually find myself in (still 2.5 years before I have to face the real world, thank YOU painfully long double degree!).
So basically to sum up this rant-cum-introblog, I’m actually kind of excited to be taking a course such as BCM112 where there is such emphasis placed on new media. I mean, I’m still nervous that I will end up tweeting and/or blogging something incredibly stupid and then the whole world will know, but sometimes the best way to learn is simply to throw yourself in the deep end!
Note: Learning to swim by throwing yourself in the deep end is not advised