Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Day 34: What's The Point Of Twitter?

When I was first given this topic on day -2 of this writing challenge I will admit to briefly considering the true, but admittedly rather generic platitudes I could envisage throwing its way: 'Twitter is about community, and togetherness.' etc, etc.

Today, those inverted commas crumbled.

Today I was privileged enough to be in the room at Channel 4 as a group of incredible young people entered in to an impassioned dialogue with MPs and senior Channel 4 staff about what would change #IfWeRanThings.

Privileged enough to not only be in the room, but to be on Twitter capturing, pushing and furthering the conversation happening both among attendees and those outside the room: a frenzied stream of opinion, observation, sheer expectant energy and a whole load of selfies. People not in the room, at their day jobs, at school, somewhere across the country, the other side of the proverbial closed door, engaging with, informing and even just witnessing the conversation, in all its nuanced, fast-paced and damn important glory.

Pretty cool, right?

Today, in that room, the point was made that social media is power, and that young people are so incredibly powerful. Twitter, social media, is a tool for mobilising, uniting, sharing, a tool for seeking, and connecting, and amassing a movement on a global scale in a way that generations before us simply couldn't, in ways they simply didn't have access to. The instant connection, the spread of a message, the force of conviction and the promotion to power in every which sense, right from the traditional to the newly-conventional: we are the most powerful generation there has ever been.

Twitter is part of my job, but it's more than that: there are up to 5 accounts linked to my phone at any one time including my own personal one and I make no secret of the fact that community management and the power of social media for good is something that can often be relied upon to get me out of bed of a morning. (I have a life, honest)

A tweet is an expression of a moment.

I have witnessed first-hand the power of being called out to directly, albeit as a branded identity, in a moment of solitary anguish, and conversely being essentially CC'ed in on celebrations of youth, and of life, and know the vital power of being able to engage with each of those moments, across the whole spectrum, and ensuring that in those moments, those young people feel heard.

Twitter is not a broadcast channel, and to treat it as such belittles both it and its users. All 288 million of us.

Twitter is designed for dialogue, be you brand, band, or bank, and every time you start that conversation there are 288 million people listening, 288 million potential connections.

That may sound daunting, but to me, that says 288 million possibilities.

Yes, Twitter may seem without a point at times, but, when what you see on the platform is entirely curated by you, to that I would counter that you're just not following the right people, and with 288 million possibilities, you really are spoiled for choice. And if you're not following me, @abigailchantal, then quite frankly, on your own head be it.

After all, Twitter is power.


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