The Internet and Social Media: the Impacts of Twitter

Introduction

Modern technology has made life bearable and transformed the way people manage various issues and. It is necessary to explain that people have invented simple, efficient and faster ways of doing things and this has promoted efficiency at the work place and in various activities (Flynn 2012). The introduction of computers and the internet has revolutionized communication and changed things that would not be possible using traditional technologies. Facebook, Twitter, Google, Yahoo and other social websites have offered fertile grounds for human interaction and today they are household names in every society. This essay explores the role of the internet as a tool of social media and how Twitter has transformed the lives of people in the modern society.

Definition

Social media refers to all means of communication that encourage interactions among people. Facebook and Twitter are the most common social websites that promote sharing of information, education and interactions among people (Bilton 2013). Twitter is the easiest and most developed social website because it allows users to post messages, videos, audios and pictures within a very short time and this makes it very influential. However, there are several issues that a person must know about this website before enjoying its benefits (Bieller 2009). These are issues about user policies and awareness of its functions to ensure an individual uses the features provided in this website for their intended purposes.

The Structure of a Twitter Account

Internet accounts are created by signing up on various websites. This means that the sign-up process involves submitting personal information like names, date of birth, residence, occupation and contacts that are used to create accounts (Comm 2010). However, it is necessary to explain that people must be very creative if they want to make their accounts active and differentiate them from those of other people. Some people share names and addresses and this means that it is not easy to identify them. Therefore, this may cause confusion and make people to send wrong information to others because of lack of identification (Flynn 2012).

In addition, a post on a Twitter account is called a tweet and those that comment or track conversations are called followers. A good discussion will have many tweets as people contribute their opinions regarding the topic and generate heated debates that support or oppose a view presented in the first tweet (Comm 2010). However, it is necessary to ensure that an individual has many followers to stand high chances of getting comments from others. Once a Twitter account has been set the user can search and add his or her friends to ensure they are connected. In addition, a ‘hashtag’ is a trending topic about a recent occurrence that is of significant political, social or economic importance to the society (Bilton 2013).

The Impacts of Twitter

The use of social networks underwent significant changes in the last decade and today almost all adults have Twitter accounts (Bieller 2009). It is necessary to explain that most people living in urban areas get traffic updates through their Twitter accounts and this has helped motorists to avoid roads that are impassable and know what is happening in their destinations. In addition, students share various information about the events that unfold in their schools and this helps them to plan for their future (Comm 2010). Changes in examination timetables and other school programs are also shared through Twitter accounts and this helps learning institutions to reduce their expenses and avoid inconveniencing learners.

In addition, the world is facing serious challenges from terrorist groups like Al-Qaida and Al-Shabbab. Twitter accounts are helpful in raising alarms about suspicious activities and people in the society. Moreover, people get updates about security plans to fight insurgent groups through this website and this helps to reduce panic and anxiety in the society (Flynn 2012). For instance, in September this year a cosmopolitan shopping mall in Kenya was attacked by terrorists that held the country hostage for four days. Local and international media channels used their Twitter accounts to update the world about the progress made by the Kenya Defense Forces and other security departments to rescue the hostages and arrest those that were behind this inhumane activity (Bieller 2009).

Moreover, Twitter debates feature prominently in local and international politics and newsrooms collect their information from this site (Bieller 2009). It is amazing how people react to news events through presenting their dissatisfaction or happiness in their Twitter accounts. Today, all media channels use this account to get responses from their audiences regarding what they present to them. It would have been impossible to know what people think about news items without getting their responses through Twitter and this means that this social website has promoted sharing of information among people from different backgrounds.

Conclusion

The need to have a Twitter account has become a necessity in most homes and learning institutions. There is a quick flow of information from various places through Twitter accounts to other regions and this has ensured that people know what is happening in their society. Learning and research activities have been promoted by this website that allows people to share information about academic discussions. Therefore, Twitter has helped transform the way people communicate and interact without inconveniencing them from doing other activities.

References

Bieller, E. (2009). The Twitter Effect: How to Increase Your Follower Count and Gain Exposure on Twitter. New York: Wiley.

Bilton, N. (2013). Hatching Twitter: A True Story of Money, Power, Friendship, and Betrayal. London: Portfolio Publishers.

Comm, J. (2010). Twitter Power 2.0: How to Dominate Your Market One Tweet at a Time. New York: Wiley.

Flynn, K. (2012). How To Tweet, The Basics: Dos and Don’ts for Using Twitter. New York: Wiley.