The first month of 2020 is coming to an end. Many things happened, but somehow I managed to get all the information that I needed to get by seizing the day and making a solid use of social media. Let’s be real. As a college student and as a millennial, not many of us have got time to read multiple newspapers in the kitchen table while having breakfast. Some of us don’t even have access to a cable tv in their rooms. Is there a way then to keep it up with the news, to be fresh and up-to-date with the world before 9 am? It is possible. It’s a matter of being skilled in skimming and scrolling.
Journalists from all over the world use Twitter as their main platform to share, keep, and learn news. Depending on their status and age, some journalists will still enjoy reading a newspaper before and after their 9 to 5 jobs. However, the digital has taken over this practice on a larger scale and the benefits are mostly related to the time factor: you get easier and faster access to the news via your laptop, smartphone, or even watch. You’ll get more for less time. The beauty to pass your fingers between the pages of a newspaper has become a luxury, rather than an old practice. It is in fact more expansive to purchase print than digital. Therefore, social media are fundamental tools with which journalists can be on fleek on knowing everything and everyone in the news. You just have to be punctual and specific in your spectrum of choice.
How can I make the best use out of Twitter? First of all, do we all know what Twitter is? Twitter is a microblogging social media platform where users can share thoughts and multimedia content – images and videos – under a limit of words (280 characters max). Journalists, PR people, politicians, and Hollywood occupy most of the space on Twitter. I like Twitter because it’s a great writing exercise for journalists. The word limitation forces you to be precise and smart in how you want to phrase your post. Every thing posted (tweets) looks like a scream to the void, but once you’ve built a community, Twitter users are generally more engaged and present in what you express and show off online.
Since I made vows to myself in not using social media in a wasteful way, I’d like to share with you the advantages, disadvantages, and the people I follow on Twitter. As a journalism student, creative, fashion-lover, and polyglot, my Twitter audience is pretty broad and includes different kinds of contents.
Pros: Twitter, like any social media, can be pretty much addictive. When I first got it, I didn’t understand the gist of it, not even the fun. Then I learned how to tweet, what to tweet, what was my intention, and after building a network of following and followers I started having fun. Twitter is probable my favourite social media app on my phone and site on my computer tabs. It’s both an educative and fun app to possess.
Cons: there’s a limitation of words that you can type in every post you’d like to publish. That sucks, but from a journalist point of view it actually pushes you to be more and more concise and clear in what you want to say in your message. The engagement at the beginning seems off, but if you’re a first user you gotta just wait a bit, find your interests and some people you like, and you’ll start your fun.
You can find different kinds of audiences on Twitter. Given my background, I tend to follow Italians, Brazilians, and Americans. I do follow many users and pages from different countries too, but most of my concentration rotates around these three countries and cultures. I’d say that for the Americans, most of my niche is composed of African Americans, Caribbean people, or American immigrants. That’s because I like reading stories and comments from minorities, since my interest is also social activism. Hispanic countries have a great weight on my feed too. Most of Twitter users I interact with are from the USA or the UK too. Many Africans, specifically Nigerians and South Africans, are part of my network too.
When it comes to fashion journalism, we have to distinguish what kind of audience and market are we looking inside the editorial/publishing/media worlds. There are bloggers. There are the influencers – who can be viewed as op-ed content creators, journalistically speaking -, and then the journalists. Among the latter group I tend to follow many editors from different magazines and publishing organizations, so that I can get more detailed information and marketing content.
The photography community is rising more and more. The photo-quality on Twitter is becoming better and much more crispier, with clear hues and sharp colors. I follow many photographers because I give a huge attention to digital visuals and usually they are artists, writers, and performers too. It’s fun to see what they think. You can witness some kind of cultural anthropology among them, since they are so diverse and full of ideas, all the time.
I don’t like only writing about fashion. My second favorite topic to write about is music and Twitter is the best tool with which I can find new artists, their information, and their fans. I can learn a lot from Twitter celebrities and their fans. Same goes to politicians. It’s all a mish mash of words – some make sense, others not much: it’s your job to skim what is relevant, fact check, and give the right importance according to what you believe in. With time, this long almost tedious process will become a routine and you’ll find yourself being a news junkie of everything, with your own opinion and mindset. Twitter is almost a lifestyle. Look at the power of Twitter!
I allocate my time also in following motivational pages, whose constructive messages challenge my thinking and make me rest at the same time. This is the case of iamdatfeminist, for example. Just look at her page. She deals with heart problems, romanticism, and divine femininity. As a young woman on my own in the big apple, where I sometimes might get in my feelings, a page like this to read before going to bed or in the morning before starting the day and even reading the news, puts me in a great mood 24/7. I also allow myself to follow my friends too, because… they’re funny and we’re in the same boat in sharing our fears and emotions on a daily basis.
Twitter is a journalistic app, but also an app of the heart. More than Instagram, it makes me focus on my work as well as distress from my work. There’s some magical algorithm on Twitter that makes it all balanced, lowkey.
That’s all for today. Now excuse me, I’ll tweet this article on my feed.