A little birdie once tweeted… - Carmi Heyman
Twitter jargon has become part of our everyday lingo. It’s hardly surprising. For growing numbers of people, Twitter is the main way to connect with the rest of the world. No further than your cellphone screen, an unlimited world awaits full of interesting facts, opinions, news and jokes that intrigue us and keeps us scrolling down for more. People talk about “news at the speed of Twitter”. Which raises the question: does traditional media still have a role in our lives? Last week’s Carte Blanche confirmed what we have suspected: for many students, like @portia_hlubr and @jdjadela, ‘social media has become my newspaper, my magazine. It’s so instant, it’s here it’s now.’ The moment students enter a lecture hall, the Blackberries and iPhone’s emerge to provide them with their daily dose of tweets.
The Oscar Pistorius bail application brought Twitter to the fore for many of us. Barry Bateman, a journalist for Eyewitness News, became a minor celebrity with his running commentary on Twitter of proceedings. ‘#OscarPistorius has his head in his hands, a white tissue in his right hand. Nair continues rolling with a list of assets‘. Like many other minute-by-minute tweets, he kept the world of social media up to date with what was happening during the court proceedings. Many were outraged by the granting of bail, as Saturday Star informed. Thusi, one of Reeva’s friends tweeted – ‘Is this a joke?’ The next day, students would only pick up the newspaper to catch a glimpse of the photos taken at the scene, and then put them down. Convenient, is it not?
So what’s this Twitter phenomenon all about? Every day, 340 million tweets are posted, according to the statistics mentioned on Carte Blanche. Suddenly it seems that every person has a “meaningful” opinion that needs to be known: from what they had for breakfast to feeling their make-up smudging. To use the lingo: #notimportant #getagrip.
But not everyone seems to realise the...