Friday, May 22, 2009

Got Twitter ? : Confessions of a Social Network Addict

Let’s face it, the world is turning into one big social network. Being an ardent procrastinator, social networks are heaven-sent. They are the perfect way to while away time you do not have on the internet. Anyway, here is a quick tour of my social distractions:

1. hi5 = Well, I must confess I left this one a couple of years ago but in its heyday, hi5 was the best thing since sliced bread. Nowadays if you send someone a Hi5 request you may risk being accused of being "colo" (ancient/behind the times)

2. Friendster = I must have logged onto my friendster account like once. This is (or was??) similar to hi5 but seemed to be more popular among Americans.

3. Facebook = the undisputed ruler of the social networks..I just became friends with someone from primary school whom I have not seen in 20 years it is that cool.

4. MySpace = incessant references to MySpace especially in the media made me want to get my own space. Well, I got one and still don't know what it is all about!

5. LinkedIn = this is a supposed to be a social network for professionals…So if you feel you are too serious for any of the afore-mentionned networks. LinkedIn is the place to be. I find that it is the perfect let-me-show-off-my-CV social network!

6. Google Blogger = Home of Ramblings of a Procrastinator in Accra, need I say more..

7. Twitter = Finally, we arrive at my latest addiction. Well, I consider myself a semi-addict since I’m still not sure exactly how it works

I joined Twitter a couple of months ago. I think it was around the time that there was that plane that landed in the Hudson River in New York City. Apparently the news was all over Twitter but was yet to reach any mainstream media outlets. At first I felt I had to have an iphone or at least be able to get Twitter updates (known as “Tweets”) to my mobile phone to really participate . To some extent I still think that is still true.

What is Twitter anyway? It is basically a network that revolves around updating the question “what are you doing now” but you are restricted to 140 characters. Anyone on facebook would recognize that Twitter is like a social network entirely devoted to updating your status!

At first I used to update my Twitter status every couple of weeks and did not see the point. I also did not know that Twitter was open-access so the whole world could see that I was contemplating going to the beach, planning escape routes, craving fufu and groundnut soup . It was only last week that I discovered the SEARCH button and topic trends on Twitter and really became hooked!

The topic trends basically tells you the hottest topics on twitter. So I clicked on Grey’s Anatomy. Indeed, everybody was buzzing about the Season finale of my show. Unfortunately, some Twittering twit ruined everything for me by updating their status with the earth-shattering events that ended the season. @#$#@% B#$!

Of course the mainstream media has finally caught up with the Twitter craze and you can follow CNN, BBC programmes on Twitter. So lets say you are a fan of BBC World Have your say like me and have some sort of contribution, if it is less than 140 characters, you can tweet it. They are usually good about reading out tweets during live broadcasts. Early Monday morning this past week, there were quite a few people tweeting that the Tamil Tiger leader, Velupillai Prabhakaran was dead. I checked the BBC and there was no news there. Lo and behold, in a couple of hours it finally hit the BBC.

If you are a celebrity fanatic, you can follow Oprah, Richard Branson, Ashton Kutcher, Mitt Romney on Twitter and find out what they are doing. Still not sure why anyone would want to know what Mitt Romney is doing at any time of the day! User be warned, some of these celebrity profiles are fake.

One thing I've noticed is that there are a lot of Ghanaians on Twitter but it seems that there are very few people Twitter-ing out of Ghana. Of course if you happen to do a Ghana search on Twitter right now the topic on everybody’s lips appears to be:

“Obama's coming to Ghana!”


Omo Oba said...

hm funny u wrote about this because I talked about this in a journal not too long ago, from the more pessimistic side tho. I still dont understand the madcrze for twitter, it is beyond me. I think it is even more popular among celebrities and the media than it is among everyday folks. Will check the search and topic trend icons out.

posekyere said...

Twitter all the way!
I still haven't discovered the social network medium that really rocks my boat.
I am expecting too much, perhaps?
One thing though, I really don't want my cellphones taken over by incessant messages from chaps I don't know.
So I am keeping it to my laptop.

Abena said...

You are soo right Omo Oba! There is probably more hype around Twitter than actual users!

Abena said...

Really Posekyere? Facebook does not do it for you? I think it is not exciting as it was for me at first but I still love it!
Interestingly, Twitter does not work on mobile phones in Ghana which (I agree with you) may be a good thing..

Nana said...

I am a social media addict too and spend more time than I should on FB, Twitter, Blogger and lately Gatorpeeps (The Afrigator version of twitter). The good thing is as a Communications Professional I can claim it is all in the name of work/research/knowing what the latest social media is.

Long live procrastination!

Abena said...

*LOL* I like that Nana; "more time than I should" on social networks is something that I can totally relate too. At least you have a work justification for it ;)
Long live Procrastination indeed!!!
Oh and Many Thanks for providing me with yet another procrastination outlet...will definitely have to check out Gatorpeeps!

Oluniyi David Ajao said...

Facebook is certainly the market leader today. Matter of fact, I'd close my Hi5 now. It's too archaic.

Abena said...

Indeed David, there is something very archaic about hi5 while facebook just continues to be untouchable.