BY: NADIA ZAIDI
I hate Twitter. Yes, I know I’ve spoken against the gospel of social media, but it’s my opinion and I own it.
I respect the revelation it’s ignited, paving the ability to instantaneously share breaking news and enabling global participation and connectivity.
Indeed, Twitter has catapulted the rise of citizen engagement and social movements; its immediacy is both a driving force for participators and consumers alike.
The caveat of Twitter’s influence is its unintentional platform for hate speech. It’s a double-edged sword. The bad often outweighs the good, placing power into the hands of web trolls or haters. Many public influencers have disconnected in the quest to retreat from shaming.
Is the tweet losing its appeal?
With a rumoured take-over, major technology investors including Alphabet Google, Apple, and Disney seem to have lost interest in acquiring the ten-year-old company. At it’s current worth of $12 billion, Twitter has struggled with diversifying its user base and lost over half-a-billion dollars last year.
Twitter’s relevance seems to have reached its peak, with the rising popularity of Snapchat and Instagram. Perhaps its appeal has faded into complacency with what it offers and stands for.
One of the biggest paradoxes of Twitter is that it forces us to have opinions for the sake of opinions. We may face pressure to engage online simply because it’s the thing to do. Once something trends in the Twitter world, it facilitates selective sensitivity towards hashtag-trending issues.
Only 15 per cent of the billion Twitter users actually post to the site. How impactful is our engagement if we’re not actually engaging? If most users are bystanders, how responsive – and effective – is citizen engagement?
I think Twitter’s influence goes as far as reaching the masses. If you are a regular person with a limited follower-base, it almost seems like you are preaching to your inner circle.
Perhaps it’s time to bury the Twitter hatchet and say goodbye to the 140 word post phenomena that was once a social media novelty. Maybe we just need a better, more evolved platform of engagement.