Find, and Hurt, Big Brother On Twitter: @BigBrother
First and foremost, the Big Brother being referred to here has nothing to do with the reality show (which, unfortunately, comes up on Google before Orwell’s masterpiece). Now Twitter may be considered to be full of noise/nonsense (I implied something similar regarding the net as a whole in my last post), and has certainly had its share of extremely humorous satire.
Twitter is indeed packed with conversations that you as an individual likely would never care about; but if you search a bit and do adequate filtering, you will discover otherwise. There is a profound advantage to all these conversations going on: when something big happens, a lot of people hear about it and respond accordingly. This is a very, very good thing about Twitter; and a very, very bad thing for those who do not like when people talk freely among themselves (that means you Big Brother).
Twitter Extends Our Eyes and Ears
Again, one does not have to be interested in or hear every conversation to understand the benefits Twitter brings to the world arena.
But you’re wondering: “What do you mean ‘something big’?” That is vague, but I assure you it means more than celebrity gossip. One lucid example is in a prior post from Claudia regarding her experiences with Best Buy. A lot of people heard her complaints—and the complaints of many others—and Best Buy, if it plans to keep itself afloat, must address the burgeoning issues quickly. The messages exchanged are concise and easily spread, and when they are negative toward an organization, that organization better learn to behave itself or face the consequences of an extremely dissatisfied public—something which is never good for business. Twitter is a great medium for many ideas and conversations: it lets them spread far more quickly than previously thought possible. This is why Twitter can be said to be an extension of its members’ senses, for occurrences elsewhere are able to be detected by networked individuals nearly instantly, which gives the people involved an edge over traditional news outlets that, nowadays, seem to be losing their place on the totem pole of information relay.
That Freakin Twitter Bird Can Protect People?
Well, yes, the Twitter Bird certainly can. Take Claudia’s Best Buy experience, but reshape it into a scenario much more dire (no offense Claudia), such as witnessing or being a victim of abuse from either domestic or foreign authorities. A lot of people will want to hear about such happenings, and, very likely, some will have enough pull to do act directly on the matter. Hopefully, the situation is not so bad that a quick tweet is utterly impossible to carry out; however, if the tweet is executed, it will reach many more people than a phone call would (I suppose I’m indirectly advocating mobile devices here too…). The Twitter medium will keep the urgent message nice and loud for a long time afterwards as well, a key factor in its getting acted upon.
So, in essence, when government authorities (or businesses) misbehave, the reactions on Twitter have great potential to bring about a swift redressing of the problems, or at least to make the problems widely known in a nearly instantaneous fashion. Perhaps Twitter is bringing into the world a platform on which the following adage can fully stand: “An attack on one is an attack on all.”
Don’t Limit Your Twitter Experience To Hooking Up With ‘Influential’ People
Have fun on Twitter—that is what it, and nearly all social media, is about. The protection mentioned above is a natural outcome of people linking up and does not really need to be consciously sought. Just think in terms of how many people you know, how many people they know, how many people they know know, and so on and you will have a fine intuitive understanding as to how far crucial news can travel in social media. There are certain disadvantages to the fast acting ability of this rapidly developing digital nervous system (nonsense often travels faster than truth, for example; though hopefully the difference is not as great between them as it is between light and sound), but it is good to know that, now more than ever, we are able to kick back and say to Big Brother:
We’re watching you too, closely.