Reflections on All I Do Not Know – Twitter

I’m only two-weeks into the course, The Digital Self, and my head is spinning with the realm of this new “networked” life. I thought I knew all about the digital era and social networking sites. Facebook and I go way back. And last week in class, I identified myself as part of “the early majority” of users of the internet revolution. Yet after this week’s reading, I realize the more I learn about the digital world, the more I don’t know. One such example is Twitter. I’ve spent hours this weekend traveling through Twitterland and still remain a bit perplexed. Please tell me that Twitter is more than a giant popularity contest gone viral. You may notice that I’m trying hard to retain the bitterness that I’m still at 12 followers while my fourteen-year-old nephew has over 300.

I digress. I can admit when I am wrong. I’ve learned that Twitter is more than people posting about what they had for lunch. A recent study by GlobalWebIndex reveals that Twitter was the fastest growing social network in 2012. And as organizational sociologist Ronald Burt tells us in our textbook¹, “network brokerage is about building connections across different social circles to provide more exposure.” I am now following 148 people and 98% of those people are connections outside my social circle. Social media may be a new territory for me but it is one I will map out in my destination to be more successful and knowledgeable in my career.

¹Networked: The New Social Operating System, by Lee Rainie and Barry Wellman. MIT Press, 2012.