Twitter: new online networking epidemic

By Liz Garrett
April 2, 2009

Megan Pellegrino

The Twitter phenomenon is quickly finding its way into the professional as well as social lives of Cabrini students. Cabrini seniors are posing the question of whether Twitter’s popularity has defeated the Facebook frenzy, which has been an object of obsession in social networking for years. Students are claiming that Twitter’s appeal is mainly due to its ability to help students in publicizing themselves to the outside world.

“Employers can see what you’re twittering since so many people in the corporate world are using it,” Andy Stettler, senior English and communication major, said. “Students are really looking to get their names out there to future employers.”

The benefits of Twitter greatly outweigh those of Facebook, according to Cabrini seniors. There is no limit to what people can do when using their Twitters.

“There are definitely many seniors using Twitter,” Stettler said. “They like to advertise their multimedia pieces and articles.”

Nicole Osuch, senior English and communication major, is also finding herself caught up in the advantages of having a Twitter. She enjoys how Twitter gives her the opportunity to see what is going on at any moment with the Tweets she follows.

“It is our generation’s obsession for checking up on what others are doing whenever you want,” Osuch said. “When I tell my friends outside my major about Twitter, they think it is ridiculous.”

Stettler points out that he follows teachers’ Tweets because they tend to post information to do with classes he is taking. He also follows politicians such as Barack Obama, John McCain and Joe Biden.

“Twitter filters out all of the nonsense of Facebook,” Stettler said. “It is a simpler way to communicate with politicians and celebrities. They take Twitter much more seriously than Facebook.”

Osuch considers Twitter to be great for communication students trying to keep up with news. She recalls reading newspaper Web sites, now she just goes to Twitter because the newspapers update their posts constantly. “It changed the way I read my news,” Osuch said.

“I also follow the Tweets of a few public relations and advertising industry experts, which is a good way to keep up with industry trends,” Osuch said.

According to Stettler, Twitter is useful for posting whatever people are interested in, such as YouTube videos and news stories.

“There are no rules with Twitter,” Stettler said. “The people following you are interested in what you have to say, and that’s what makes Twitter useful.”

Osuch also uses SEPTA’s Twitter page to look up train schedules for her commutes. She says that Twitter gives people the chance to post about more serious and personal ideas, unlike Facebook statuses.

Megan Pellegrino, senior English and communication major, feels that Twitter must be used properly in order to get the most out of it. She points out how her mother disagrees with her use of Twitter because of how simple it is for people to abuse the network. Pellegrino argues that some people who use Twitter do not understand the concept of it, and that there is both a proper and improper way to use it.

“I look at it as a very professional tool,” Pellegrino said. “I went to conference sessions that taught me how to use Twitter right, which is to network with people in your field. It is about posting what you know, what you found out and then what you are doing.”

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Liz Garrett

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