Journalist turned Twitter addict

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The pressure is always on to spend time on social media. Before this class, even with a professional account, I had no desire to.

Now I’m addicted.

Whenever I’m reading the New York Times, I think “woah, this would be a cool thing to share on Twitter.” I inspect and Google News for stuff that might be interesting. When actually on Twitter, scrolling my life away through an infinite dashboard, I think of what is worth reblogging.

Twitter has over 288 million active users- and I'm in the top half of them. Chart: Statista
Twitter has over 288 million active users- and I’m in the top half of them. Chart: Statista

I keep up because consistency is rewarding. Since I became more active, my follower count jumped by almost 60 and hops around 130. It signals to people, essentially, that you’re both interesting and actually alive. Dead accounts are boring. So despite Twitter having over 288 million active accounts, I’m in the top 44 million with my follower count.


Not too bad, right?

Screen Shot 2015-04-09 at 5.40.22 PMThat being said, I’ve worked on my engagement. I don’t just reblog or post articles, although I often do thanks to involvement on the Stony Brook Independent and boredom. Interesting article plus picture usually equals success for everyone, since engagement goes up nearly five times with a photo. But they always encouraged me.

I humanize myself more. I say good morning (creatively as possible) on the way to class and feature a dramatic picture. I comment on my own life in addition to current events. But I show that I’m not just a journalist and I’m not a machine- I’m a person, trying to make people laugh a little.

Two of the most prominent followers I gained while live tweeting #Oscars2015.
Two of the most prominent followers I gained while live tweeting #Oscars2015.

Live tweeting proved the power of engagement to me quite clearly too.  When I was live tweeting #Oscars2015, I gained two powerhouse followers: DJ Many, with over one million followers, and Daniel Goddard of The Young and the Restless fame. There were plenty of likes around too. The Stony Brook Independent also reblogged a lot of what I posted- it was almost as if I was an entertainment correspondent. Hashtagging that definitely helped.

I always have my phone. But, contrary to what the journalism school wants to believe, I also have a life (sort of). TweetDeck helps me maintain a presence whenever I’m busy. Usually my phone will buzz seconds later because my friend messages me thinking I’m actually online, but that’s a story for another day. She’s new on Twitter (yet has almost half my followers because she comments on big things).

So have I improved? I’d like to say yes. But is there more I can do without becoming partisan and annoying the Republican followers I somehow got by posting politics? We’ll see.

Not like I’m totally addicted yet or anything. 537 tweets is nothing!

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