having coffee

Why do I like Twitter 2022?

Why do I enjoy using Twitter?

“Twitter seems like… if you like your social media “bite-sized”, you’ll enjoy it!” – @comicalgaru 

Here are my follower statistics on different Social Media platforms:

Facebook Friends (345)

Facebook Page followers (80)

YouTube subscribers (289)

Linkedin Connections (547)

TikTok Followers (51)

WhatsApp Conversations (too many)

Website Visitors of (191 unique sessions a month)

Twitter Followers (270)

I joined Twitter in June 2009, just as I completed my last semester of university at Taylor’s Subang. It seemed like a good idea, with short 160-character tweets to summarise your thoughts and rants. Back then, community leaders organised Twestivals or Twitter Festivals. It brought people in the IT stratosphere together and donated money for charitable causes while networking with one another.

Today is 19th November 2022, and it’s GE 15 here in Malaysia. We are voting for our future and for a strong political party to bring us forward. We have made it this far as a country of multiple cultures, religions, and races.

As part of the GE15 preparations, we bought biscuits and beer. If we are forced into an Emergency declaration due to rioting, at least we will be good for a week or so. My friend pointed out to me that last General Election, my father booked a hotel and enjoyed a staycation during that election period. He was afraid of disturbances, so a hotel stay made him feel more secure.

If something really were to happen, he says he will survive in Southern Thailand. We have the skin tone to match the locals and Dad knows enough basic lingo to survive. For me, I told him I will probably fight or die trying. We have to adapt to situations and plant our feet firm on the ground.

Election coverage is best on Twitter. Tonight, while Dad is glued to Bernama and Astro Awani TV channels, and Bro probably checks Facebook and traditional news websites, I will follow Twitter alone. Yeah, I think the best conversations are found on this platform thanks to its concise, succinct, and easy-to digest RSS feed. Ah, speaking of RSS, that’s how it all started. I was on Blogger back in those days, and they had RSS feeds, which strip a website of the extra “weight” and give a fun text-and-image-only hierarchical view of the news and blog posts.

So, do I trust Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp messages? My dad receives plenty of them from his well-meaning friends. Some are observations and speculations, but mostly they consist of scare-mongering and baseless claims from untrustworthy news sources. They call themselves new media, but really they’re just clowns and jokers looking to gain attention. Have you heard of the tongue exercise? Or the “pat-your-shoulders/body” routine which helps blood circulation? They’re not from credible medical journals or reputable outlets. They’re just habits people cultivated over time that they just want others to see as biblical truths!

Before today, the Twittersphere predicted a landslide win for Pakatan Harapan and Anwar Ibrahim’s team. I think this is because most users are urban, university-educated, and liberal. We have to acknowledge the rural folks and those who get handouts and gifts during election times. 

Let’s talk about popularity. Facebook was once the dominant platform for content producers and consumers. We loved scrolling endlessly, looking at posts and pictures of our travels and food. Now, this platform is just filled with scams, beautiful girls in scanty clothes dancing around, and more uninteresting posts. Instagram is still alright, with stories being shared and disappearing after 24 hours. It brings the user back to the platform frequently to check on any happenings.

Depression and anxiety are common as our phones chime every other minute. Often, this distraction makes us unsettled and worried that we will be missing out. In cafes and restaurants, we look at our phones, and play with our Social Media instead of what we are really here for: to meet eye-to-eye with our friends and to collaborate, commune, and interact with each other.

On the subject of security, Facebook and Instagram are well known to follow you wherever you go and track your every click, scroll, and pause. If you pause 0.5 seconds longer than normal on a hot girl picture, the next hour your feed gets filled with hot girl photos. Recent disgruntled Twitter employees did mention the tracking metadata that is collected on this platform as well. So far, the ads are not that intrusive, and I am not too bothered given that it’s a free service.

I like Twitter because the news and information shared on this platform are more mature. It is rare to see emoticons or gifs being used like in WhatsApp, and people who tweet have thought out about what they’re trying to convey. Instagram is the image/photo-based version of Twitter. Come to think of it, I like Instagram too. I can post a 60-second Story or a 10-minute Reel. The platform intelligently loads fast and compresses your images and videos so they play quickly on all networks and devices.

Twitter is not perfect, but if you follow the right trends and hashtags, news can be delivered from the sources you trust in a summarised fashion that’s easy to digest.