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May 29, 2014

Black Twitter

Social media is currently dominating our society today. This portable, handheld device called the iPhone has totally changed the way the world communicates. There is almost an app for anything you can think of. For my generation, I would say the most popular apps and social media sites are Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. I want to focus specifically on Twitter.

Who would have imagined that one 140 character message, better known as a “tweet”, would become so popular. Twitter has become a place where people express their thoughts and even discuss their every move. Because this can get a little excessive, users have the option to follow who they desire. Within this twitter world, there are different “communities” per se.  These communities are usually based upon the twitter accounts that a user is following. This could range from celebrities, health magazines or musicians. I didn’t realize this before but there is something called “black twitter”. Yes, this does exist.

Black twitter is a virtual community that focuses on the issues surrounding the black community. Black twitter really made its presence during the George Zimmerman trial and the Paula Dean incident. Within this community, there is no limit on when an issue has been discussed for too long. If the topic is of a great concern to the black community, believe that it will be discussed. This could go on for days or even weeks. As a black man, I feel that my people utilize black twitter because that’s where our voices are heard. Sometimes hiding behind a computer screen or a mobile device gives people more freedom to speak what is on their mind without any accountability. This is where we as a people go astray. Needless to say, one’s online presence has the capacity to either hurt or help people in many ways. Employers are now checking twitter sites to see what type of conversation their future employees are having. Even though some argue that twitter is a means of “free speech”, in all reality how free is your speech if you’re being judged by it. I understand that within black twitter, African Americans feel free to voice their concerns. I would just be mindful of what I post on twitter because you never know who may be watching. 





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In Partnership with: Poole College of Management, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, National Science Foundation, Penn State

Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.
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