It was a hot summer day in June of 2008, when I was invited to a gathering of Bloggers, when I first made the plunge of jumping on board the Twitter bandwagon. I never really thought much of it before that day, and even afterwards, as it never gained instant appeal with me, but I kept it going nonetheless, posting the odd Tweet now and then and using it to alert fellow bloggers that I posted. As time went by, my twitter avatar would make a tweet every couple of days announcing a post on my blog, but I never really turned on my account to see the tweets of those of whom I followed. I think I had maybe 10 people that I followed at that time. But the emails would periodically pop up alerting me that I have “so and so” following me. I never paid that much attention to it at that time.
I was still an undergrad, well into my third year, in the summer of 2010, when I took a class in Business Communications. About five weeks into the course we were on the topic of social media, and how the Internet was the tool for business people, and those who are connected, use programs like Twitter when communicating. In fact the prof proclaimed that this was the new tomorrow, the next wave, the new generation of how things are moving, and that we needed to be prepared for it, and take full advantage of it, as this will be the age of communication hence forth!
Now back in June, 2008, at that blog meet-up, I was already sold on the usefulness of Tweeting, but I was so consumed with my classes, work and personal affairs that tweeting was the last thing on my mind. Tweeting and blogging, I thought, were virtually the same thing. I heard that Twitter was just micro blogging, so I was satisfied with just focusing on posting to my webblog instead as my site was well into its sixth year, and tweeting was, in my mind, just an extension of that. I thought that I was far more intelligent that writing 140 character posts was beneath me.
From my Communication’s class, the prof, Bob Basil, showed us the ways of social media. It was not until that day that I really jumped on the Twitter bandwagon and started tweeting. In hindsight, I had already jumped on board, started the ball rolling, but never really ran with it until that summer day in a hot and sweaty class at Kwantlen Polytechnic Universality.
Since then, Tweeting has shifted my life. Whether for good or for worse, I have started running with Twitter, as it has made me keep in touch with with old friends, and gained me many more. It has gotten me involved in a whole host of new adventures. It has drawn me down new paths that I would not have ventured down in my old life, and it has made me more proactive in social circles that I otherwise would not have entered into before.
Student politics is my latest adventure. Sadly, my days as a student are at a close, and I leave behind many fond memories, and many new friends from my time as a student. But I always felt that there was something missing from those days while being a student. As a mature student, I sort of had this opinion that the affairs of mainstream student activities should be left for, well dare I say it, the students. The problem was that I never really looked at myself as a student. I started my degree well into my thirties, so the joys of youthfulness and discovery were, in my mind, totally different than had I been, say, in my twenties. So entering into politics was, well, foolish in my mind. It was not until I was in my fourth year that a fellow student who was majoring in journalism pointed out to me that one of the student reps at that time was in his mid thirties, and that older students have held office before in their history. So, as a student, I would have qualified. Nothing like kicking myself in the butt now, eh?
So Twitter has allowed me to peer into this murky world of student politics. Although I sit on the sidelines, I seem to have a window into it from the vantage point of using Twitter, as if I am right there, hands on. Through Twitter, I have met some of the students who are in office today. And with the closing of the most recent elections, I have had a chance to get to know some of the new candidates in student politics, as some of the candidates have used Twitter to launch their platform with.
My modus operandi of Twitter has been to find everyone who is part of Kwantlen Polytechnic University and follow them. So whenever I see someone posting a tweet using “Kwantlen,” in it, I add them to my Follow list, and hopefully, if they are active, I try to interact with them, increasing the size of my social circle. So far, it has reinvigorated my relationship with my University, even though I am now only connect to it through the alumni.