Twitter – The new school playground?

There are many  views about the world of Twitter. Some love it, others hate it, some are addicted to it, whilst some will will declare it as the downfall of civilisation. Recently Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan said in a TV interview that “social media is the worst menace to society.” He also singled out Twitter as the place where the “best examples of lies can be found.”

A recent blog post worth reading was from Adrian McNeece who wrote about the “The #Absurdity of #Twitter”.  Adrian’s hard hitting thoughts include “I’m now convinced that Twitter is predominantly a channel for celebrities, governments, and corporations to punt their latest offering”

With this in mind, I’ve started to think more about this social network phenomenon  and have decided that the world of Twitter reminds me of the school playground. The school playground of my day was made up  of diverse groups and individuals. So here goes, I would love to see your feedback and I leave you to decide the Twitter eqivalents and where you fit in

The ultra cool kids –  These were the kids who were always at the forefront of any new trend or fashion or music. As soon as it became popular they moved on to something else.

The ‘think they’re ultra cool’ kids – these were the kids that always wanted to be running with the real cool kids but just could not get accepted so they ended up just copying them.

The anti-establishment kids – these were the kids who were against anything that had even a sniff of authority around it.

The ‘clever kids’ – These were the kids who seemed to to excel academically, and used words and phrases that would send you running for your pocket Oxford dictionary when you got back to your desk

The ‘bully’ – Sometimes on their own, sometimes roaming in a group, they picked on others for merely having different views to their own, or even dressing or looking different.

The ‘Victim’ –  The kid who for some reason was picked on by everyone at every opportunity.

‘The secret gang’ – These were the kids who created a world of their own, if others heard them talking they never had a clue what they were going on about. It was designed to exclude others.

The Observer’ – This was the kid who very rarely said anything, but just loved observing what everyone else did, and even thrived on it.

‘The Comedians’ – These kids survived on their wit and humour. They could diffuse difficult situations with great one liners.

The deep thinkers’  These were the kids that didn’t say much, but when they did everyone listened.

The misunderstood kids’ – These were the kids who were just different, and sometimes difficult. Those that took the time to get to know them often found it worthwhile.

The conformist non-conformists’  These were the kids who wanted to be different, and as a result began to look the same and sound the same as each other and weren’t different at all. (There is a great blog reflecting this thought from Neil Usher)

‘The artistic kids’  – With the stroke of a brush or a pencil or a pen, they could capture your thoughts expertly

‘The Knowledge Banks’  – These were the kids who were a fount of knowledge and you could go to them to help you with any academic or non academic issue. In return they would expect practical support when it was needed

The Quasi-Knowledge Banks’ – The kids who thought they knew everything, and they would be believed for a while until they were caught out.

I’ve enjoyed writing these, and I’m sure many of you can think of more ‘types’ in the school playground.  I hope you can see the point I was trying to make, and I would love to hear which group(s) you fall in. The main difference  is that you do have a choice to be in twitter, whereas we didn’t have a choice about being in school. For that fact many of you are truly grateful.

The philosophy of the school room in one generation will be the philosophy of government in the next. Abraham Lincoln

Back to School Again
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About Mark Catchlove

All views are my own
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6 Responses to Twitter – The new school playground?

  1. simonheath1 says:

    Can see myself in more than a few of these groups. However, I tend to cycle through them as the ebb and flow of conversation dictates. Much as we might all prefer not to be put into a particular bracket we all fit a certain demographic more often than not.

  2. Lynn :O) says:

    I fell into the “Who? I don’t remember that person” group. I showed up, did my thing and went home.
    Perhaps that’s why Twitter doesn’t appeal to me. There is nothing in my life worth Tweeting about. I think Twitter is a brilliant form of advertising for those needing to sell something, whether it be themselves or a product. For people such as yourself Mark, and many authors that I am in contact with, you need to “sell” yourself – keep your name out there to the public, in order to sell your product. Twitter is, in my opinion, a useful advertising media.
    It is also great for easy, instant communication with a large connected group. You can get the word out instantly and everyone is on the same page.
    But for those of us with nothing to sell and no group to corral, then Twitter feels a bit narcissistic. Perhaps I feel that way because I never played on the playground.
    Yes, I do enjoy me some facebook. I enjoy it because it is (can be) a two way interaction with more of a personal connection – at least the way I use it. I know some people use it much as they would use Twitter.
    (I didn’t mean for my response to be as long as your blog – sorry)

    • Thanks for your thoughts Lynn. There are both broadcasters and viewers. Some people set up accounts and just follow others. You might want to think of doing that. You have plenty of interesting views by the way!

  3. Meg Peppin says:

    I think the playground stays with us for life, or certainly we can react emotionally from the playground when provoked, under pressure etc.
    My take on twitter? There ain’t no rules, it’s free space, no-one has to do anything they don’t want to. I have found that it is a way to connect with people with shared interests and values. It’s a bottomless well of information too. It works for me, and I’m sure not for others.
    I was blocked recently on twitter; I was quite puzzled, because in general I have found twitter to be a place where great discussions and disagreements often turn into to face to face cups of teas that find space to create the common ground between people. I unfollow people who clutter my timeline with unwanted chatter, and I block spam. One man’s meat…….

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