Twitter is like “The Matrix”; very difficult to describe in theory and full of people with funny names.
But I will give it a shot.
I was introduced to the concept of connecting with people on the internet in 1997 at a time when various internet chat-rooms were available; each room had a topic, Film, Literature, Education, Politics etc.
I found it somewhat addictive and enjoyed quite a few conversations with these faceless voices. Eventually I was put off by the disconnected nature of these sporadic on-line relationships. It did not help that, no matter which room you chose, a large amount of people turned out to be lonely warped sex addicts or other voices only looking for an argument.
A decade later, when Twitter came along, I found the concept of one massive self- moderated chat-room very appealing.
Twitter is about starting or taking part in conversations, it is about sharing information and having a laugh, it is a unique way to meet new people with similar or even different viewpoints, it is about keeping up with any interest you may have on a real time basis, it is all these things and more. Twitter is whatever you want it to be.
But above all Twitter is about being transparent, everything you do and say on Twitter can be used for and against you.
Curating @ireland Twitter Account
@ireland had just over 10,500 followers when I was handed the reins for a week in November 2012. It is taken over by a different person (curator) each week.
Tweeting from my own account ( at the time 1,000+ followers), when I am not just being cheesy, I have to put a good deal of thought into getting a required response but with @ireland when I tweeted an innocuous question I received anything from 10 to 20+ replies.
The entertaining followers of @ireland want to chat. I found them to be Irish people living at home and abroad as well as foreigners with Irish roots or people who are interested in Twitter engagement. So I answered or acknowledged as many of the followers as I could. I had to come up with different topics to talk about throughout the week. We covered literature, movies and various topics relating to Ireland. I also posted up links I thought would inform and amuse.
If you are chosen to curate @ireland you must be aware that it is partly because you are an individual and partly because you are Irish. As well as talking about subjects you enjoy yourself you are also representing your country and must be aware of the pulse of the particular week when you are in charge.
Halfway through my week the tragedy of Savita Halappanavar’s death broke in the world’s media. Even though I had decided to stay away from political issues; it was a serious and sensitive topic which I could not ignore.
This made the week important and poignant as well as incredibly interesting, enlightening, challenging, discursive and surprisingly exhausting.
I was honoured that a percentage of the people I had interacted with throughout out the week followed me back to my own account.
As for Twitter being like “The Matrix”?
I’ll take the red pill every time.
If you are interested in curating @ireland you will find all about it here.