Those of us familiar with Twitter think of retweeting as simply clicking a button to re-share an article or observation that we find interesting or noteworthy. Sometimes we do this before even completely reading the article. Not me, of course. I try to be more responsible than that.
So, courtesy of this week’s reading assignment in “Spreadable Media,” the reality of Twitter and social media use dropped upon me like the immensity of Simon Cowell’s ego.
With studies showing more and more people getting their news from friends, family and even total strangers via social media, the potential for a news story to spread is immense and powerful. As is, in the case of Susan Boyle, the intimidating potential for an entertainment star to be minted in rapid, supernova-like fashion. We are all the star-makers and news reporters. Through our use of social media, we can influence what makes the headlines in ‘traditional media.’ While at the time considered “timely and disposable” (pg 39), individual tweets about a topic can together form a much larger, global and long lasting impact.
Suddenly, I’m not just one insignificant Twitter user in my mom’s basement retweeting a link, but rather an important part of a new participatory culture that has the power to inform, entertain and influence society on a global scale.