Live-tweeting, in particular, and the whole BCM325 subject, in general, are the uncharted waters I have long avoided due to my quite low-tech self and aversion to sci-fi films. As multi-screens (film screen and Twitter screen) demand high levels of divided attention, I was afraid that these screens would distract me from either enjoying the films or engaging in online discussions with my fellows. Contrary to my initial thoughts, live-tweeting indeed compliments my watching experience. These are evident in the below curation of my comments and reactions during five in-class screenings of BCM325, which I regard as the milestones of my first phase in the subject.
Week 1’s Metropolis (1927) & Week 2’s 2001: A Space of Odyssey (1968)
In the first two weeks, I mainly focused on meeting the minimum requirement (10 tweets and 20 reactions per film) of the “live-tweeting assessment”. Such an emphasis on the quantity of tweets and reactions led to a bombardment of comments about Metropolis. Regarding the second week’s film, I witnessed a decline in the number of my tweets as I was uninterested in the film’s plot. Such a decrease left room for my revision of Twitter usage in the relation to the learning goals of BCM325. I realised that my “monologue” only resulted in single comprehensive conclusions that echoed my satisfaction in shouting-out-loud on Twitter rather than gain new insights from others and engage in discussions with who watched films with me. I then decided to follow more friends and prepare myself to exchange fast words with my BCM325 fellows.
Week 3’s WestWorld (1973) & Week 4’s Blade Runner (1982)
From week three, I began liking and retweeting ideas that I found either thought-provoking or information-rich. I considered these practices as “a warm-up exercise” to familiarise myself with other Twitter users in BCM325. By performing these rituals as frequently as possible, I aimed to have natural communication flows on Twitter with my classmates in upcoming in-class screenings, in which they and I could feel comfortable sharing our perspectives.
My strategy seemed to work as I communicated with more people in week three and week four witnessed high rises in my live-tweeting progress. My tweets reached new peaks of 7 likes and some retweets, which I had never hit before. Looking in those tweets, I think I either attracted others’ attention because of some bizarre insights or I luckily spread words on certain matters more quickly than the like-minded others. However, compared to others’ popular tweets, these numbers appeared unimpressive. The more I thought about those numbers, the more I questioned myself about the meaning of them in my life: whether the virtual values in online communication means the transferability of real values in reality. Thus, at week four, I shifted my focus from “assignment submission” to a study of communication in cybersphere through observation – with my network development on Twitter as a case study.
Week 6’s Johnny Mmemonic (1995) (unfortunately I missed week 5 due to illness)
It was not until week six that I was confident enough to jump in lengthy discussions. Previously, I tended to avoid debates and multilateral conversations because my poor multitasking skills failed to catch up with the hectic paces of films and tweeting, and my reactive cultural traits as an Asians (Dwyer, 2013). At week six, I attempted to upgrade my multitasking skills by employing other modalities than text – such as gifs – to highlight my tweets. Nevertheless, it was difficult for me to keep up with such a practice, leading me to rethink how I should multitask during next screening sessions.
Overall, live-tweeting has helped me to write critically yet more succinctly thanks to its 140 character restriction. By being able to participate in meaningful discussions and applying knowledge gained from BCM325’s lectures of futures themes, I have learned about Twitter’s “netiquette” of interactions and content creation (Deller, 2011) to appraise weekly sci-fi films. Despite my initial pure treatment of live-tweeting as a compulsory assessment, I then began to view it as a digital autoethnography. Regarding further development in my live-tweeting progress, I have set three goals (based on the SMART model) to improve my performance.
|Organise Twitter’s interface for better divided attention||Use TweetDeck – a social media dashboard application|| Can move |
on dashboard to
|From week 8-12|
|Enhance Twitter interactions||Keep track of my Twitter interactions||Use Product Hunt’s Twitter Interactions||Can access a list of latest interactions and plan for maintenance as well expansion of future networks||From week 8-12|
|Improve the quality of tweets||Learn from others reflects and top #BCM325 tweeters||Follow friends studying BCM325 on Twitter to observe||Can boost my media literacy and interpersonal communication skills (online)||From week 8-12|
Dwayer, J 2013, Communication for business and the profession: Strategies and skills, 5th edn, Pearson Australia, Frenchs Forest, NSW.
Deller, R 2011, “Twittering on: Audience research and participation using Twitter”, Journal of Audience & Reception Studies, vol. 8, no. 1, pp. 216-237.
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