For my practicum assignment, I was assigned microblogging and decided to do my research on Twitter. Twitter has recently emerged as one of the most significant ways that we communicate and stay connected with one another…and I have officially jumped on the bandwagon. In order to set up an account on the site, I needed to make a username and password. While you aren’t restricted to using your real name, I decided to do so.
Additionally, I have set my privacy settings to the highest level that is possible on the site. I checked the box to have my “tweets” protected, so they are not publicly visible and only the people who I approve to “follow me” can see them. I chose to have this privacy setting so that I can prevent random people from viewing my posts. Similarly, I also unchecked the box that allows Twitter to add a location to your tweets. I personally find it unsettling that Twitter, as well as other social networking sites, has the ability to know and offer to post your exact location at the time of “tweeting.”
It seems that Twitter gives you more power over what information you are sharing because it doesn’t ask for as much personal information (compared to sites like Facebook that ask for gender, birthdate, schools/companies, etc.), so you can provide as much or a little information as you’d like. While I chose to include my name and a picture of myself for my avatar, I didn’t share any information beyond that. Twitter provides you with a template for your profile, but you get creative control over the content, personal avatar, background design and text colors. Twitter provides several design themes for you to choose from, but they also welcome you to upload a background image and change the design colors to suit and express each person’s individuality.