Archived Story

Selfies and hashtags

Published 6:01pm Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Social media is changing the way we live, now more than ever.

It became a somewhat recurring theme throughout the graduation cycle this year. I was fortunate to attend three graduation ceremonies in Morgan County and social media was referred to in at least two of the three. I think I remember it being a part of the third ceremony as well, but it wasn’t nearly as pronounced as other ceremonies.

This year, Hartselle’s Robbie Fields and Falkville’s Aaron Estes made social media a part of their speeches. Both took “selfies” during their speeches. I’m not going to criticize or condone their actions. I did think both instances were in good taste.

That being said, it just shows you how much social media has impacted our world, much more so than other traditional forms of media. And I think you even have to consider a website a part of traditional media. (By the way, Associate Press style made us type “Web site” for many years of my career. It came up to date with the rest of the world a few years ago.)

I have to admit, I thought Twitter was a dumb idea when it debuted more than eight years ago. It took me about three years before I finally got one, but over the years, I’ve really found a great value in this social media.

It’s a great way to get instant news or reaction from people around the world. Honestly, I almost enjoy watching live events on TV just as much as I like reading my Twitter feed during those instances.

I have noticed that Hartselle fans use Twitter as a resource for keeping up with games if they can’t attend on their own. During a football game or another major sporting event, I have noticed that the Enquirer always picks up several followers each time I tweet during a game.

And I’ve been told by many that they enjoy getting the in-game tweets so they can keep up with what’s going on.

I have made some mistakes along the way. I do apologize to Jack Waterman because I accidentally tweet his first name as “Hack.” In the heat of the moment, I sometimes throw grammar to the wind to just get the tweet out there in a hurry.

I also enjoy the interaction that you can get from people from time to time. It’s one of the few forms of media where you can actually have direct interaction with celebrities. Where else could you actually be able to send a message to a person and receive an immediate response back from them.

There is negatives out there, but instead of being afraid of social media, we need to embrace it. Regardless of whether we like it or not, it’s here to stay.

I may not post a selfie, but I still enjoy the connection that you can have with people. By the way, follow me at @bmaze.

Brent Maze is the managing editor of the Hartselle Enquirer.

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