This week, we participated in a Tweetorial as a part of the course. These weeks always come with a bit of dread because I’m not a fan of Twitter. I find the platform chaotic and rude. Rarely, have I opened Twitter and after 20 minutes of scrolling metaphorically walked away enlightened, happy, or relaxed.
I also find the notifications quite distracting throughout the day because in comparison to others like Instagram that often just tells ‘here’s some new accounts to follow’, Twitter notifications have a different sense of urgency and thought weight associated to them.
In this context, I decided to track my actual and emotional engagement with the platform this week. The question I was asking myself was even if I didn’t receive a notification, was I still thinking about Twitter.
The image above represents my week in 7 lines with Monday being the first and Sunday the last. The four horizontal lines divide the day up into 6 hour chunks, the bottom being from 00:01 – 06:00.
- Blue represents a received notification
- Purple represents reading content in Twitter
- Turquoise represents engaging (i.e. liking, retweeting, or responding)
- Yellow represents any time I found myself thinking about Twitter or the activity
Note: I concluded the activity around the time I started writing this blog post and turned off all notifications from Twitter again.
There was little activity on Monday as I read about the Tweetorial late in the evening when checking the course website. The week was quieter as well sine the activity itself had finished, but I had forgotten to turn off all Twitter notifications, so they were still popping up on my phone.
The middle of the week has the most activity as I opened the app every evening to engage with the question posed. What I found was that it took quite some time to read through the tweets from classmates to see what was happening in the conversation prior to engaging with the question myself.
The notifications themselves came in at any time dependent on other student activity and any other ‘older’ notifications that I had set up before creating a new Twitter account for the course. Enabling the notifications opened a can of worms as I had no memory of what I’d previously set up and as a consequence became very distracted as the flood of notifications was constant.
To answer my question – I was thinking about Twitter often throughout the week. This occurred as I saw notifications pop up on my phone, but also when ‘nothing’ was happening. I would think back to a particular response, or if I had anything else to add to the conversation.
For example, if a student is thinking about a video watched and has a conversation about it outside of the platform, how would the teacher (or data collector know) if this was not recorded in the platform? They would only have access to the fact that the student watched the video, how many times they watched it, and if they answered any questions, commented, etc about. Nothing outside of the platform would be tracked, yet that doesn’t mean the student is not learning while engaging in the outside conversation.