Before studying Future Cultures (BCM 325), at UOW, I’d had little to no interaction with twitter. As a format I found it kind of pointless, particularly since it was limited to 140 characters. I did have a twitter account, but I’d only made 4 tweets and liked 1. During the 8 weeks of live tweeting I’ve made 157 tweets and liked 216. I can’t say this whole experience has changed my view of twitter to the point where I’ll continue using it in the future, but I can see more value in it than before.
Initially I found live tweeting really difficult: during Ghost in the Shell (1995), I made 11 tweets not one of which was an interaction with other classmates, by the end of Blade Runner (1982) I’d made 24, many of which were comments and discussion with other people. Live tweeting certainly got easier, I even made the comment in week two that (Insert Tweet). The thing that’s difficult about live tweeting is balancing following the screening, with following the twitter feed. It’s very easy to get lost reading comments, tweets and notifications and then miss important details. I experience this a lot when watching Premier League football and following the match threads on Reddit, sometimes you nearly miss a goal or important moment because you were reading comments. With practice it definitely gets easier, when watching football, I listen to the commentary a lot and if they start getting excited look up from Reddit, or if the game’s particularly exciting just ditch Reddit all together until halftime and full time. With live tweeting it was much easier if I’d seen the film before (The Matrix and Blade Runner), but with films I hadn’t seen before, I started to pick my moments to tweet, trying to avoid tweeting during key moments.
In my experience with live tweeting, it was the joke tweets that got the most likes, but I found the discussions with people more valuable. That’s not to say making jokes wasn’t fun, just that it was more interesting to talk about the themes in the film/episode than to constantly make jokes.
I’m now going to break down a few of my tweets from each week:
Week 1 – Ghost in the Shell (1995)
This tweet to me was particularly interesting, because I found the quote to be an though provoking look into how contemporary views can impact the telling/reading of the same story. When we perceive technology as wondrous and mystical we have more positive view of it, as we imagine what it could do. When we fear technology because we do not understand it, we perceive it as a threat to ourselves because we are afraid of what it might do.
This was just a simple reflection upon my first experience with live tweeting. But I feel it’s relevant to show because it marks the starting point.
Week 2 – Westworld (1973)
I like this tweet, because it highlighted a theme I was starting to notice: films that involve robots and cyborgs are often question the reality of what it means to be human. If a guy can’t tell between killing a robot and killing a human, what are the implications on how we should treat robots, and also interact with facilities like Westworld (should they be illegal if they’re simulating murder?)
Just a simple joke tweet, I thought it was a funny character development.
I genuinely think this is difficult to pull off. We’re so used to picking up on, and portraying, “correct” human movement, that for a human to be able to fool us into believing they’re a robot, to me seems impressive.
Week 3 – Johnny Mnemonic (1995)
Unrelated to the screening, but a reflection on the lecture. This was my tweet that had by far, the most interaction. Cyberchase was kids show based around cyberspace.
This is always a fascinating discussion. The rate at which data storage develops is impressive. The fact that 128mb seemed so huge years ago, and now I’ve been looking into multi-terabyte hard drives for video editing.
This was an interesting conversation. I personally think it’s a bit odd to say your brain is hallucinating when in actual fact its doing what it’s meant to be doing.
Week 4 – The Matrix (1999)
This was a really cool video about glass shattering. I don’t know how the VFX team would’ve known this actually happened.
Week 5 – Black Mirror: Be Right Back (2013)
Only 4 people voted, but a unanimous no isn’t surprising. Bringing someone back to life via their social media is a bit uncanny
Week 6 – Robot and Frank (2012)
Another joke. I liked this movie, it was fun positive spin on human robot interaction.
Uncanny Valley is a very interesting phenomenon. I think it must affect people slightly differently. I personally found Robot to be unhuman enough to appear more cute than anything else.
Week 7: Black Mirror: Hated in the Nation (2016)
A very interesting conversation about how we view people who we only interact with via screen based mediums. A username and a thumbnail receives less respect than the person who it represents would in a face to face context. This is wrong, but no one really seems to acknowledge that.
This is an instance where the retweeting function worked well. I could expand upon a post someone else had made, and together we could build a bigger picture.
Week 8: Blade Runner (1982)
This is something I think is becoming increasingly relevant as we move towards very text based communication. Yes text is far more convenient, because we can send and receive information when convenient. But instant emotional feedback is lost, we almost treat each other as robots, interacting purely through technology. If we completely cut out face to face human interaction I think we’d lose a significant part of our humanity. Video chat is a happy medium, it allows for this face to face communication whilst providing a technological boost which can allow face to face communication to happen anywhere anytime.