Tarleton and Twitter: a two-sided story

By Kandace Willett, Katy Thomas & Allison Sulivant – 

Students all over the world are on Twitter and Tarleton students are no different. They follow twitter users ranging from celebrities to school organizations. At Tarleton, there are many tweeters representing organizations and departments within the university. Although these tweeters can furnish students with useful information and a positive influence, there are several parody tweeters that do more harm than good for school spirit.

Unfortunately, students new to Tarleton may find these tweets to be accurate representations of life at Tarleton. Prior to coming here, students may search social media sites to find out about life at their soon-to-be new home. If their first impression of life at Tarleton is affected by one of these parody tweeters, it could result in a misjudgment by the student of how to fit in at Tarleton.

Examples of Twitter accounts currently falling into this parody category are:

  • @Tarleton_Issues
  • @0scar_P
  • @TSUduckProblems

Yvonne Mulhern, a board member of the Texas Social Media Research Institute, said, “I think the official accounts are a good representation of Twitter. The unofficial ones are popular with students. However, these accounts sometimes use foul language and make references to sex and alcohol, so they could give outsiders a negative view of Tarleton.”

One of the tweets that reinforce Mulhern’s view was posted by one of the parody tweeters during the first week of school.  It read, “Drinking beer before 3 in the afternoon #TSUduckProblems.”

Not all Tarleton parody tweeters are negative, however. Some tweeters promote school spirit and post positive things about the university which can be useful in building morale and pride in Tarleton.

Examples of these positive parody accounts are:

  • @HeyOscarP
  • @TarletonRocks

These tweeters also seem to have more of a connection with students and promote Tarleton spirit through the use of hashtags that encourage student involvement. A tweet that was posted from one of these accounts during the first week of school read, “What was your favorite thing about the first week of school at #TarletonState? Tell us about it #Tarleton16 class! #TarletonFamily.”

Social media can be a great way to keep up with school activities and organizations; however, students should take care that tweeters that are followed are legitimate and not just a parody intended to make fun of the institution.

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