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Fun, debate, both worth 'following'
The more I engage with social media, the more fascinating I find other users. One of the best examples is perhaps Noey Rakloke (Noey Loves the Earth), whose Twitter account @NoeyZupermarket has drawn more than 100,000 followers in three weeks.
When I first started tweeting in 2009, I did not expect it to become such a phenomenon. I began using Twitter and Facebook out of sheer curiosity. I developed a liking for Twitter, because it kept me up to date with news, while Facebook helped me find long-lost friends and build a new social circle.
Then, as a journalist, I began sharing articles, photos and videos on Twitter. Initially, this was meant to be part of my job, but I ended up getting hooked.
Maybe I should give credit to @iPattt, who taught me how to make the most of "Twit Phop" (Twitter world). He was obviously correct when he said that I would start having a lot of fun, even get addicted, when I developed a "following". Well, that is partly true, because I also have a lot of fun following others.
Like many other Tweeple, I start the day checking out tweets from mainstream and alternative media. I also spend time finding out what my Facebook friends are "sharing". In fact, checking out Twitter and Facebook has become a part of my life.
Previously I only used to tweet facts, but later I allowed myself to become more personal. Now I make comments and get into chats. I even forward some requests and announcements on my Facebook timeline.
Keeping up with other people's opinions does add spice to life. For instance, comments from Noey make one wonder if the person behind them is just being playful or if it is a marketing ploy. Surely messages like "Nong Noey does not eat vegetables because it involves cutting down trees" will make you wonder if he/she is just being ironic or launching an extreme green campaign.
Regardless of whether I agree with the messages, I have realised that many people on the social media like to ruffle feathers, while many others just like to "follow" silently. Some people use the medium to present their true selves, while others use it to create new identities.
Then there is the thrilling political divide and ideological split in Thailand. Every day I find myself in a war zone, with each side using new tactics to counter statements or attacks from the other side.
Though this verbal war can be cruel sometimes, it is clear that neither side can stay alive without the other. Also, you and I, friends and foes have to interact to keep social-media alive. Observing this virtual society and recognising its links with real life can be fascinating.
I shall be "sharing" this space with my colleague Asina Pornwasin (@lekasina) every other week and hope all of you look in to read our thoughts about the cyberworld.