The Twitter Cult

We now live in a world of social media, as nearly 30% of the human population is on some sort of social media platform. Most popular are Facebook (older generation), Snapchat (younger generation), and Instagram (mixed). However, a niche social media platform– Twitter– is only used by 21% of people on social media. Of that 21% the overwhelming majority say they spend the largest proportion of their social media time on Twitter. There are many factors as to why, including Twitter increasingly becoming a news source and the concept of becoming “Twitter Famous”.

In this day and age the polarization of politics has never been more severe, and many notable world leaders have the power to spread their agendas digitally. Perhaps most recognizable is United States President Donald Trump.

Trump tweets several times a day with no staff assistance from his personal account to further his political agenda. The extent of this high-profile political social media usage has never been done before, and has ushered in an era of heated political debate and further polarization on Twitter. Trump’s controversial messages and activity has positioned him at the center of the Twitter universe, and fashioned his account into a 24/7 news source. He consistently gets tens of thousands of “likes” and “retweets” on his tweets, and in turn ramped up the Twitter activity of fellow world politicians, both his supporters and opposers. This led to Twitter users becoming more dependent on the platform as a news source– and for many their main news source– because of its easy accessibility and increased worldwide political involvement.

Before the political storm Twitter was– and still is– a personal social media platform. Many ordinary users have become “Twitter Famous” by tweeting videos, memes, jokes, or relatable statements that appeal to mass audiences on Twitter.

Every day, a tweet from an ordinary or non-verified user explodes for thousands or even hundreds of thousands of likes and retweets. Part of this is the appeal of Twitter, because no one really knows what tweets will take off in that manner. However, some entire accounts have become “Twitter Famous” because of consistent content that appeals to the masses, and gains the everyday people who run the accounts notoriety throughout all of Twitter.

The pursuit of becoming “Twitter Famous” keeps many users checking their feeds and constantly attempting to compose a tweet or tweets that spread like wildfire across the platform.



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