An Inside Look at a Branson Senior’s Twitter
By Amanda Douglas and Aidan Linscott
Social media is a communication platform that is constantly changing what we share and how we share it. It is ubiquitous among millennials, even beginning to expand into the lives of young kids, but everybody uses it in their own way. In this series we will take a closer look into the social media lives of Branson students to understand if their social media presence is a reflection of their true self or someone else entirely.
Over the past few weeks, we have been privy to one of the most enlightening and breathtaking springs of information in the whole of the Internet. Pure wisdom flows forth from this fountain of youth in glistening waves of information, updates, hashtags, and the occasional emoji or two…or five. Behold, o’ literate soul, our friend, the majesty that is Avani Bahl’s Twitter account.
Avani Bahl is one of the co-editors in chief of this newspaper and, as you will discover, a huge fan of G-Eazy. Avani’s Twitter name, although recently updated, has read “lil nacho” for the past week. To a random individual stumbling across her account, the name might seem nonsensical. However, Avani gave us an inside perspective on the username and its actual importance. The name was a creation of a G-Eazy “group chat on Twitter,” where her friends adopted the names “lil cheeto” and “lil frito.” Although the names themselves have little apparent meaning, Avani’s explanation gives insight into how she uses social media to foster connection between her and her friends instead of creating a false persona for others to view. The Twitter names were created to have a sense of unity, companionship, and fun for people that liked G-Eazy. “Twitter is fun because it’s not serious and you can express yourself in a group of people that you’re comfortable with and that don’t judge you,” Avani explained.
For Avani, Twitter is a platform where she can express her love for G-Eazy in a light-hearted, informal manner. It also creates a space where she can vent about her feelings to a small community. She wrote, “I like how g takes pics on every fake fan’s phone or holds their hand while he completely ignores day ones :(,” meaning that day one fans like her are sometimes pushed aside by the masses. Occasionally, Avani’s account sports an inspirational quote, such as: “fake it til ya make it” and “You gotta prove them wrong,” reflecting another way Avani uses her Twitter to share her current mood with her followers. Here are a few other Tweets from her account:
“When g retweets pics of you…”
“When all u want is to touch Gerald’s leg”
“Low key touched g’s butt tonight and I’m not even sorry.”
Because Twitter can be such a relaxed way to communicate for Avani, she can present herself in a more authentic way. Avani says, “my Twitter feed is somewhat representative [of me]. It’s the funny side of my personality.” She feels as though she can be her genuine self on Twitter, expressing parts of her personality people may not realize through a conversation with her, such as her humor and taste in music. At least for Twitter, the communities are smaller and somewhat thematic compared to the mass conglomeration that is a group of Facebook friends. Avani “made a Twitter to follow G-Eazy” and rapidly became part of a community surrounding him and similar artists. Describing these digital communities, Avani says, “there’s less social pressure…I can just Tweet it.”
Social media is a powerful medium for communication, but it can sometimes extend beyond its purpose. It has the potential to develop its own place in many people’s busy lives, which can be good or bad. Avani admits that “whenever [she] goes somewhere, [she] has to Snapchat this, or…[she] has to get a good pic for Instagram.” She also mentioned how a lot of high schoolers have the mentality: “oh, I have a lot of homework, I should open my Twitter page and scroll for a while.” This parasitic mindset that pervades the minds of so many seems to have altered the initial goals of social media. “The original intent of social media was to connect people,” says Avani, and while it is an easy way to stay in touch with people you don’t see every day, its use and purpose seems to have changed dramatically.
As Avani uses it, Twitter has features essential to communication between and within communities: G-Eazy needs to be able to tell his fans about free tickets for his next show, where his shows are, when he is doing meet-ups, etc. Avani posed a vital question: “If G-Eazy is going to have a huge concert in San Francisco, how is he going to tell his fans to get there?” Social media.