Opinion Blog: Why No One Is Too Good to Tweet

April 22, 2010 by · Comments Off 

Posted by Steve Thompson

As a young college journalist, it is somewhat expected of me to be knowledgeable about the latest news. It is even more assumed that I am updating my Twitter and Facebook statuses constantly. Until recently, I had no desire inform the world that I “just had an awesome meal at Fabi + Rosi in Austin” or the fact that I’m “studying in Fondren again. Ugh!” But with the influx of Twitter accounts by important and sophisticated institutions, why should I be above tweeting?

Celebrities were the first to jump on the Twitter train, as I like to call it. Many of them said it was a way to connect with their fans. But we have seen even more of them use it in much more dramatic ways. John Mayer used the 140-word platform to issue an apology in February after using the N-word in a Playboy interview. P!nk stood up for her fellow girl-power singer-songwriter Taylor Swift on Twitter after Kanye West interrupted Swift on stage at the 2009 MTV Music Video Awards. And infamous gossip blogger Perez Hilton even used Twitter to notify police of an alleged assault he suffered from Black Eyed Peas member Will.i.am.
After reviewing these events, does that mean I should immediately turn to my Twitter next time I am mad at my parents or say something inappropriate in public? Probably no. That would never solve the issue. But was that really the goal of the celebrities? I’m not sure the police ever came to Hilton’s rescue, or Taylor Swift and P!nk became BFFs. Those tweets did nothing more than give them a little more publicity in the following week.

I’m a Texas college student. I don’t need publicity. So I thought I didn’t need Twitter.

Then all the news organizations got in on it and even politicians started using the site to voice their opinions. But what really made me rethink my lack of Twitter activity was when the White House joined. Maybe Twitter could be used for valid and highly informational purposes. A quick glance at the White House Twitter page suggests otherwise.

Check out this tweet from the White House yesterday: “You’re upset b/c you missed @justinbieber at the WH aren’t you? On again in a couple minutes. It’s ok. http://wh.gov/live 1:41 PM Apr 5th via web.” Bieber isn’t the only celebrity taking up some White House staffer’s time. JK Rowling, Sara Barielles and the cast of Glee were also topics of discussion. Don’t worry! The President’s statement on Nuclear Posture Review did make the tweet cut. The White House Press Secretary is also on Twitter.

He recently posted about baseball. Maybe that isn’t the worst thing.

Tweeting about everyday nuances is what Twitter is all about, so I guess I can’t expect top government institutions to not join in on the fun.

After following the trends of Twitter in the past year, I realized that people actually do care about where their friends went to dinner last Saturday or what celebrities like Ashton Kutcher are up to. Actually, more people care about Kutcher than CNN. Why shouldn’t people care about me? My newfound love of Twitter is something that I never thought I’d admit. The idea that anyone or anything can be news is what makes Twitter so great. It can give people a big head, but with a 140-word limit people can’t get too pompous. This idea of individual broadcasts and little blurbs of news may be where news is headed. It’s easy and incorporates everyone from the White House to a lowly college student. If this is the future, I’m not about to be left behind.

What do you think? Is tweeting not for everyone? Or is it going to continue to change our social interactions and news? Leave a comment.

Movie Review: Valentine’s Day

February 11, 2010 by · Comments Off 

By Amanda Mervine
amervine@smu.edu

With what must be one of the most expensive casts of all time the holiday-appropriate movie Valentine’s Day is set to hit theaters this Friday.

Fortunately, I was one of the members of the SMU student body who was able to snag a seat to the sneak preview of the flick in the full-capacity Hughes-Trigg auditorium on Wednesday evening.

The film stars nearly every actor/actress that has appeared in a romantic comedy box office hit in the past decade.

Such actors include Julia Roberts, Bradley Cooper, Eric Dane, Patrick Dempsey, Jennifer Gardner, Jessica Alba, Ashton Kutcher, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Biel, Taylor Lautner, and everyone’s new favorite celeb Taylor Swift. As well as several more performers that contribute significantly to the movie’s multidimensional story line.

Of course my expectations, in regards to a romantic comedy, were set fairly high considering the cast. To my complete surprise not only were those expectations fulfilled but even a little exceeded.

In my belief, one needs to go into a movie like Valentine’s Day expecting nothing but the cheesiest of scenes and plots, which is exactly what I did.

However, unlike most romantic comedies, which I find utterly and annoyingly predictable, there were certain aspects of Valentine’s Day which I could have never seen coming.

Of course many of the relationships and stories were easily predictable by the end of the film, but those that weren’t really threw the SMU audience for a loop, which they verbally pronounced.

Hardy laughs and several ooos and ahhhs by the student-filled audience, as well as myself, signified the element of surprise that the film inflicted, something that I found as being a breath of fresh air to a film genre known for its predictability.

Valentine’s Day contains a perfect mixture of extremely romantic and predictable plots swirled in with stories of a few characters that end up alone, mostly on their own accord.

While the film does leave you feeling a little bit sad for those characters who end up all by themselves on the most romantic holiday of the year, as a movie critic I found it a bit refreshing that the director decided to add a splash of realism in the mix of utter romantic bliss. But don’t worry there’s plenty of that as well.

Looking for another review? Check Aida Ahmed’s take on the movie HERE.

Free Movie Showing: Valentine’s Day

February 8, 2010 by · Comments Off 

By Aida Ahmed
aahmedsmu.edu

SMU’s Program Council is holding a preview of the new movie Valentine’s Day Wednesday night.

The preview will be held in the Hughes-Trigg student center theatre at 10 p.m.

Valentine’s Day has a full cast of stars including Ashton Kutcher, Julia Roberts, Eric Dane, Kathy Bates, Jessica Alba and many more.