Live-tweeting: like my analysis, not just my jokes

I have live-tweeted films and television events before but usually for entertainment instead of for critical analysis. The biggest issue for me for the first few weeks of live-tweeting was to engage with my classmate’s tweets. I feel there is an importance to balancing the tone of live-tweeting between serious tweets and “shit-posting”. In the first six weeks of this class, I’ve found my joke tweets are usually my tweets with the highest engagement, although as the weeks have gone on, I’ve found my critical analysis tweets have been getting more engagement also.

It’s also clear to see which weeks I enjoyed the most; I was still finding my live-tweeting-for-class feet in Week One and had an already-held dislike for Week Two’s film 2001: A Space Odyssey and therefore I found it harder to critically engage with these texts, as well as to engage with them on an entertainment level. However, I enjoyed and understood the films from weeks three and six, and so my tweets are better, got more engagement, and more closely look at the texts.

I’ve embedded the tweets from each week I want to talk about, as well as a section for honourable mentions (which are the tweets which got the most engagement because they are funny, not necessarily because they’re good examples of critically live-tweeting). I was absent for weeks four and five.

Most prominent tweets

Week 1:

As it was a silent film, I thought the way the workers acted in the film had significance to the meaning of the film, which is why I tweeted this thought. I feel it was effective as it got some engagement (four likes, two retweets) including another member of class commenting their thoughts on the idea I posted (they added “When the rich are shown they take up most of the shot, as opposed to the workers who are tiny and minuscule within the scene”).

This tweet got good engagement (four likes, one retweet and one reply) and even though it’s written as a sarcastic joke, I was also making a comment on the nature of films at the time and of science-fiction in general. Films around this time had very little diversity in terms of race and gender, and Metropolis is an example of how films at the time did include these groups; by depicting people of colour as slaves and women as damsels in distress/objects to be saved. I decided to use a gif here as well to encourage interaction.

This tweet didn’t get much engagement (one retweet). While the content of the tweet is an example of how I was critically engaging with the text and content of the class – highlighting elements of Metropolis that were influential to the genre – I don’t think it got as much engagement because it was also a thought tweeted by many in the class. Over-exposure of the same ideas is one factor of live-tweeting that will happen often if people are commenting on the same content, but is not good for engagement or standing out as you’re then competing with several other tweets with the same content. In future weeks, I tried to get better at not just repeating the same thoughts echoed by my classmates to make up my tweet-count but to instead engage with my classmate’s tweets by retweeting or replying with further thoughts (the best example of this is in week three with Westworld).

Honourable mentions:

Week 2:

I thought this fact was interesting as it came out in the 1960’s, which was notorious for drug usage in the United States, and so I thought the fact that young people were taking drugs before seeing the film was relevant. This post got very good interaction, including replies (three likes, three interactions in the replies).

This tweet didn’t get much engagement (three likes) but is an example of attempts to engage with the tweets of other classmates. In this case, I was answering a question about other films exploring the relationship between humans and technology.

Honourable mentions:

Each of my joke tweets this week got better engagement than my critical analysis tweets (four likes and five likes and one retweet, respectively). I would say these got more engagement because they were both relatable.

Week 3:

For this tweet, I ran a poll asking people which of the “worlds” they’d visit. This tweet got very good engagement (three likes, 13 poll responses) because the nature of the tweet encourages engagement. The winning worlds were West World and Roman World.

An example of my engagement on other classmates tweets. I responded to a tweet stating that West World was full of lifelike androids “practically indistinguishable from human beings”. This prompted me to ask what the creation of these worlds asks about human nature. It for pretty good engagement (four likes and one retweet), I think because it cut to the themes of the movie and so people also watching the film could instantly ask themselves the same question.

This tweet got very good engagement (six likes and four retweets) and I think it’s because it summed up a lot of the casual tweets from the West World screening about the tone of the movie being all over the place, but in the words of the film’s writer, and so it was more critical analysis. This is an example of the kinds of tweets I’d like to do more of in the coming weeks – ones that combine the casual, “shit-posting” tone of Twitter, but that still have critical analysis elements to them.

This twitter thread that I replied to got some of the best engagement out of any tweets I’ve done so far (nine likes, one retweet and one response). It’s also an example of how replying to a classmate’s tweet and engaging can yield a positive discussion or be more rewarding than just making a comment about the movie.

This is my second reply to the above Twitter thread which got minimal engagement in comparison (one like and two replies). We were discussing issues about women as sex objects, which are prominent in both 2019 currently and obviously from when the film/book was created.

Week 6:

This thread I created didn’t get good engagement but I was actually very happy to have found this article from 1995 when Johhny Mnemonic came out. It stated that part of the reason Sony invested so much money into the film was because it was on the cusp of the internet blowing up and they thought it was a worthy investment – something companies still do today and something worth thinking about in regards to future studies; what technologies do large conglomerates think are worth the investment?

The second part of this thread got some engagement (one like, one retweet, same person), maybe because of the gif usage. I thought it was interesting as it really “90s’ed” the film. While they thought they were being very technologically advanced. The fact you would load a webpage to look at movie merch, and then call a toll-free number in order to buy that merch, is very interesting to think about in 2019 when you can buy basically anything with the click of a button. That’s why I thought this was interesting.

This tweet was in response to a scene where Johnny makes a long distance phone call over the internet but it was so much more effort than just picking up a phone, but because it was ‘technology’, it is portrayed as futuristic, when most technological advancements have made these tasks easier, not more confusing. It got decent engagement (four likes). It’s a little fact I’ve seen in a few of the texts we’ve studied, so I pointed it out here.

This tweet got zero engagements but is probably the thing that I was most interested in about the film once I found it out – how would a gender swap affect the movie? Why did they choose to change the source material and cast a male lead instead of a female lead? Is this another example of sci-fi’s women issue? These were questions this tweet made me think about, which is a good sign in regard to my DA as I am noticing these women representation issues and that’s what my DA is about. It would have been good to get this more engagement, perhaps but using a gif, or posting a poll with it.

Honourable mentions:

My joke tweets this week were on point and got lots of engagement (seven likes and two retweets, five likes and two retweets, and nine likes and three replies respectively). The first one makes fun of the amount of computer memory 90s people thought was large compared to today, the second one is a great Law and Order: SVU joke (I am biased) and the last one is just a dumb joke. But these dumb jokes got the most engagement out of any of my tweets this week.

All in all, I think I need to get better at joining my ‘jokes’ and analysis into the same tweet to encourage engagement on tweets other than joke tweets, and finding something to say which critically engages with the source material, even if I don’t enjoy that material (I’m looking at you, 2001: A Space Odyssey). These are both areas I will look to improve on in future live-tweeting sessions.

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