In few words, Twitter can be summarized as one real time information network. This role played by the micro-blogging platform has been quite influential when it comes to cross-cultural engagement. The user base of the site is diverse to say the least, it has an open architecture and therefore more and more cultural groups are using it for raising awareness about certain issues that definitely matter a lot to them or to enlighten some aspects of their respective cultures.
Twitter is also providing a helping hand for cultural exploration. Users generally are curious of new things that are unheard of and therefore if they find something interesting in relation with a specific culture, they may check out the people tweeting and start following the tweeter.
A forward step towards a new path
Twitter is short therefore it is fluid. You don’t need your body language, tone, accents to impress a person about your particular culture, but innovative use of words will do it for you. The language barrier is also solved with help from different applications available like Tweetrans, Twinslator and Twanslate. Twanslate also has a Firefox plug-in available for you.
But, more than the language translation, there is an added aspect to it as well. People love to talk about trending topics such as World Cup, Superbowl, certain political events etc and they don’t really bind their ideas to people of specific culture only. They try to talk people from other cultures as well because they are always curious to know other’s take.
An open design
With an open architecture, Twitter helps the users so that they can explore different cultural groups. The connections are quite asymmetric in nature and therefore process of learning on others does not require a reciprocal engagement. Trending topics really help a lot to understand the most weighed issues of that day. It’s actually kind of ticker tapes one can watch in Times Square.
Moreover, search functionality and numerous third party applications available help users to learn a lot. The apps vary though according to the mode of operation, there are aesthetic ones like Twitpic, Twistori, connective ones like WeFollow, Tweet O’clock, utilitarian ones like Tweetdeck, Hootsuite, even comic ones like LOLquiz, Billie Tweets.
Bring Your Own Culture
You can also bring your own cultural information via twitter. Most of the users curate their respective communities on the micro-blogging platform thereby developing the social graph. Twitter does not have a singular culture; rather it’s kind of overlapping in nature. Thus, the users are refreshed as they don’t feel like being boxed into a specific characteristic.
User existence personified
Those who tweet regularly, not only share thoughts, but show their existence as well. Even researches prove that most of the twitter communication is shout-outs only. Retweets and @messages are nothing but form of recognizing others publicly. It particularly helps groups or individuals who feel left alone. Causes getting less attention find their voices through twitter.
However, twitter should not be mistaken with a cross-cultural utopia. Culturally divisive language and Stereotyping still pretty much exist in it. But, anyway, its influence to implement cross-cultural interaction cannot be overlooked either.