Photo courtesy of the Millikin University Twitter account.
Photo courtesy of the Millikin University Twitter account.

Small, but Powerful: The Millikin Twitter Community

April 27, 2022

Like all social media platforms, Millikin has created its own community on the app Twitter. Unlike Facebook or Instagram, however, the Millikin Twitter community is small, composed of primarily students and even a few faculty members.

The Millikin Twitter community consists of a variety of majors and years, as well as both personal accounts and parody accounts like Design and Production Out of Context (@MUDesignOoC) or “‘Millikin University’” (@MillikinUni), a Millikin parody account.

Whether they were active on Twitter before Millikin or not, it seems Twitter is a part of all students’ everyday life.

Junior Emily Kouzios explained that while she just recently became active on Twitter in the past semester or so, she is now on the app multiple times a day. Freshman Lydia Ent has a similar experience with Twitter.

“I never used Twitter before coming to Millikin,” Ent said. “I was encouraged to download Twitter by some of my older friends first semester.”

Again, differing from other social media platforms like Facebook or Instagram, Twitter is unique in that it primarily exists in short posts or “tweets” instead of stories, or community pages. With such limited space to post, tweets are typically either random and funny or concise, important messages.

“I love that the Millikin Twitter community can relate to each other in so many ways,” Ent said. “A lot of us have very similar opinions and interests and I think we all use humor as a way to connect with each other.”

Senior Tobi Osibodu found a similar connection in the humor of Twitter, but pointed out the fine line between the positive and negative of the Millikin Twitter community.

“I think the community on Twitter is really positive when it’s positive but can be really toxic when it’s toxic,” Osibodu said. “Generally people are just telling jokes and hyping each other up but there are some people who like to bring other people down because they think they’re ‘bringing awareness to an issue’ but really end up being super nasty, and sometimes those strings of tweets have real effects on the campus community outside of Twitter. Those times are few and far between, though.”

Like all social media platforms, and the internet in general, there are both positive and negative sides to Twitter. While some have used the platform to advocate for things like sexual assault awareness on campus or students rights in the School of Theater and Dance, the Millikin Twitter community has also engaged in toxic activity like bashing faculty, Greek Life, or certain majors or groups on campus.

Like Osibodu pointed out, when the community is positive, it is really positive.

“My favorite thing about the Twitter community at Millikin is the encouragement of others,” Emily Kouzios said. “People are always advocating their feelings which has been beneficial in the S.O.M. and S.O.T.A.D specifically because we have gone through many changes with our faculty.”

Both Osibodu and Ent were drawn to the Millikin Twitter community because it allowed them to make connections with students across campus, especially when they were, or in Ent’s case, as they are, freshman at Millikin.

“I’d say Millitwitter (as it’s so fondly named) has provided me a lot of friendships with people I wouldn’t normally interact with on a day to day basis,” Osibodu said.

However, when the Millikin Twitter community is toxic, it can be really toxic, as Osibodu stated.
“Honestly, no, I don’t think Millikin Twitter is the most positive environment,” Ent said. “I try to keep my Twitter as light as possible, and I rarely ever mention Millikin, however there are some students who use Twitter as an outlet to be hateful and negative.”

Kouzios agreed that students often use Twitter as a way to subtweet, or call people out, and hide behind a screen, rather than constructively convey their concerns or frustrations. On the other hand, she brought up that Millikin Twitter has often been used to keep the Millikin administration in check.

“Millikin is an extremely small campus, so things filter fast, and the Twitter community always catches it,” Kouzios said.

A recent example of this could be found last semester; during the winter graduation ceremony a speaker used problematic language. A video of the speech was quickly uploaded to Twitter and gained attention from current students, alumni, and faculty, who chastised the University for allowing a speaker like that.

However, at the end of the day, whether good or bad, the Millikin Twitter community has a strong grasp on students both during their time at Millikin and after.

“I’m fully convinced that Millitwitter will follow me after I graduate for at least a couple months,” Osibodu said.

Although smaller than other platforms, the Millikin Twitter community provides students, alumni, and faculty a place to start productive conversations, share their daily struggles as college students, or reminisce over past struggles, in the MilliBubble, and air their grievances in whatever manner they choose to do so. It is a place where the Millikin community can join virtually (both in the pandemic and out), get to know each other, and create common bonds, experiences, and memories.

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