Friday, 30 August 2013

How Speech Creates Place


'Speech is a component of the total force that transforms nature into a human place. But speech can be an effective force acting alone or almost alone' (Tuan, 1991). We often say that words are our most powerful weapon; this is true in both an real world and an online setting. The entire basis of the social networking site Twitter is words. You are able to create posts or 'tweets' that are limited to 140 characters or less. These posts consist, for the majority, of words and may sometimes include links to media files or pictures. However, unlike Facebook or Instagram, the idea behind Twitter is that users have the option to create their identity through posts that tell the world who they are, what they're doing and what they feel at any current point in time.

During my last few weeks as a Twitter user, I have discovered that it is quite easy to lie about yourself and build a whole new online identity using this site. But not only that, it is also very helpful in strengthening your current identity and sharing it with various groups of people that follow your account. I have used Twitter for the purpose of strengthening my current identity, and I have found that I can not only create my own posts, but I can also retweet the posts and updates of others if I agree with what they have written or enjoy their tweet to any degree. This not only shares my thoughts and feelings with others, but it also lets them know what interests I have through the people I follow and the people I retweet.

The site itself also assists in creating a feeling of space and place through features of the site, such as your individual 'Profile'; which is the page where followers can see your tweets and read about you. As well as a 'Discover' tab which introduces you to users and posts you may enjoy based on the people you currently follow.
They have also created a tab called 'Home', which allows you to see a feed of what the people you follow are all currently tweeting, much like the 'News Feed' feature on Facebook. However, the largest creator of place and space on Twitter is the use of hashtags; a feature which has become so popular that Facebook and Instagram now use it. Hashtags, if clicked on, take the user to similar posts that have also tagged the same topic in them.
If you are interested, you can read more about Twitter hashtags by clicking this link:


Dodaro, M. (n.d.). What are Twitter Hashtags? The Hidden Power of #Hashtags. Social Media Marketing   Company - Top Dog Social Media. Retrieved August 30, 2013, from

Tuan, Y. (1991). Language and the Making of Place: A Narrative-Descriptive Approach. Annals of the Association of American Geographers. 81 (4), 684-696 Taylor and Francis,  LTD

Image Credits:

Robertson, A. (2013). The Verge: What happens when free speech and hate speech laws collide on Twitter? Retrieved from:

1 comment:

  1. Good evening Rebecca,

    It’s interesting to read what you’ve learnt about Twitter in the last three weeks, and how you have discovered the ways in which people can use Twitter to express them self or to deceive others. I find that Facebook is quite similar to Twitter in this way, how easy it is for one to portray them self in a completely opposite way to who they truly are. I would, however, disagree with you in your statement that “unlike Facebook or Instagram, the idea behind Twitter is that users have the option to create their identity through posts that tell the world who they are”. McNeil (2012) suggests that the Facebook software is the main decider on how an individual portrays them self, I, on the other hand, have found that majority of my self-expression and identity has been displayed through what I decide to post and share with my ‘friends’. I’m interested to see what you find next.



    McNeill, L. (2012). There is no 'I' in network: social networking sites and posthuman auto/biography. Biographical Research Centre