This blog post will be a critical reflection of my live-tweeting experience in BCM325 – Future Cultures in the second half of the semester. Our class engaged in live-tweeting sessions of 6 movie screenings including Ghost in the Shell, Robot and Frank, Blade Runner 2049, Ready Player One, Alita: Battle Angel, and 2040 in which we discuss aspects of the film relating to studies of the future.
- Forming a live-tweeting habit
Learning from past experience, I have a more enjoyable time in live-tweeting this round because of the lessons I have learned from the previous screenings.
First thing first, preparations! I have found that pre-curating tweets have reduced significantly my stress during the screenings of having to meet the required quantity of tweets. Instead, I have made it a habit for myself to research the movie beforehand and its related topics to save myself some time to enjoy the screenings.
Although these tweets do not necessarily have the greatest performance, it allows me and my classmates to have a basic understanding of the screenings. I tried to keep these types of pre-curated tweets pretty diverse: from talking about the plot, production process, to inspirations and settings behind the movies. When there is already a tweet from my friends about such topics, I would resort to retweeting to avoid repetitive information on our feed.
2. Engaging topics
The most rewarding outcome of this live-tweeting session is the topics I was able to explore through the screenings. Similar to my last point, I found that engaging with the week’s lecture, expanding more, and reading extra about such topics and relating that to the movie before our screening has improved my experience. By doing so, I have gained a deeper understanding about the movies and improve my analytic skills.
For example, this is a conversation I had with my fellow classmate Tammy. From researching on Ghost in The Shell’s origin from the minds of Arthur Koestler, we were able to spark a conversation on transhumanism and its possibility in the future since we can somehow reject our biological bodies. The topic is repeated again with Robot and Frank, but on a more positive note as with the movie’s overall tone. Specifically, in Robot and Frank, transhumanism is explored through the extension of Frank’s intellect and memory. It paints out a future where technology and cybernetics are our companions rather than an overpowering source that takes over us.
Another example is our screening of The Matrix where I made a niche reference to Dr.Bush’s memex as a vision for the cybernetic world created in the Matrix. And the topic of the cybernetics continued on throughout our screenings, highlighted by my conversation with Jess about the consequences of a detoured-goal in a cybernetic system.
Similarly, with Ready Player One screening, the concept of cybernetics is mentioned This time in relation to one of the scenes in the movie of how cybersystems are imagined and visualized. This is one of the many examples where interesting topics and discussion have emerged out of the more fun and ‘random’ tweets, proving that visually-packed tweets are easier in getting attention and engagement!
I especially enjoyed this conversation about the predictions and nature of prescience. It allowed me to draw connections between Frank Herbert’s Dune series mentioned in the lecture and the nature of seeing the future which raised the age-old discussion question among ourselves: can we truly predict the future? Would the future happen differently if we had not predicted it?
3. Alita angels strike!
The highlight of my live-tweeting sessions definitely has to be Alita: Battle Angels thanks to the appearance of the Alita Army.
My tweets were constantly liked, retweeted, and replied by the Alita fandom. But furthermore, the topics discussed in such tweets are further explored and dissected under the views of Alita fans. Since they have a deep understanding of the movie’s context, its inspirations, and its imagery, our live-tweeting session was greatly received and contributed to.
This encounter may seem random, but looking back at the success of my tweets may not be simply a sudden chance! By utilizing images in assisting my opinion, along with carefully-chosen information that resonated both with #BCM325 students as well as Alita fans, my tweets were received quite well and evoked a great amount of engagement overall. I also think that this is when my skills in live-tweeting have really improved as I know how to balance between introducing complicated ideas and making my tweets be relatable.
Overall, my experience with live-tweeting for BCM325 has been successful! It has given me a lot of lessons not only with live-tweeting as a skill set but also with researching and analyzing a piece of media. My take-aways from this subject in general and with this assignment in specific will definitely follow me along in the future with my online presence!