COLUMN: HOW TWITTER HELPED ME EXPRESS MY PASSIONS

LAUREN WISDOM, FEATURES WRITER

There are many different types of active Twitter accounts, but I feel that one of the biggest communities on Twitter is composed of big sports fanatics, including myself.  

I have two Twitter accounts. One of them is what I call my “personal account.” On that account, I am able to post about whatever I please. Although I do not tweet much on that account anymore, my retweets may consist of a quote I found that day, celebrity news, current events or trends or something that I find relatable. 

I did not have a second Twitter account until July 2015. When I only had my personal account, I tweeted a lot about sports, rather than other topics people my age are more interested in. It seemed like my followers did not care about what I was sharing, as I was losing followers soon after they realized how often I tweeted about sports. 

Once I figured out that not everyone cared about sports as much as I did, I came up with the idea of having a separate account that was dedicated specifically to sports. 

It was not just any sports account. It was an account that I like to call my “Cubs” account. My Cubs account, “cubsfancentral,” includes tweets that are dedicated to the Major League Baseball (MLB) team, the Chicago Cubs. 

As I have grown up, I developed a huge passion for the team and I have my parents to thank for that. When a Cubs game is on television, I often sat down and watched it with them. The more games I watched, the more of an understanding I had of the game itself and the more my interest grew. In addition, I think that with my experience playing softball for 15 years, watching baseball was easier to get the hang of than other professional sports. 

After I started making watching the Cubs play a priority in my life, I figured out what I wanted to do with my life after college: pursuing social media for a Major League Baseball team.

On my Cubs account, I mainly live tweet about the games, interact with my followers and tweet my opinions about the current stories that are going on in the world of baseball. As I have had this account over five years, I learned to do research and fact check an idea I have before I write a tweet because I will get called out by my followers if I tweet wrong information or make an uneducated opinion.

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My Cubs account is a place where I feel comfortable talking about what’s on my mind. I feel that I do not have to pretend to be “quirky” or try to blend in with everybody else. The account gives me freedom to talk about the things that I am passionate about, and my followers are very supportive of me, the decisions I make and the things I accomplish. All of my 2,051 followers are interested in the same subjects as me, because of this, I believe our relationships are stronger.

By being the owner of a Cubs account, I have opened doors to different opportunities. I have met one of the leaders who is in charge of the verified Chicago Cubs Twitter account, along with other Cubs social media. In April 2016, I was at a Cubs game with a few of my friends from my softball team and I tweeted the verified Cubs account a selfie of all of us. Next thing I know, the guy in charge of the verified account came to our section and said, “Which one of you is Lauren?” 

Whenever I tell people this story, they think it is a little awkward, but it was one of the more special moments I have experienced since I have made my own Cubs account. Now, three years later, the guy still makes an effort to talk with me before every game I go to, depending on if I arrive at the field early enough.

It took me about a year and a half to finally have the verified Cubs account follow my own Cubs account.

Some other exciting moments that have happened to me since I started my Cubs account include: some of my tweets have gotten replied to by the players; my tweets have gotten “liked” by the players and their wives; I have been noticed by people who are affiliated with the Cubs. I have also gotten a few follows from Major League players.

My Cubs account has allowed me to create so many different friendships with people across the United States. I even have talked to Cubs fans through my account who live overseas. And, the Cubs are the main topic that connects us. I have met up with some of these people for dinner, and even met up with a few of them at a Cubs game at Wrigley Field. 

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I will cherish forever the friendships I have made through my Cubs account. I feel like our bonds are so much stronger because I do not see these people every day, so we are forced to keep in touch with each other if we want to remain friends. It also seems that I am a lot more similar to my friends who I met online through my Cubs account than I am with the friends I have met through school or softball.

Do not get me wrong, my friends who I met online are and my friends I met through school or softball cannot be compared, as they are both uniquely different and each hold a special place in my heart. I am grateful for every single friendship in my life because each person has helped shape me into the type of person I am today.

Today, “cubsfanscentral” has 2,053 followers after being activated a little over five years ago. In the beginning, I wanted to delete the account because I received rude comments about the things I was tweeting, and I did not understand why. I learned to ignore those comments, and, thanks to the haters, the comments helped me make better tweets moving forward. Making an account dedicated to the Chicago Cubs is one of the best decisions I have made.

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