Has Twitter Transformed the PhD Experience?

  • 2016-04-12
  • Times Higher Education

Just a few weeks after Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey sent the platform’s first tweet in March 2006, the social media network gained its first PhD student.

Indiana University computer science student Andrew Keep (@andykeep), now a software engineer at Cisco, is listed among the first 100 people to have signed up to the fledgling site, which now has 320 million monthly users.

Dr Keep is still an occasional tweeter, broadcasting his thoughts on everything from home baking and everyday irritations to computer coding formulas, much like the hundreds of thousands of PhD students to have embraced the medium since then.

But some advocates of Twitter, which celebrates its 10th anniversary on 21 March, believe its influence on PhD candidates has been more profound than just providing a way for them to let off steam or catch up with friends. For many, Twitter has transformed the PhD experience altogether, they claim.