Are We Known By Our Twitter Handle?

by Meredith Redfern


This week as I was watching the Country Music Awards, I noticed something interesting. Whenever a new performer would take the stage in the opening act of the show, a Twitter handle would appear. Even for some of country music’s oldest members. Are we only known by our Twitter handle?


It is not new for hashtags and handles to be incorporated within TV shows, this has been happening for years. When something big happens on a popular TV show, there is usually a hashtag in the bottom right corner that the show is promoting the viewers to use and discuss the events that took place. Hashtags are great for dramatic shows or reality shows because it quickly shows you how everyone is reacting, but handles are different.

Why do we need to only identify people by their Twitter handle? Mine is a combination of my first name and last name and year I was born, so does that mean that I need to only be called meredfern95? No. Twitter marketing says that placing as hashtag on a TV show makes the viewers have a high recall and elicits a more emotional response. This makes sense, but I’m still not convinced on why we need a handle.

The CMA’s didn’t put a full name and then the Twitter handle. They only placed a handle on the screen. This year was the 50th awards show and people of all ages tuned in. If viewers that were not familiar with Twitter saw this, is their automatic response confusion and wondering what the at sign means? Probably. But it is time to accept that times are changing and most things in the media are now linked to social media. For this year’s CMA’s there was a list of hashtags and handles to follow leading up to the events.

So maybe we are only known by our Twitter handles these days. Maybe social media now defines us. If we aren’t on social media, do we even exist?



Swirsky, Jen. “In True Reunion Fashion, We Are Thrilled to Announce That NashvilleGab Has Partnered with AT&T, DirecTV, and Audience Network Once Again to Bring Country Music.” NashvilleGab. N.p., 25 Oct. 2016. Web. 06 Nov. 2016.

O’Shea, Heather. “Why Viewers Who Use Twitter While Watching TV Have Higher Rates of Ad Recall.” Twitter, n.d. Web. 6 Nov. 2016.

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UNT Eagle Strategies

Class members of the social media class in the Mayborn School of Journalism