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Monday, September 27, 2021

OG cool

A Fiji parliamentarian learns to use Twitter — and breaks the exhausting cycle of all-knowingness

By: Editorial |
Updated: July 29, 2021 7:32:37 am
This, as inhabitants of the interwebz would tell you, is highly irregular behaviour.

Pio Tikoduadua is as OG as they come. He just didn’t know it — till he decided to discover Twitter for himself. Earlier this month, the leading opposition MP from Fiji took to tweeting on his own, rather than let his office staff do it. As the 54-year-old parliamentarian tinkered with the new beast, his timeline filled with his TIL moments. Among the things he learnt and posted about: That a retweet is different from a quote tweet and FFS is nothing as polite as “Fiji First Supporters”. When someone asked him to use hashtags in his tweets, he popped up to ask his followers: “Do I have to ask for permission?”

This, as inhabitants of the interwebz would tell you, is highly irregular behaviour. Social media personas are supposed to be cast with the steel of super-confidence and you-are-with-us-or-against-us indignation, leaving no space for doubt, nor those forbidden three words: “I don’t know”. This performance of certitude does, of course, scare off the uninitiated — say, those who do not follow the jargon of tech or even those whose synapses cannot be so easily rewired into the speed of digital culture. But — and this is not admitted enough — all-knowingness is also all-exhausting, for everyone.

That probably explains the warm, fuzzy reactions that Tikoduadua’s old-world courtesy has got on Twitter, as he fumbled with a new medium, frequently admitted his confusion and asked for help — in the middle of a trying political climate and being arrested for protesting against a contentious land bill. “You may be new here sir, but tweeting like a real OG!!!!!” said one Twitter follower, in the ultimate compliment that zoomers can pay to old-school class. “Does that mean an old girl?” Tikoduadua queried. No, Mr Tikoduadua, that means you “da original gangster” — because, even if for a brief while on that hell-site, you made graciousness cool.

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