By Olivia DeFrances, Staff Writer
As the world gets more and more centered around the internet and social media, even some of the most ancient institutions have to keep up. In this case, it’s the main man at the Vatican. It was officially announced Monday that the pope is creating a Twitter.
Pope Benedict XVI’s twitter handle is @Pontifex, and he almost immediately received half a million followers. The pope will start tweeting officially on Dec. 12, and many people are eager to hear what he has to tweet about. The first papal tweets will be responses to questions with the hashtag #askpontifex.
The pope won’t actually be the one tweeting for the most part, but he will sign off on tweets created by aides. However, the big first tweet on Dec. 12 will come straight from the man himself. It seems as if people are accepting the concept of a tweeting pope as just another way that the world is evolving. Communication is now different, and the pope can reach millions of followers via social media. It’s a fascinating twist, but just consider it today’s version of a public statement.
It will be interesting to see how many people decide to tweet to the pope, and how different types of people will react to what he has to say. Maybe people will now start asking themselves, “WWJT? – What Would Jesus Tweet?” Who knows? All we can do is stay tuned for the pope’s big tweet on Dec. 12.
Below is a Storify highlighting some of the most recent questions, both serious and mocking, the pope has been asked over Twitter.
By Brandon Lewis, Staff Writer
T riders have begun using Twitter as a social platform to voice their dissatisfaction with the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. The tweets with the hashtag #MBTAannoy acknowledge a plethora of transit issues such as overcrowding of trains, long waits for buses and inadequate ventilation. Ranting about the MBTA via Twitter informs other prospective riders of transit troubles before they consider utilizing public transportation.
“#mbta you’re seriously cramping my style this morning. TWO B trains have gone by, too full to take on new passengers. #mbtaannoy,” one angry straphanger tweeted while waiting for her morning train to work.
“cannot believe mbta green line operators are so pathetic and bored that they need to prohibit people from boarding an empty car. #mbtaannoy,” another T rider tweeted.
According to Hashtags.org, the number of Tweets directed toward MBTA problems peaks during early morning hours, between 7 a.m. and 9 a.m. This fact reveals that the MBTA upsets commuters mostly during the morning rush hour when thousands of Bostonians are traveling to work and school.
Boston University College of Arts and Sciences freshman Brittney Page, who regularly takes the T to her theater classes on Huntington Avenue, defended the MBTA.
“The T is pretty reliable,” Page said. “It always gets me to the theater on time. I give myself
plenty of time to get to the theater, so maybe that’s why I haven’t run into problems with the T yet.”
However, College of Communication freshman Alexis Felix said she disliked the T from the day she arrived on campus.
“Being from New York and dealing with the [Metropolitan Transportation Authority], I was curious to see how other cities managed their transportation systems,” Felix said. “In all honesty, the T confuses me. It stops running like at 1 a.m., which is annoying. This is a college town and students are out and about all hours of the night, especially on weekends. We need trains to be running during those hours. And I don’t understand why the Green Line only has two cars. A train will definitely overcrowd with only two cars running. I just don’t understand.”
As a native New Yorker, I can sympathize with the Boston straphangers. Every transportation system has its own glitches and problems. New York’s transportation authority is no different. Fare hikes and overcrowding are constant issues that plague New York’s MTA. However the MTA’s trains and buses run 24/7, which is the major difference between the MTA and MBTA. I don’t understand why the subway stops running after 12:45 a.m. when there are thousands of college students roaming Boston and neighboring areas. I’m also confused with the lack of train cars on the Green Line. Why can’t train cars be added to accommodate more passengers? These are the questions that fly around in the minds of the regular T riders. Since they haven’t received many sufficient answers to these questions, they turn to Twitter to illustrate their frustrations. Though @mbtaGM often responds to Twitter users, #MBTAannoy seems to not have gotten any attention from MBTA officials. This in conjunction with Monday’s Green Line crash in Brigham Circle proves the MBTA better get its act together.