Twitter has become an increasingly popular way for University of Mississippi students to communicate, receive news and express their opinions about life at Ole Miss.
Former student Aj Celeski took Ole Miss student interaction on Twitter to a whole new level by his creation of the account Ole Miss Problems during his sophomore year in the spring of 2011.
“I knew that there were a good amount of blogs and websites about Ole Miss, but they only focused on football, and being a student, I knew there was so much more happening than football,” Celeski said. “There were so many aspects of the Ole Miss experience I found unique and hilarious and thought it should be discussed.”
The Ole Miss Problems account led the way for students to express their opinions about life at Ole Miss with each other on social media.
“I think I started it at a good time when Twitter was just becoming popular among the students,” Celeski said.
Since the creation of Ole Miss Problems, different accounts depicting the Ole Miss experience have cropped up, such as To The Freshmen and Ole Miss Bachelor. Though each account has its own personality, they all unite to provide entertainment for their followers through the use of hashtags like #OxfordStripClubNames and #MSUthesistopics.
The current holder of the Ole Miss Problems account said the ideas for tweets come primarily from the people at Ole Miss.
“I’m definitely inspired by the student body,” the account holder said. “You guys are hilarious.”
The official Twitter account for The University of Mississippi (@OleMissRebels) joins the rest of the student body in keeping an eye on Ole Miss parody accounts.
“We are always interested in seeing what others are saying about Ole Miss,” said Tom Eppes, chief communications officer for the university. “That gives us an opportunity to respond when bad information is being circulated, or it tells us when we need to address issues of concern to Ole Miss students, fans and friends.”
While Twitter is a fun source of news and unifies the student body over shared experiences, students and faculty agree that it’s important to maintain a positive image of the university.
“Twitter has a strong impact just like any type of social media in the sense that it can be read and perceived so differently by many people, so I feel like as long as it’s accurate and uplifting it can be good,” Ole Miss student Kirra Little said.
Account holders also know that Twitter can have a big impact and must be used wisely.
“Obviously, it is a great tool to share stories at rapid speeds,” Celeski said. “It is the epitome of a double-edged sword, in my opinion.”
The Ole Miss Communications staff urges students and Twitter accounts representing Ole Miss to consider the credibility of their tweets.
“I think most students know how to determine whether anything related to Ole Miss is truthful or not, although I’d caution them not to share information with their followers until they are certain it’s true, even if it seems cute or funny,” Eppes said.
And how will the anonymous parody accounts continue when the current holders have graduated? For the individual currently behind Ole Miss Problems, the plan to find a successor is simple: “twerking contest.”
— Clancy Smith