First in, Best…Twitter Personality: It’s Alana!

Hello BCM buddies and possible others! Welcome to my BCM206 Digital Artifact project for this semester. It’s taken a while to get going with it, but it’s here now, and we’re starting it off with a bang.

If you’ve spent even a second on BCM Twitter, you’ve seen the wonderfully entertaining content of Miss Best Twitter Personality, Alana Naumovski (better known as @im_alana_).

I had the absolute privilege of a lunchtime video call with the legend herself last week. We talked about BCM Twitter, her bookstagram (@lanabooks_), life in lockdown and what it’s like living in a house of meme gods.

I wanted to make a podcast out of our chat, but the glitchy internet made the recording pretty dissatisfying. Instead, here is a relatively accurate transcript.

Introduce yourself. What’s your name? Your Majors? Where’d you grow up? What are you into?

I’m Alana, I’m twenty-one, so a third-year uni student, and I do a double in Commerce and Comms and Media. So for Commerce, I major in finance, in Comms and Media I’m majoring in digital social media, and pretty much all I spend my day doing as of late is watching Netflix, reading books and eating food.

So this sem I assume you’re running you’re still running your bookstagram DA – of course, the whole BCM Twitterverse knows and loves lanabooks, but give me a little summary of what you do with your DA.

Yeah, so I’m still continuing my bookstagram as my DA as I have for the past year. It’s almost been two years since I first created it, but I created it not as a DA at first. It just created it for the lols, and I was like, I can just use it as a DA. 

What’s been your favourite subject so far and why?

Ahh, favourite subject… I have a love-hate relationship with some of them, but I think so far my favourite has been 114, mainly because the vibe for that class was great, not necessarily like the content but just the class vibes. But I did really enjoy 111, and I literally just did an assignment on Kdrama… so all I did was watch kdramas. So that one was pretty good. But I think my favourite was 114 for the vibes.

By memory, I think we must have first come across each other on Twitter. I remember you being the first to send in a request when I was doing Oddly Specific Playlists. Since then, I’ve noticed that there’s been this pretty consistent flow of support, not only between us but a lot of those kinds of friendships forming through BCM Twitter. The whole cohort is so encouraging and helpful. Would you attest to the sense of community in BCM?

It really is, like, like you can ask the stupidest question on Twitter about, like, ‘how do I add a page into WordPress’ and you’ll get like 50 responses. If I typed into a Commerce group chat, going ‘Where can I find this in Excel or the Moodle page?’ It’s left on read. And that’s it. It’s so quiet. BCM is definitely a family. Commerce feels like almost ‘everyone out for themselves’. There’s no sense of community, even when you’re in class group chats and everyone’s struggling together. I don’t know; the 241 chat always pops off.

With comms and media, I find they’re like, ‘oh I’m struggling with this’ and someone will reach out and go, ‘hey this is all my work that I did for it, have a look’ and whatever. Whereas Commerce – I’m like, ‘does anyone have any examples? Or how did you guys go for this question?” again, it’s silence, and I’m like, guys, I’m asking cause I need help. Not because I want to copy it.

Obviously for the majority of our uni experience, we’ve been online. How have you found it? Does it suit you do you think?

Well, my first year was on campus, and then I guess maybe the beginning of 2020 was on campus for me, too. But yeah, I mean, I don’t mind it. I prefer online exams because I feel like it is very reminiscent of maybe the real world, where you have everything available at your disposal, like notes and stuff. Like for work, they get me to prepare something. They don’t go ‘oh, you had to have memorised this’, they have all the training resources, all these notes or other examples. And then they’re like, ‘now prepare some advice, or a draft. Whereas, with on-campus exams, I don’t know if I’ll be able to go back. I think I’ll really struggle, considering I’m now in a good place with how I study for online uni. 

But like, campus vibes… it’s just different. The whole social aspect and class aspect is good. I just miss going into a lecture hall, because it makes me feel like I’m someone out of an American college movie. I haven’t gotten to live out any of those book tropes, but alas. I’ve got two more years left of uni, so maybe it” happen. Still waiting on that enemies to lovers arc with my arch-rival in a class, but we’ll see if it happens.

Do you think the sense of community would have carried over if we had been in person?

Well, for my first year, I only did two BCM classes, and the rest I did were commerce ones, because at the time I was only taking three subjects, not four. But I feel like initially, everyone’s kind of shy in their first year, but I feel like if it was second-year classes, once you’re like on campus, you kind of know everyone through Twitter, you have recognise them, then I feel like there’s a better sense of community than First Years kind of not knowing anyone, unless it’s someone from their school, or you’ve got these people who you have like all the same classes or tutorials with. I mean, I struggled to make friends in my BCM classes, but that’s mainly because everyone was doing say 110 or 112 and 113 together and I was like, ‘Oh, I’m only doing 110 this semester’. But I feel like now if we went back, you’d really feel like that Community thing.

You manage to keep up an insane Twitter presence and get all your work done and have fun. How do you do it? Do you have any organisation tips?

I think the organisation comes out of my inherent fear of failure. I don’t know if that’s too ‘Turbo-nerdy’… but I feel like first year, I guess I really kind of struggled with Twitter. I had never used Twitter before. So i got twitter on my first day of BCM classes, and was like ‘I don’t know how to use this’. And you see everyone always tweeting and you have to do your three tweets a week, or whatever it was. And you’re like, ‘I don’t know what to do, I’m not sure what to write’ And then by second year, you kind of get the hang of it. I’m making a tweet about making toast. I feel like it just becomes easier, so the more you do it, the easier it becomes. But as far as keeping organised, I’m like the worst person. I mean, I do kind of have set days for working on different subjects. So kind of do it like that or at least for this semester, and I’ve stuck to it, which is good. 

I have to kind of make sure I can stick to it because of work. I work three days a week. So it’s uni full time, and work part-time. I really want to keep my weekends as free as I can. So, I just shove it all into the week. Yeah, I feel that. I’ve been trying to finish my BCM stuff by Thursday if it’s due on Friday because I finish work at like 5:00-5:30. So that would only give me like six hours or something to work on it, and I was like, I don’t want to do that. I just want to get in my oodie and watch Netflix. 

Recently, you’ve done something very cool. The Bubble Tea Society. Tell me how that started.

Okay so, our President, Satara, posted something on the buy and sell page. And it was, “Hey, does anyone love bubble tea? I was thinking maybe we should just make society and just drink bubble tea?” It got a bit of feedback; people were like, ‘that would be such a cool thing’ and she put on another Facebook post, and she was like, ‘okay, so I’ve had a look, and I’m thinking of actually doing it. Obviously, we need people to be execs so if you’re interested, DM me for like a position and we’ll get you to fill out a thing and then we’ll try and start’. So I did that.

And so we had actually gotten heaps of people but like saying that they would want to sign up, not necessarily to be an exec, and I think it was maybe 10 or 11 of us that showed up for that exec meeting. I was like, ‘oh, I just want to make memes about Boba, ‘ and also it’s an excuse for me to go and buy it and spend my money on it without feeling guilty later because content. So eventually, like I guess in the similar way that you guys have done for DMS, I self-elected and said, I want to be the person who makes the socials. And now I spend half my time buying bubble tea and making boba content and the other half buying books and making book content. 

Apart from work and uni, how have you been spending your time during lockdown?

Aside from the reading because that’s just my boostagram commitment. I have been editing my book. So I was like, I’m finally going to get to it, I finished it last year and took a whole break for the semester, but I didn’t want it just to sit there. Writing it was kind of my excuse when I’m like procrastinating doing work. And so now this is my excuse to edit. So I’m like actually doing something useful.

I’ve seen your little sister, grace, dominating the Twittersphere. I’m wondering what it’s like living in a house of professional memers.

Zara, our other sisters here too. She doesn’t do Comms and Media, but she just she created her own Twitter account as like our stan account. For Zara, it’s annoying because we now have the same sense of humour. Our whole day is, she might say something and be like, ‘oh, that would make a great tweet’. Or I’ll say something and she’ll be like, now I have to make memes.

Grace: Specifically on Thursday at 1.30

Alana: Yeah, cause I join her 114 class with unicorn, so the tea always comes out. But it’s quite fun; it’s so funny because we just live our life in memes now. I’m always like ‘did you see that tweet?’ But then it’s like the whole ‘Why didn’t you see my tweet? You didn’t like it. You didn’t retweet’ like, I’m busy, I’ve been working. Let me just wait a bit. I’ll get online. Calm down. 

It’s a lot of work, too, because obviously grace always asks me for help, the experienced older sister in the same degree. It’s literally our life now, just tweeting at eachother from across the couch and then us laughing when everyone else in the family going ‘what are you laughing about?’

What’re your plans following covid?

The first thing I’m going to do after covid is I’m booking a restaurant for breakfast, lunch and dinner and just go outside with friends and just do something. I don’t care what it is. I will see it at a Café for five hours, but when I can socially interact, that’ll be the best, but also I can’t wait o go black, when gyms are back, especially because they’re redoing our gym while we’re in lockdown. I do miss volleyball as well because the UOW volleyball club would run social training sessions of a weeknight, and that was like my socialising with people in real life and not on BCM Twitter. I enjoyed it, sport, getting out talking to people in real life. But yeah, so far, that’s the immediate plan. 

But I hope that once we can travel, I do want to travel, even if it’s just to go to a different state. I don’t care as long as I’m not at home.