Imagined Communities vs Corporations: How Twitter Saved Me

An account of how my virtual community took action when a Marriott hotel double charged me and wiped out my bank account.


  1. It all started on the second day of the Popular Culture Conference South in Savannah. I had gone out to eat with friends and my debit card was declined. I immediately checked my online statement, and I saw that the hotel had charged me for the room although the university had paid for it via credit card. Worried, I headed back to the hotel and to the front desk where they informed me that "it's just a hold." I explained, no, it wasn't just a hold, I had $0 in my bank account and multiple overdrafts. "It will be resolved in five days," they told me. "I have NO MONEY," I told them. "I can't wait five days." They promised to call the bank. I took to Twitter.
  2. Turns out this is a common experience, one academics can rarely afford.
  3. Advice and commiseration and support came pouring into my timeline.