I don’t tweet. In the spirit of full disclosure, I do have a Twitter account, which I think is about 10 years old, but I don’t think I’ve personally posted more than 10 times, and I haven’t logged in for about, oh, 10 years. I do, however skeptically, read tweets. I can’t help it because half the news these days references tweets, and many articles consist mostly of just regurgitating tweets with a few transitional sentences thrown in.
This just in: Journalism has gotten really lazy and so have we.
Tweeting requires little thought, and more importantly, little thoughtfulness. There is often no second-party editing or proofreading. The wise-old advice of writing a letter and not mailing it until the next day is never heeded. If it pops into your head, just puke it out for the whole world (or your little ego-centered circle) to read and then wait for the fire to spread. The more outrageous, the more gawkers. And the peanut gallery eats it up like, well, peanuts.
Civility, compassion, empathy, and regard for consequences are all bartered for the overvalued currency of comments, followers, and retweets.
Twitter is fast food. It’s cheap, convenient, and totally unhealthy. It’s the “Cliff Notes” of current events. No, wait… it’s actually the bathroom-stall scrawlings of current events. “Those who write upon these (virtual) walls…”
Yeah, I realize that I’m just the little Dutch boy with his finger in the dike. My opinion is just that, and I’m not expecting to change the world in 300 some words. (For the record, I don’t like fried okra either.) But 300 words is more than 280 characters, and they’re subject to some forethought and editorial input.
Any maybe, just maybe, I’ll convince one person to put down the digital flame thrower. If you agree, feel free to retweet. Of course, if you’re an avid Twitterer, you probably stopped reading after the first couple of lines.