Capturing Attention in 140 Characters or Less

As far as social medias go, Twitter is one that most people seem to be familiar with. It is especially popular among high school and college students in that it provides an outlet to stay connected with other students. We all use twitter differently; we all have our own way of tweeting. Some of us tweet quotes, some tweet experiences, some tweet only to talk to other people. In the past, I’ve never thought too thoroughly about what I was tweeting and why I was tweeting it. I never stopped to think about the difference between a thick and a thin tweet. I never really spent more than 5 or 10 minutes deciding what my 140 characters would be. However, this week, I had the opportunity to really think about what I was posting and why I was posting it. I posted two ‘thick’ tweets that expressed more than just what I ate for breakfast. The first thick tweet I chose to make was a quote concerning doing what you love, with an article about motivation and the ability to lead a creative life. Both the quote and the article I hyperlinked immediately spoke to me in that it directed mainly to generation y, and the power of living a creative life.

Discussion question #1: When you really think about it, what kind of tweets attract your attention?
This article explains the power of twitter and how it’s not merely an outlet to express our thoughts and observations, but it is beginning to be a tool to help us find jobs and make money etc.

Rich’s article, “Literary Debate: Online, R U Really Reading?” relates to the way that I use the internet the most in that I often spend much of my time online reading. For example, in both of my thick tweets I linked online articles that I had read. I spend a lot of time reading online books and online articles rather than actual books simply for the simplistic nature of doing so. These articles inspire me to write my own online articles and to read more and more to maybe gain insight with each piece I read.

I found the article “Is Google Making Us Stupid,” by Nicholas Carr to also somewhat relate to the way in which I use social media and the Internet. I often use twitter to direct me to interesting facts, or articles, or listacle, all things that would technically fall into the category of “reading”. According to the article, Maryanne Wolf, a developmental psychologist at Tufts University believes the way in which we read online differs from past ways of reading in that the web relies on efficiency and immediacy above all this. She claims this may be weakening our capacity for deep reading, and our capacity to make rich mental connections that form when we read deeply without distraction. When I read this, at first I was a little bit offended. I began to think about how often I read online and whether this was weakening MY ability to read deeply. I think that this claim does hold some truth in that the Internet does primarily focus on providing information quickly and in the smallest amount of characters (ex: Twitter). However, I also believe that as time goes on, so does the way in which we do things. I think that although we may read differently, and we may be slowly changing the way in which we think, that it is inevitable.

Discussion question #2: Can we really grow as a culture, as a society, if we continue to do things the same way?




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