Sacrificial Twitter

To be honest, my Tweeting history is pretty brief considering I created an account on my own accord and not by that of a class requirement. I remember my friends surrounding me with it during my freshman year at Loyola, which led me to question my non-existent Twitter presence. From there, an on-going (and extremely trivial) personal struggle spread throughout my social media self. Should I make a Twitter account? What should my first Tweet be about? What do I Tweet about after my first Tweet??

After much debate, I finally decided to create an account and well, you can read what my first Tweet was about for yourself.

Untitled(Ellie Saab dresses are seriously gorgeous, so this question still stands.)

It’s strange to think that although Twitter may encourage participants to post, share, and comment on their free will – like most social media platforms – the content is tailored in someway both voluntarily and involuntarily. As Nicholas Carr states in his article, he comments on how attention spans are getting progressively shorter and Twitter seems like the perfect example of this observation. With a 140 character limit, Twitter automatically tailors the kind of content that is exposed on its website. Like van Dijk mentions here Twitter allows its readers to pull content as a characteristic of new media. Users can follow anyone of their choosing in order to filter their newsfeeds.

Carr also believes that the Internet is becoming a “multiple information processing system” (a clock, calculator, radio, etc. all in one), which alters the web with hyperlinks and other media content ultimately leading to scattered attention and low concentration.

However, I agree with Clay Shirky’s response to Carr. Shirky understands sacrifice will take place regardless, especially with the “transformation of the media landscape.” Shirky proposes that the question is not “Is there sacrifice?” but “Is the sacrifice worth it? What can we do to make it worth it?” and I couldn’t agree with him more. Although Carr sheds light on legitimate concerns and its supporting evidence, there is no solution to go along with it.

Sure, Twitter may not be the most traditional news source but in alignment with Shirky’s question, Tweets contribute toward what make the sacrifice worth it as a whole. Connecting people across countries, sharing global news updates, and providing an outlet of expression? Seems like a website worth the sacrifice to me.


Christine Chu


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