The Bird

Twitter is a widely polarizing form of social media. People seem to either love it or hate it. I’m decidedly reside in the first group. I love Twitter. I once heard a comparison that Facebook is for learning things you didn’t want to know about people you so you didn’t know, but Twitter is for learning things you want to know about people you wish you knew. People who prefer not to spend time on the oddly bird themed website (it’s easy to forget that Twitter has a bird theme-eggs, tweets) think that it only holds what Silver calls thin tweets. Sure, it’s great to know what my favorite Orange is the New Black star had for lunch, but Twitter can hold so much more than that when people send out “thick tweets”.

“Thick tweeting” does not come easily for me. I have learned, over my years of tweeting, what will generate a lot of positive feedback. Sarcasm, pictures, defiantly liberal political statements, profound statements of my faith, and anything of or about an obscure 90’s television show will usually get a handful of favorites or retweets. But what am I supposed to do when I need to really talk about something? For just such an occasion I’m learning to thick tweet at my handle, @beckibolinger. Now, scattered in with my fair share of live tweets and celebrity shout outs, are some tweets with real substance. I clearly have not mastered this art form, but celebrities like Anderson Cooper seem to have a much better handle on it.

Carr seems to think that the fast paced, short thought style of the internet, especially a website like Twitter, is making us dumber. While he’s right that our capacity to read longer articles and books has diminished, our other capacities have increased. By using hashtags, savvy Twitter users can get a handful of viewpoints on any thought, idea, concept, or event with just a few clicks. This kind of intake forces you to see a bigger picture. Instead of seeing just one polar end, or maybe even both ends, you get the entire spectrum of views from the people at large, not just the media. How does a community based information system like Twitter change our views of events? How does the bias change from mainstream media? Does Twitter have enough thick tweets to outweigh the thin tweets? Do you think a media form like Twitter is sustainable long term, or will people get bored eventually? Why or why not?


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