I was the “that” person in a classroom or social setting who swore to never use Twitter. I always found Twitter to be narcissistic and pointless. With the boundless amounts of social media in this world, Twitter was the social networking site I never wanted to be involved in. When my New Media and Communication class required each student to create a Twitter and post two “tweets”, I shuddered at the thought that I would have to create yet another social media account in order to express my opinions to an audience who I would most likely never encounter in my daily life. But alas, it was a graded assignment so I knew I had to put my opinions aside and create the dreaded Twitter.
When I first created my Twitter, I started to follow businesses and business leaders that I normally would on Facebook. I quickly realized that within the first couple minutes of me choosing who I wanted to follow, Twitter began to make recommendations and remove certain celebrities or organizations that they feel didn’t “fit it” with what I was interested in. In fact, when I clicked on the “Discover” link, the top part of the page stated certain tweets were “tailored for you”. Scary. In addition, I felt that the 140 words prevented me from expressing myself, which led me to feel frustrated.
Once I created my tweets, I felt that Twitter was quite unorganized and was just a somewhat fancier webpage with links to blogs/websites. As I started researching Twitter, I soon learned that others in the digital world shared the same opinions as me. An article from Bloomberg on September 17th of this year ( http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-09-17/peter-thiel-says-twitter-horribly-mismanaged-.html ) stated that Peter Thiel, an early investor in Facebook Inc, believes that Twitter is not living up to its potential due to its dysfunction from its top management. He stated that everyone at Twitter needs to be fired and the company needs to start all over again. Tough, yet powerful words.
Overall, I believe Twitter does have potential. I like how they have snapshots of what the article is about, yet I feel 140 characters limits individuals to express their full thoughts. Shirky’s article discussed how the internet (including Twitter) may fracture important critical skills that are developed while one reads from a book. When you read a book, you aren’t just reading words. You are also making inferences, engaging in your imagination while processing information and creating new thoughts in the longer span of time. Reading on the internet, especially little tweets, prevents you from having longer cognitive thoughts. Overall, I truly believe that Twitter holds you back from being enriched.
Do you believe Peter Thiel’s opinions are right regarding Twitter? How do you think Twitter can change in order to reach it’s full capabilities?