Monday, August 19, 2013

Twitter: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.

The Good:

 Universal communication with anyone on the planet (who is also on Twitter, and hasn't blocked you for being a pain in the butt), rich and famous included (though most of the time they'll ignore you), and politicians who will follow you get votes but also allow you to voice your opinion, which they seldom read. Up to date information on the latest news (often before it's published online or in hardcopy), and any interests you subscribe to (follow) on Twitter.

The Bad:
The muzzling 140 character limit, based on the ideal of Twitter founder Jack Dorsey that a picture is worth a thousand words, which can also be interpreted in a thousand different ways. For example, what does this tell us about Noam Chomsky?

The Ugly:
Twitter rage and gossip. Buying followers on Twitter - No, I'm not making this up:

Spam - Lots and lots of it. Make sure you have a good antivirus and spyware.

I gave up on Facebook about two years ago, tried Twitter for a while and liked it, for a while, and then, as with Facebook, I could see the tweets on the wall: #thisisn'tgoingtolast.
When it comes to unceremoniously dumping such social media, I still haven't worked out whether there's something wrong with me, or them.  So I'm hoping that Salon is wrong and Chomsky is right:  Why Chomsky is wrong about Twitter.
According to Chomsky:

“Text messaging, Twitter, that sort of thing […] is extremely rapid, very shallow communication,” he said to interviewer Jeff Jetton. Chomsky said. “[I] think it erodes normal human relations. It makes them more superficial, shallow, evanescent.”
The Salon author's defenses are worth reading, but not worth re-posting.
Admittedly, blogging is part of the social media, and it is digital communication. Blogging has, however, far outlasted my forays on Facebook and Twitter.  Some of the articles, not all, have taken quite a bit of reading and research, and in others I've drawn upon almost a lifetime of reading on some subjects. So while this medium probably doesn't meet Chomsky's high intellectual standards either, with apologies to my former "friends" and "followers", I'd still rather blog than "like" or "tweet". 

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