OK, there are things in this world I love more, but what I do find fascinating about Twitter is that everybody is welcome, and everybody can carve out their own world of information and news that matters to them. The filter of the editor at the newscast or newspaper doesn’t exist on Twitter; we are our own filter, and that’s a liberating feeling. It can also be used by people who are trying to be funny, trying to enlighten, or trying to speak to the nation — even though it is probably through his Twitter secretary or some imaginary position that would have been obsolete during the Lincoln administration.
For example, my brother Colin just got onto Twitter and began to gather more news about what matters to him (which as you can tell if you looked at his description, is comics, video games and movies). He follows people/organizations/bands like DC Comics, Stan Lee, Kevin Smith and Van Halen. Not only can learn about what they’re doing, he can interact with them if he so chooses.
The downside of this is that my brother could be a part of the generation that loses the generalist but grows in the specialist. Is this a good thing or a bad thing? Time will tell.
(Quick side tangent: if you haven’t noticed that the Tweets I’ve posted are all fairly recent, it’s because I don’t believe there’s a way to search for older tweets. It looks like the best way to find older ones is to continue to scroll down and down and down and down and down. Fix that, Twitter.)
Since I don’t know if Phil wants us to write about five pieces of knowledge we learned from Twitter, or five things we’ve learned about Twitter, or five things we’ve learned about ourselves because of Twitter, I’m going to do a bit of each. I’ll count that first point as No. 1.
2. One of the bad sides of Twitter is that it is based on speed. As I talked about in my first post for this class, Twitter is there for emotional, and sometimes, irrational commentary about subjects that happen around us. This is dangerous. Eventually somebody will slander someone on Twitter and it will open up a legal can of worms that doesn’t have to be opened.
3. CBC tweeted a story about Moammar Gadhafi because it’s timely, and to educate dictator neophytes like me on him. I would have never learned that he was a Che Guevara admirer, or that two of his sons run the countries’ Olympic and Soccer federations. Moral of the story: if you follow the proper sources, brand new information is a click away.
4. Twitter is trying to keep up-to-date with technology as well, as this Twitter superstar notes. It’s highly admirable that like Facebook, Twitter is not resting on its laurels and trying to continue to grow and expand and get better. Staying stagnant is retrogressing.
5. I learned that if you do care about an issue passionately, you will find people out there just like you. I’m fascinated by concussions and the medical side-effects of repetitive head trauma and all the research being done into it. I tweeted about it last week and used a hash-tag on the word concussion and was re-tweeted by an organization called 2moroDocs that follows medical news. I’ve been able to talk to people about it over the net and ways that it can be prevented, and how to educate the public and protect children.
Would that have happened with a letter to the editor 15 years ago? Not a chance. Which is why we should all embrace this phenomenon.