Against those who rubbish tweeters and Facebook followers


Against those who rubbish tweeters and Facebook followers

Who says it is only the mindless, superficial members of our society that waste time tweeting and putting entries on Facebook? Mindless some may be, but the act of tweeting and communicating in short statements on internet sites is an art, I argue, not a mindless occupation.

One of the most difficult things to do is to summarize your life in a single sentence. Try it. You will see that it is almost impossible to say what your life is about effectively if you have only a few bytes at your disposal. The more you read other people’s tweets, the more you realize which ones interest you and why.  Understanding why some entries are more appealing than others leads to the conclusion that there is an art in creating entries. Judging just the right words to use, knowing how to be in tune with your followers and how to express what you want to say so that your followers understand what you exactly is a real skill.

Then there is the question of tone. How can you express exactly how you feel? So often the use of brief statements is mis-interpreted as rudeness. Avoiding the impression that you have no time to be courteous or you can’t be bothered takes care and special ability.

Newsworthiness is a constant problem for the media and is now an issue for those who tweet. How can you make ordinary, everyday activity interesting and newsworthy? This is yet another problem for tweeters and Facebook participants and it gradually becomes obvious that some manage to make their tweets more interesting and newsworthy than others.

Then there is the question of personality. It takes only a few words to reveal aspects of personality. Your interests, hobbies and feelings are obvious signs but dig a little deeper and you will note how self-orientated some individuals are and how their intelligence, world knowledge and social skills (or lack of them) are made apparent.  

There is also the sense of community and the bond between friends that develops. Networking, information sharing and advice all have their parts to play.  In day to day activity, if someone corrects my spelling without my asking, I can easily be offended. In my tweets or Facebook entries, this sense of community engenders no such feelings. I appreciate it when someone takes the trouble to correct me when I am wrong. We are a bunch of human beings sharing our lives. We have no special points to score as we do in the outside more throat-cutting, business world.

Tweeting and participating on sites like Facebook would be worthy topics for research. Perhaps a tweeter will tell me about such research already taking place?

Rosemary Westwell  (Dr Roe on twitter.com)

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