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Is Twitter A “Prison” Or A “Wonderful Enabler Of Content Consumption?” Two Journalists Debate

On TheWeek.com, two columnists posted adjacent editorials regarding their opinions of Twitter.

The first was called, “Why I Hate Twitter” and the second, “Why I Love Twitter.”

Two interesting perspectives, worth summarizing – and adding our own commentary.

In his critique of Twitter, long-time political writer Matt K. Lewis describes how he converted from an early adopter (he joined Twitter in 2008) to a Twitter hater.

He writes,

“What was once an inspiring place that gave you a competitive advantage became a prison. Twitter has become like high school, where the mean kids say something hurtful to boost their self-esteem and to see if others will laugh and join in.”

In response to the assertion that Twitter has become more of a hindrance than a help, Paul Brandus, an award-winning member of the White House press corps, argues that, like any communication medium, Twitter is what you make of it. Which sometimes requires a thick skin.

Brandus writes,

“These days, people are busier than ever. They consume information in small bites (I call them “nuggets”), and Twitter is the perfect platform for this. Anyone wanting more in-depth information, more probing analysis, a graph or chart, can simply click on links I provide. People can consume a little, or a lot. In this respect, Twitter is a wonderful enabler of content consumption.”

Both sides are certainly legitimate. Twitter trolls make expressing opinions or sharing ideas on Twitter – or any social media network for that matter – risky. Unless you choose to take haters’ responses with a grain of salt, as Brandus does. Or simply disengage, as Lewis has done.

An important aspect of Twitter to emphasize, one that satisfies both journalists’ uses of the network, is the ability to create a niche within it. You can craft Twitter lists, join or create Twitter chats, and use an aggregator tool or scheduling manager to hone how you use Twitter. You can also choose to communicate, or not communicate, with whoever you want.

Since you read AllTwitter, you’re likely more in the “Why I Love Twitter” than the “Why I Hate Twitter” camp. But are there any poignant parts to either argument that resonate with you?

(Image from Shutterstock)

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