We must Embrace Twitter!

Hilary Clinton stated that she couldn’t tell “a Twitter from a tweeter.” I have personally bashed Twitter and other social media sites many many times before, including in the majority of the blogs that I’ve posted so far. I also think that Clay Shirky is dramatically embellishing when he claims that Iran was completely transformed by social media. Perhaps Westerners are just looking for a way to justify hours spent in vain. But I do agree with Shirky that information and communication can lead to change, and that is exactly what these sites provide. In his article, “Does Egypt need Twitter?” Malcom Gladwell argues that people brought down governments before such sites existed. He goes on to say that, “Barely anyone in East Germany in the 1980s had a phone” and “in the French Revolution the crowd in the streets spoke to one another with that strange, today largely unknown instrument known as the human voice” (what a great line). However, Gladwell appears to be disproving his own point. No people didn’t have these means of communication then, so imagine what they can do now that they do. If they could do it then with nothing then today should be cake. Regardless of what we may think I think it is time -and this is very painful for me to say- to bite the bullet and embrace Twitter. As Huber said in class, we have to be there, cause our audience is there. Knowledge. We are journalists; it is our job to take interest in what the American people take interest in. I guess Hillary Clinton and I are both in the same boat in that soon we are both going to have to learn the difference between a Twitter and a tweeter.

 

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