To tweet or not to tweet
Twitter: Too much disclosure
Sarah Poland Collegio Reporter
Networking sites are designed to keep people in touch, but when the sites we use to connect to the world around us end up isolating and endangering us, we need a wake-up call.
The rising popularity of Twitter has left many talking about who tweeted what. It’s not a coincidence that the most talked about tweets of the day are those of celebrities. Although these people may be extremely talented and noteworthy, it isn’t healthy for us to follow their every move. When does enough become too much? Although Twitter may be harmless when used with discretion, in some ways, it has become a glorified form of stalking.
Because many of us have become accustomed to the technology that fills our lives, we don’t realize the harm it does. The drama and rumors that might have stopped with one person or phone call 10 years ago is now available for the world to see because of sites like Twitter. With every networking site added to our lives, the danger of people getting hurt emotionally and physically increases. Cyber-bullying and stalking are even more of a threat because of sites like Twitter.
Not all Twitter accounts belong to celebrities, which leaves the question, who is talking about tweets from people without millions of followers? Although some may create a Twitter account to keep in touch with family or friends they aren’t able to see on a regular basis, often it gets out of hand when locations and private conversations are included in tweets.
For those faithful to their Twitter accounts, it is often to easy to forget how dangerous tweets can be. Although it may be nice to think that all Twitter followers are good-hearted people just wanting to catch up on others everyday lives, it is simply dangerous to forget that there are threatening people out there.
Even on Facebook, tweets come across the pages revealing locations and activities that would normally be private. It may seem harmless to tag the location of the Starbucks one is stopping at, but when it comes down to it, they’re broadcasting their lives to people they might not even give their phone number to. Twitter is opening people up t
o being followed by those they may not even know.
While the time spent composing these tweets may seems like nothing in the short term, much of the minutes and hours taken up using Twitter could be spent actually talking to those who are close to us. Instead of spending so many hours in front of a computer, like the Y-generation has grown up doing, we could spend our time connecting in more tangible ways like phone calls and thought-out letters. These things might seem old-fashioned but when we’re gone, it’s the notes and conversations that those near to us are going to look back on and smile, not our tweets.
Twitter may be a harmless way to connect people if used in the right way, but too often it becomes an addiction that endangers. Time needs to be spent connecting face to face with the people around us, instead of creating another account that takes up even more of our time.
Twitter: A necessary evil
Whitney Saporito Managing Editor
Without Twitter, I would have to check dozens of websites and news channels every day, spending time that I, as a senior in college, don’t have right now. Twitter lets me skim the news while I’m walking from one class to another.
Though the celebrity presence does give Twitter a superficial side, it should also be recognized that the site does serve a purpose.
Finishing up my last semester, I rarely have time to turn on the news. In turn, Twitter has become my primary news source.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not getting my news updates from Kim Kardashian’s tweets; I follow tweets from legitimate news sources.
The 60 accounts I’m following on Twitter are predominately news sites, ranging from the Associated Press to the Kansas City Star.
My Twitter account is a great source for the latest events of the day. In addition, I am able to follow politicians like Gov. Sam Brownback and Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill to learn what is going on in our government.
The ability to follow several news sources and politicians at the same time, allows users the chance to not only keep updated on news and politics, but to be better informed.
According to Twitter, there are about 175 million registered users. Each day those users send out 95 million tweets of 140 characters or less.
Users have the option of fixing their privacy settings so that those following their tweets have to be approved by the user. While users also have the option to share their location, the default settings on Twitter have location turned off.
While the safety of tweeting is criticized by some people, users actually have the opportunity to keep their profiles and tweets relatively private.
Another area of Twitter that draws criticism is the tendency of star-obsessed fans to use the site as a stalking ground for celebrities.
The ability of celebrities like Charlie Sheen to draw nearly 3 million followers or Paris Hilton to have more than 3.6 million fans following her every tweet is crazy. The Twitter users who use their accounts to follow Sheen’s every move or to send tweets to Hilton 20 times a day, are part of what can give Twitter a bad name.
I will admit, my Twitter list also contains a few Hollywood celebs. I might be able to see a tweet from Neil Patrick Harris, or get a link to a sneak peek of the next episode of Glee, but that isn’t what I log in for.