D.C. Schultz

So much is being made of the influence of Twitter in our society. Do you subscribe? Do you know anyone who subscribes?

But we have all heard of it and it’s supposed influence.

From my understanding of the workings of this social medium platform, a “tweet” is limited to 280 characters (spaces and punctuation included). 

By way of comparison, the above in my column equals 300 characters and would be a complete “tweet” plus 20 and I have said nothing to entertain, educate, or in any way justify the space in this publication it gets.

So, what is Twitter?  t is an outlet for communicating the writer’s point of view on limited spectrum. Because of its brevity it does not allow for justification, proof, or authenticity. After all, you only have 280 characters. Say what you think you need to say. Trust and/or belief is a big part of this. 

The other interesting thing about this model of communication is the term “followers”.  That is, your tweet is delivered specifically to your followers. It is out there for public review, but delivered to those subscribers that have identified themselves as followers of your tweets. Regardless of the content of the tweet – you are a follower, from then on.

The number of followers is somewhat of a status measurement. The more followers, the higher your status, because after all – your tweets are being delivered to a greater number of subscribers that have requested your tweets. Why? Well, we have never established that. You are an influencer.  Another new term.  

How a follower deals with those tweets is the next very significant step. That follower can ignore, can add a comment, or just re-tweet the message to their followers. And this step goes forward any number of times. All of this without verification, vetting of the sources, or trying to see what is true or not.

So, to recap, some person can say something (verifiable or not), you can re-tweet (be an influencer) or follow and stay silent. The new choices of digital communication.

Now I have to say, as a non-tweeter and non-follower, I have never bought, sold, endorsed, embraced, or really discussed anything that can be described in 280 characters. For me, it just doesn’t work that way.




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