Sunday, August 23, 2009

twitter: what is it?

I’m puzzled by the criticism that Twitter has become a place for celebrities. While I’m certainly aware that we have celebrities on our service, I’m not forced to follow them. I think I follow maybe 5, and they’re fairly minor celebrities at that. If you find the communication with a celebrity (or any other user) on Twitter “empty”, simply unfollow them. Just as the mainstream media may be tasteful, nobody is prying your eyes open and forcing you to watch or read or listen; if anything, undesirable content is easier to avoid on Twitter than on most forms of communication.

New media are not a threat to some more innately authenticate, measurably human way of being and interacting. People’s credulity and willingness to be manipulated by other people - whether those people are shouting from a mountaintop, talking into a radio station microphone, or texting into a mobile phone - is a perpetual function of education, circumstance, and opportunity.

Alex Payne

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