Twitter: Friend or Foe?

Reaction to NYTimes’ Article: “Spotlight Again Falls on Web Tools and Change”

           The world is changing. We are transitioning to online, immediate and personalized news. And not just in the United States. I think the harder people try to fight the popularity and strengths of social media, the harder it is going to backfire. The recent uprising in Egypt and eventual resignation of Mubarak is just one example of this.

            I agree with Evgeny Morozov’s opinion that new media, if used correctly or innovatively, can be a very powerful and successful tool. Just look at the latest presidential election. Pres. Obama was the underdog, but by utilizing new media to reach young, passionate citizens of Gen Y, he was able to raise an enormous following, raise millions of dollars in donations, and eventually win the presidency. Although we do not necessarily want the power of social media in the wrong hands, it’s hard to deny its power.

            On the other hand, it will be interesting to see where censoring comes into play among new media in the coming years. As the article states, Iran already utilized Twitter to arrest thousands of political activists who posted in opposition of the government. I wonder if this concept will come into play in the United States. To some extent, it already has with reporters and employees being fired for posting inappropriate or slandering statements.

           With the Internet and the prominence of social media comes a certain level of easiness in everyday life: an easy way to connect, an easy way to share ideas, an easy way to get news. But with this huge connection comes consequences. I constantly have to question every 140 character tweet before posting – could this offend someone? Will a future employer throw my resume in the trash if they see this? I love Twitter and new media, but it’s getting harder and harder to have a personal life. Every thing I do is public. Even this blog, which is just for in-class assignments, comes up when I Google my name. How much is too much?

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February 2011

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