Letters

Letters 07-27-2015

Next For Brownfields In regard to your recent piece on brownfield redevelopment in TC, the Randolph Street project appears to be proceeding without receiving its requested $600k in brownfield funding from the county. In response to this, the mayor is quoted as saying that the developer bought the property prior to performing an environmental assessment and had little choice but to now build it...

Defending Our Freedom This is in response to Sally MacFarlane Neal’s recent letter, “War Machines for Family Entertainment.” Wake Up! Make no mistake about it, we are at war! Even though the idiot we have for a president won’t accept the fact because he believes we can negotiate with Iran, etc., ISIS and their like make it very clear they intend to destroy the free world as we know it. If you take notice of the way are constantly destroying their own people, is that living...

What Is Far Left? Columnist Steve Tuttle, who so many lambaste as a liberal, considers Sen. Sanders a far out liberal “nearly invisible from the middle.” Has the middle really shifted that far right? Sanders has opposed endless war and the Patriot Act. Does Mr. Tuttle believe most of our citizens praise our wars and the positive results we have achieved from them? Is supporting endless war or giving up our civil liberties middle of the road...

Parking Corrected Stephen Tuttle commented on parking in the July 13 Northern Express. As Director of the Traverse City Downtown Development Authority, I feel compelled to address a couple key issues. But first, I acknowledge that  there is some consternation about parking downtown. As more people come downtown served by less parking, the pressure on what parking we have increases. Downtown serves a county with a population of 90,000 and plays host to over three million visitors annually...

Home · Articles · News · Features · Twitter, Tweet, Twit
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Twitter, Tweet, Twit

Harley Sachs - December 1st, 2008
Hold onto your hats! The Oxford English Dictionary is about to be assaulted by a new stream of words which will boggle your mind: twitter, tweet, twit, Twhirl, Tweet Scan, Twemes, Hashtags, Mashups, Twittervision, Twitterfone, Twitterholic and 8ZAP. These are probably just the start of a flood of internet jargon all related to a form of community text messaging called Twitter.
Some readers may remember the old contests, “In 25 words or less, complete the sentence, ‘I like --- product because…’” for which you might win an electric toaster or a year’s supply of Drek laundry detergent. Now with Twitter, it’s “Can you send your whole text message in 140 characters or less?”
At one time, jealous of all those folks with their cell phones to their ears on the street, on busses, and while driving through intersections, I bought a one dollar toy cell phone so I could pretend to be with the crowd. Then I bought a little WalMart Nokia that is real and works.
But that’s still a one-to-one call; yet with text messaging and Twitter, I can tell everyone in my crowd of friends what I am having for dinner this very moment, not that they care.
In a sense, Twitter is similar to the days of party-line hard-wired telephones. If you never hung up the phone, everyone on the party line knew simultaneously what you had to say.
You can read an extensive discussion of Twitter in all its ramifications on Wikipedia or you can, of course, sign up as a Twitter user at www.Twitter.com. That is, if you really need to be connected all the time to your clique of pals. This is the wired, or more correctly, “connected” generation. Kids deprived of cell phones feel deprived of their liberty.
But as the available internet information on Twitter will reveal, there are important and practical uses for Twitter beyond the endless and silly twittering that goes on among the teenage twits. Crews fighting forest fires, separated by smoke, flames, and distance, can keep in constant touch by that form of instant messaging so everyone on the team is informed and alerted to sudden changes.
It’s also used by the Red Cross when dealing with natural disasters. With Twitter, there’s instant messaging -- no need to call an individual. The whole team is instantly informed.
Twitter is also an emergency communication option for college students in the wake of recent campus shootings.
It’s reported that over three million people are signed up for Twitter. It’s also widely used in Japan, that gadget-loving country, even though Twitter there started out in English.
Twitter was first developed in San Francisco by a startup company called Obvious. Like many technological advances, there have been some unanticipated consequences. With their cell phones forever on to receive Twitter messages, people become overwhelmed with information they do not need or want -- like what your network of friends are having for dinner or if they’re suffering a case of constipation. If you are so wired that you leave the cell phone on when you go to bed, you may be awakened by new messages and never get a decent night’s sleep.
Then there are fake messages and even phone viruses. Like the spy-versus-spy cartoons in Mad magazine, for every mischief there’s a counter-mischief or attempted remedy.
Since I’m not in a fire department or on a Red Cross emergency service team, I don’t need to be a Twit. Nor do I want to have my cell phone perpetually on so the GPS feature tells eavesdroppers where I am at all times. You don’t have to play Twitter. You can opt out.
But if you have a compulsive need to stay connected to your pals all of the time, Twitter may be for you. If so, sign up -- it’s free. But be careful. You may be giving up your privacy and asking for uninterrupted interruptions. There’s a limit to multi-tasking. The emergency Twitter message, called “fail whale,” is the symbol of a Beluga whale twittering that the system is overloaded.
 
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