Letters

Letters 07-21-2014

Disheartened

While observing Fox News, it was disheartening to see what their viewers were subjected to. It seems the Republicans’ far right wing extremists are conveying their idealistic visions against various nationalities, social diversities or political beliefs with an absence of emotion concerning women’s health issues, children’s rights, voter suppression, Seniors, Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid...

Things That Matter

All of us in small towns and large not only have the right to speak on behalf of our neighbors and ourselves, we have the duty and responsibility to do so -- and 238 years ago, we made a clear Declaration to do just that...

An Anecdote Driven Mind

So, is Thomas Kachadurian now the Northern Express’ official resident ranter? His recent factfree, hard-hearted column suggests it. While others complain about the poor condition of Michigan’s roads and highways, he rants against those we employ to fix them...

No On Prop 1

Are we being conned? Are those urging us to say “yes” to supposedly ”revenue neutral” ballot proposal 1 on August 5 telling us all the pertinent facts? Proposal 1 would eliminate the personal property tax businesses pay to local governments, replacing its revenue with a share of Michigan’s 6 percent use tax paid by us all on out-of-state purchases, hotel accommodations, some equipment rentals, and telecommunications...

Fix VA Tragedy

The problems within the Veterans Administration identified under former President Bush continue to hinder the delivery of quality health care to the influx of physically wounded and emotionally damaged young men and women...

Women Take Note

I find an interesting link between the Supreme Court Hobby Lobby and the crisis on the southern border. Angry protesters shout at children to go home. These children are scared, tired, hungry and thirsty, sent to US prisons awaiting deportation to a country where they may very likely be killed...


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

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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