Letters

Letters 07-25-2016

Remember Bush-Cheney Does anyone remember George W. Bush and Dick Cheney? They were president and vice president a mere eight years ago. Does anyone out there remember the way things were at the end of their duo? It was terrible...

Mass Shootings And Gun Control The largest mass shooting in U.S. history occurred December 29,1890, when 297 Sioux Indians at Wounded Knee in South Dakota were murdered by federal agents and members of the 7th Cavalry who had come to confiscate their firearms “for their own safety and protection.” The slaughter began after the majority of the Sioux had peacefully turned in their firearms...

Families Need Representation When one party dominates the Michigan administration and legislature, half of Michigan families are not represented on the important issues that face our state. When a policy affects the non-voting K-12 students, they too are left out, especially when it comes to graduation requirements...

Raise The Minimum Wage I wanted to offer a different perspective on the issue of raising the minimum wage. The argument that raising the minimum wage will result in job loss is a bogus scare tactic. The need for labor will not change, just the cost of it, which will be passed on to the consumer, as it always has...

Make Cherryland Respect Renewable Cherryland Electric is about to change their net metering policy. In a nutshell, they want to buy the electricity from those of us who produce clean renewable electric at a rate far below the rate they buy electricity from other sources. They believe very few people have an interest in renewable energy...

Settled Science Climate change science is based on the accumulated evidence gained from studying the greenhouse effect for 200 years. The greenhouse effect keeps our planet 50 degrees warmer due to heat-trapping gases in our atmosphere. Basic principles of physics and chemistry dictate that Earth will warm as concentrations of greenhouse gases increase...

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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