Today, Twitter is one of the most visited websites in the world and has become a source of news, sports and comedy to many, including myself. Whenever a major event is happening, such as the Super Bowl, the Grammy Awards or the Presidential Inauguration I look to Twitter for instant updates and reactions.
Two areas of interest that continue to bring me back to Twitter are sports and memes. For those that are unaware, a meme is defined as a humorous image, video or piece of text that is copied and spread rapidly by Internet users. I watch a lot of sporting events, but there are plenty of things not covered by the typical TV broadcast that are interesting to consumers such as myself. That’s where Twitter comes in. Many journalists gain a following by finding fun and obscure storylines within sporting events to share on Twitter.
Ordinary people have become famous due to their quick wit and photo-shop abilities being shared on Twitter during important events. For example, let’s say a performer makes a mistake during a nationally broadcast concert. Instantly, there are hundreds of humorous responses accompanied with pictures of the event of itself or some sort of reaction. For these reasons, among others, Twitter makes my life more entertaining.
However, one topic of interest that has divided the United States more than any other has gradually become a go-to Twitter talking point: Politics.
I have no problem with people expressing their opinions. As humans, and as Americans, we have the right to do so. Additionally, hearing different opinions is an important part of life and having conversations and arguments about certain topics regarding policies or social issues can be crucial to finding a common ground. However, Twitter can be a tricky place to have these types of exchanges.
Twitter was made for short posts, as evident with the 140-character limit per tweet. Politics, more often than not, can’t be confined to just 140 characters. The problem with Twitter politics is that people will try to make a point in a message that fits the limit.
This causes many crucial facts, points and counter-arguments to be ignored. The political world becomes two groups of users spewing half-sentences back and forth at each other with limited regard for the factual or holistic views of each other’s arguments.
Many of the social issues in America today cause extreme reactions from people on each side of the coin. Social media has become a place for individuals to share their instant reactions to these issues before thinking about it completely. These posts, in turn, cause extreme emotional reactions from opposing viewers. The whole situation is essentially a chain reaction of heated views that started with a single tweet. Arguments like these are not necessary and only cause more division in the already divided America we live in today.
The same can be said for most social media outlets, but Twitter is the one source where I personally have seen political arguments get out of hand.
This isn’t meant to discourage people from using Twitter, rather a warning that Twitter may not be the best platform for political conversations. If you can, have those types of conversations in person.