I have a confession to make… I like Twitter!

There’s been lots of chatter about the positives and negatives of Twitter recently, particularly over the last few days. For me, it’s people that bully others, and to try and blame a communications platform for the actions of malicious human beings is both incorrect and naive.

There’s a myth out there too that everyone on Twitter somehow believes everything they read. If I see something incredible, I wait to see how it’s backed up – and I do the same for anything I read in a newspaper.

Hasn’t there been plenty of commentary in the past about not believing everything you read in the paper? How many ‘sources’ close to the story are really made up quotes, based on presumptions or tips? Having worked in the media industry, I imagine more than readers probably think.

Those general criticisms should not take away from the really important work that is carried out daily by some of Ireland’s journalists. The reality is that good journalism – print, radio, tv or online – is good journalism, which should always be encouraged, but there’s plenty of shoddy journalism going on in the trade and available to view at any stage.

So, for the record, here are some of the reasons that I like Twitter!

  1. It allows me interact with people that have similar interests as me, people across the world.
  2. By following those same people of interest, I can read what they are reading, comment on what they think is interesting and be pointed in the direction of content that I will enjoy reading!
  3. It has changed the way I watch television, especially live sport – and the witty banter, the stats, interesting facts and observations add great value to an event.
  4. Breaking news: nothing can beat immediate, in-person reaction to a major news story and Twitter now beats every other platform hands down.
  5. I don’t follow too many famous names but Twitter does allow us a more consistent insight into personalities and organisations everywhere in the world. Social Media is supposed to be ‘social’ and Twitter keeps the interaction short and sweet.
  6. It doesn’t have as much of the ‘boasting’ factor that you see plastered all over other social media networks. According to one really, really popular platform, some of the people in my life have the best lives ever – when in fact they only selective choose to highlight the good stuff and not the ordinary humdrum of everyday living we all experience.
  7. Finally – there is no source of information quite like it. I recently wanted to figure out when La Liga confirms its fixtures, so I asked on Twitter. Within a couple of minutes, I had several informed and helpful replies back, coupled with some practical advice from people I have great time for. Who wouldn’t value that?

I have seen evidence of the ‘other’ side too – petty squabbles, incessant self promotion (to the point of the ridiculous) and criticism of people who are only trying to go about their daily business.

Unfortunately, that will be part of life with or without Social Media, but maybe instead of investigating and encouraging ‘cross-party’ action to tackle the vessel rather than the real issues, we can remind everyone online what it is to have manners and how to respectfully disagree with someone’s opinions or actions? Just a thought!

P.S. In the past I might have included a link or two, but I’m a bit wary these days….

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