Headline March 30, 2018/ '' 'TWITTER GLADIATORIAL TWINGE' ''



THE CONTROVERSY OVER THE Covington high-school students shows why American journalism should disengage from Twitter.

The Covington saga illustrates how every day the media's favorite social network tugs journalists deeper into the rip currents of tribal melodrama, short-circuiting our better instincts in favor of mob-  and bot driven group think.

IN any happening, everybody seems to get caught in the fracas. They say things they shouldn't have. They shutdown dissent, chilling more measured thinking, because the title of Twitter umbrage narrows one's gaze and discourages empathy.

There's never any time to wait to get out your take : fear of missing out, which is Twitter's primary sensibility, requires that everyone offer an opinion before much is known - because by the time more is known, Twitter will already have moved on to something else.

I don't care to litigate the events concerning the Covington kids. I have read and watched at least a half-dozen accounts, and in the Rashomon haze smartphone captured clips I am still not sure what exactly happened.

The story seems complicated enough to merit careful analysis, which was unsurprisingly nowhere in sight the few times I checked Twitter that weekend.

I will confess that when I fist saw the video of a smirking teenager steering down a drumming elder, I, too, was stirred to outrage.

My politics lean against the kids', and something about their smugness and certainty - they seemed to be doing tomahawk chops and were wearing hats supporting a racist president - confirmed all my priors about the ugliness of our Trumpian times.

In the past, I would have been right there were others in the media who couldn't contain their outrage, I would have tweeted my dumb take - as I did with Justine Sacco, as I did when I  inadvertently  passed-

Passed on police-scanner misinformation after the Boston Marathon bombing, as I've done too many embarrassing times times to recount - and I would have felt very righteous as the likes rolled in.

The only reason I didn't beclown myself this time is that I've significant cut back how much time I spend on Twitter, and - other than to sell servingly promote my articles and engage with my readers    - I almost never tweet about the news anymore.

I began pulling back last year - not because I'm morally superior to other journalists but because I worried I was weaker.

I've been a twitter addict since Twitter was founded.

For years I tweeted every ingenious and idiotic thought that came into my head, whenever, wherever I tweeted from my wedding and during my kids births, and there was little more more pleasing in life than hanging out on Twitter poring over the news as it broke.

But Twitter is not that carefree clubhouse for journalism anymore. Instead it is the epicenter of  nonstop information war, an almost comically undermanaged gladiatorial arena where activists and disinformation artists and politicians and marketers gather to target and influence the wider media world.

For a journalist, flying above that fray requires intense intestinal fortitude. Twitter, I realized, was sapping all my time and energy, and sooner or later, I knew I would screw up royally.

Deep down, I suspect many others worry about the same. They are right to. Twitter will ruin us, and we should stop.

With respectful dedication to All the Great Journalists Of The World, Leaders, Twitter Masters, Students, Professors and Teachers of the world,

See Ya all prepare for Great Global Elections and  ''register'' on The World Students Society : wssciw.blogspot.com and Twitter-E-!WOW! the Ecosystem 2011:

''' Twitter -!WOW!- Tweet '''

Good Night and God Bless

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


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