140 characters are really interesting, don’t you think so? As the old proverb goes- Choose your words properly before you speak holds true on Twitter. For most the problem is how can a message be tied in 140 words? A common question that I have come across in workshops or conferences and my response has always been -“Well that is the fun, Constraint makes you creative!”
Along with driving creativity, 140 characters have made information travel really fast then we could have imagined and faster too. Nobody ever could have imagined that mankind would witness such advancement in terms of speed and reach. However as expressed in the movie Spiderman that:
[pullquote id=”lhipull” class= “center_pull”] With great power comes great responsibility, so is in the case of Twitter.[/pullquote]
Recently the world mourned about the tragic end of Whitney Houston. I had read the news on Twitter because for a year now I have stopped buying the newspaper. For the next two days, my timeline on Twitter and other social media sites were packed by messages from fans and same was the mourning when Steve Jobs left us. Back in India, this has been the same case too whether it was the death of the Bollywood legend Shammi Kapoor or gazal maestro Jagjit Singh. Undoubtedly Twitter has been the platform for breaking news and also for making it viral.
However, there is a small thing that is often overlooked in this, that is the authenticity of the news. Twitter is a great platform for spreading and sharing things across the globe but what is the authenticity of the news. For example, I clearly remember that when Jagjit Singh was hospitalized, the actual news that spread on Twitter was that he is no more. Finally his manager had to come on Twitter to kill the rumour. I was also one of the culprits to retweet a tweet of one of my friend without checking the authenticity of the news during this incident. And the latest celebrity to die on Twitter is Madonna which is trending globally. People may debate that these are marketing gimmicks and sometimes it is true too. Along with this it is also a case where people spread the word unknowingly. A similar practice that is mostly seen on Trending Topics. If you click on one of the Trending Topic, then you would find 5-6 tweets out of 10 would be ones that would be asking what is the hashtag all about or why is it actually trending on the timeline. A funny thing but we all do it and don’t realize it too.
Same was witnessed during the death of Whitney Houston where a group of people successfully made Whitney’s death to be caused by wasp’s bite. A thought that was expressed by Quinton O’Reilly in Simply Zesty’s recent article. Quinton shares insightful thoughts and debates on which is better on Twitter when it comes to news is it the First source or the Best source along with the credibility of source.
For me it is always the best source that matter rather than the first source and I think a change that will be expected by twitteraties going forth. And when people will vouch for best source, the credibility of the source would be defined too. I am sure that this is not going to change at once but going further as we evolve and Twitter evolves too, these things will be considered. As it was rightly said in the i5Talks that the “Onus is on us when we are on social media”. So we could watch our tweets and be thoughtful on Twitter before using the word “RIP” or sharing links too. Don’t you think so?
Slide Image Courtesy: CampaignIndia.in