What’s Twitter good for? I don’t use Twitter much. I got turned off when I got bombarded with tweets about eating breakfast, watching a movie at home, finding hairs in a bath tub, whatever. I also don’t think people care about the minutiae in my life (My feet hurt from walking!! That roast beef was terrible!! What’s that smell??!) and I wonder why they spend time broadcasting about the minutiae in their’s.
But I think I’ve found a positive that goes far beyond Twitter’s original intent (it’s a great place to meet people with like interests you would not otherwise meet; the immediacy is great). Twitter could be on its way to becoming a voice for the supressed and force change in ways we never anticipated.
Look at what’s happening in Iran. The government hasordered all foreign media to stay in its offices. But they can’t easily collect all of the cell phones in the country, which means they can’t stop Iranians upset with the outcome of their election from venting. They can’t stop the free flow of information, which means the world knows when the next silent protest is underway. Since information can get out, might that have played a part in the decision to hold a partial recount of the disputed election? Might that play a part in however the Iranian government decides to handle this crisis, which happens to come at a particularly sensitive time as it tries to repair relations with the West?
The State Department asked Twitter to postpone schedule maintenance during a time Iranians were using the service to get word out about what’s happening. And the New York Times, on its front page, said Twitter “can affect history.”
I don’t know. Maybe Twitter’s not so bad afterall.
The views expressed on this blog are mine alone.