Mike K. Lewis, a writer for The Week, has decided that his once passionate affair with Twitter is over.
Cue the angry breakup music.
In the early days of his social media bliss, Lewis wrote, ” … [M]y ability to leverage my Twitter feed to find story ideas — and to drive up page views by tweeting out links — helped me survive and thrive.”
Then, the relationship turned ugly when people started to send unkind tweets in his direction. “It’s hard to pinpoint the exact moment it happened — but at some point, Twitter became a dark place,” Lewis wrote. ” … Somewhere along the line, our optimism faded.”
“Twitter has become like high school,” Lewis continued, “where the mean kids say something hurtful to boost their self-esteem to see if others will laugh and join in. Aside from trolling for victims after some tragedy, Twitter isn’t used for reporting much anymore. But it is used for snark.”
Calling the social network a “prison,” Lewis predicted that others, tired of “meaner and coarser” dialog, will also drop Twitter like a bad boyfriend.
However his colleague at The Week, Paul Brandus, disagreed and wrote a vigorous defense of Twitter. “I’ve never met Matt, and he seems like a nice guy,” he said, “but when it comes to Twitter, he’s wrong.”
He thinks Lewis’ problem is with how Lewis chose to use Twitter rather than with the social network itself. “I’m bombarded daily with angry, insulting, condescending tweets from people questioning my manhood, patriotism and intelligence,” Brandus said. “I usually don’t respond. A thick skin is a good thing to have.”
Gently wrapping Lewis on the knuckles, Brandus added, “… [I]f your job is to tell everyone what you think, you should hardly be taken aback, see it as a burden, or a ‘prison,’ when other people who disagree with you tell you so. It goes with the territory. And that’s not Twitter’s fault.”
The Poynter Institute’s Julie Moos collected some of the responses to Lewis’ anti-Twitter musings, responses which ranged from scathing to insightful.
What do you think? Is Twitter dark and twisty or a lively destination for discussion and banter?
Image credit: The Independent.