Thursday, January 26, 2012

TWITTER MAKING A DIFFERENCE?

I had my first real discussion via Twitter last night.

A Telegram reporter and a CBC reporter were discussing where in last nights Here and Now broadcast the emerging Auditor General General Reports story should have been placed.

The debate is not as important as the fact that, with the touch of my fingers, I was engaged in a good discussion with two high profile journalists about ethics, newsworthiness and the current AG's approach to various forms of media. 

Up to this point, I have been a voyeur in the Twittersphere. Sure, I Twitter a few Blog posts in the hopes of creating conversations at Polemic and Paradox , initiating change or offering a resources. Athough I have followers, I've always doubted if people  have enough time to read and take note, considering all the blogs, facebook pages and  tweets that people create each day.   

We all have hundreds  of thoughts every day. Social media provides a forum where those thoughts can have an impact on our friends and acquaintances.  Those thoughts can make you think differently, see other perspectives,  laugh, cry and even scream.
 
Social media sites, and users, are utilizing the medium to address and tackle serious issues, as well as keeping up on celebrities, news, gossip, and providing free publicity.  

To shrug social media off as a fad would be a mistake. Social media can make a tremendous difference. It is very much a new way to enhance communication and it is not going away. Twitter is everywhere, even if it has not been embraced by everyone. 

From TV. shows, radio programs to municipal updates, people/organizations  are sharing their Twitter handle.   The same is true for print materials and other forms of advertisements.

The real impact of Twitter, on people that are not activists or have not yet adopted social media remains to be seen. At this point, I do not doubt that social media has had an impact in getting the public more engaged in the discussion, but in countries like ours, has it gotten them to the ballot box?

As I experienced last night, it connects people to other people – shares causes - offers direct news and discussion.  Although I don’t participate in many Twitter chats,  mostly due to time constraints,  they are of great value in both learning and connecting.

Twitter will continue to grow and be a major source of news and connection for millions of people.

Even my dad is getting into social media, he requested me to be his friend on Facebook last night!



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