Twitter Fodder Not For Everyone (OPINION)

by Paul Gatling ([email protected]) 95 views 

Twitter does not appeal to me.

A primary point of repulsion is that there is a certain level of deliberation and wisdom missing in sudden and unprompted bursts of 140 characters.

I’m not cantankerous enough not to recognize the social sharing tool for what it was intended to be — an avenue to disseminate relevant information and ideas in a civil way.

Twitter, however, can suck you into small, irrelevant confrontations and has caused a serious erosion of public dialogue. Often times, it’s nothing more than a clash of inane observations, opinions and contempt.

A recent example involved noted Twitter user Jeff Long, the athletics director at the University of Arkansas. He, of course, was too smart to get sucked in.

Less than a week after deadly tornadoes touched down in central Arkansas, a Twitter user from the Little Rock suburb of Sherwood took time out from his busy day to investigate a very important issue, sending a tweet to Long and UA football coach Brett Bielema to ask, “Where is the support for central Arkansas during this disaster?”

This person’s opinion was that while so many in Arkansas were lending assistance to tornado victims — and chronicling that support through the social media lens — the state’s flagship university didn’t care enough to do the same.

Long’s quick response was: “Some uninformed have questioned our support for Central Ark Tornado relief, when officials say it is safe to do so, we will be there!!”

To that end, a contingent of Razorback athletes went to the affected area May 9 for a coordinated volunteer effort.

It is also worth noting a tweet from the Sherwood user sent to a local radio personality on what his biggest takeaway was from the UA spring football scrimmage.

“That Brandon Allen is good at practice … But when it’s game time he couldn’t start for Arkansas State.”

Is that the kind of support this person had in mind for tornado victims?

Look, I am no angel here. I, too, have sometimes articulated derisive comments and opinions I regret.

But, fortunately, I am not on Twitter.