It's so easy for anyone, regardless of their qualifications, to tweet about the latest news at any time throughout the day. Back in the good old days, people would have to wait to hear the news on TV or read it in the paper. All of that has all changed ever since the birth of Twitter.
Most people, ranging from children to the elderly, gather their daily news from Twitter. In one of my classes, my teacher went around the room and asked each student where they get their news from every day. Every single person said Twitter and most mentioned a few other outlets as well. It shocked me to find out that most people are actually getting real news from their Twitter feed every single day. Twitter used to be just a platform for people to connect with others and tweet out snippets every now and then. Today, the social media platform has become a legitimate platform for news outlets, politicans and celebrities to get information to the public.
But let's think about what Twitter has really become as we wrap up 2017. Twitter is basically a staple for any iPhone user. It is an outlet for celebrities and politicians to cast their business and announcements. Whether you like it or not, President Trump has used Twitter to his advantage, even if Americans are giving him garbage for it. If it were not for Twitter, no one would have any idea what the heck that man was doing everyday. So to the people who criticize him every single time he posts a tweet, think about if he did not post anything at all. We would have no idea if he was even doing anything besides playing golf. At least now we know he has some contact with North Korea (even if it is passive aggressive comments back and forth with Kim Jong-un).
At least we have a way to connect with people out of our reach that we had no connection with 30 years ago. Regular citizens are able to feel as if they are part of almost anyone's inner circle, simply by knowing what they are up to based on their recent tweets.
Twitter has also given everyone a platform to become a citizen journalist. You can tweet to your heart's desire about anything and everything and actually have people read what you wrote. Finally, people outside of the media industry can cast their opinions to the whole world without formal schooling or a legitimate platform such as a newspaper or magazine.
But is that a good thing? Do we want anyone and everyone to be able to write whatever they want online?
We all know the saying "not everything you read online is true", but it's hard to keep that in mind when you see a crazy tweet on your feed. Most of these tweets that we see are libel because citizen journalists really don't have any qualifications to be delivering news to other unqualified people. It brings up the question of whether or not it is a good thing to give everyone the ability to be a part of the media. When we put accredited news outlets and ignorant teens on the same platform, giving them all the same access to post anything they want on Twitter, information becomes muddled and confused for what it really is.
We need to remember what Twitter was originally intended for. We also need to recognize the power everyone gets as a newfound citizen journalist and always remember to tweet responsibly.