Unsigned: Beautiful luxury of Twitter ranting does not need to be utilized

In March of 2006, four Silicon Valley software developers launched their newest invention: a social media platform that would allow users to post their ideas in 140 characters or less.

Eleven years later, 319 million people actively scroll through their Twitter timeline, consuming content and posting pictures of their puppies.

Many people use it as their news source as well – high school students especially. Twitter plays a pivotal role in providing information. It is no longer taboo for big time news outlets to communicate through a Twitter page. Though often times laconic, viral Twitter news can overrun a timeline. These sudden outbreaks are volatile and uncontrollable; many times stampeding out of control. From the tragic stories of shootings, to the more lighthearted factoids such as the Oscar’s accidental envelope swap for Best Picture, it is glaringly clear that news.

However with all the good Twitter can do, many evils are committed using the little blue app. For starters, having a Twitter makes it so easy to say things that a person would never say to a person’s face.

Twitter also enables an individual to speak on any issue, regardless of the accuracy of the facts.

This place where a user’s identity can be vivid, ambiguous or completely fabricated, gives the freedom to a make controversial statements; people feel they can say whatever they want, whenever they want, about whatever topic. It gives users the freedom to post fact, or fiction. But is this “freedom” used responsibly? Is this “freedom” something that should be utilized?

Often times we see the two tangled together: it is an unhealthy mixture of some truth with unreliable or exaggerated facts intertwined throughout the message. The flaw is that it is nearly impossible to tell the difference between the two.

Posting flimsy facts is toxic. One exaggerated tweet ranting about something a politician said has the power to open the flood gates. If one person disagrees, three will agree. A retweet here and a like there, and more people will feel the need to chime in on the original rebuttal, which circles back to those who agree, leading to more disagreements and then an inevitable meme – which is still founded from fiction – will have even more traffic.

A vicious, familiar, and truly pathetic pattern.

Suddenly because of a couple of dozen characters, everyone is throwing their two cents either attacking or defending the original lie people took for fact. These ignorant pieces of anger are downright otiose. If an issue is irksome enough for a message to exceed 140 characters, it should be well informed. In this day and age with the seemingly endless mediums to get information, it is unacceptable to post things rooted in fiction.

But yet it happens almost every single day. These rants present underlying problems as well. Many are littered with grammatical and spelling mistakes (despite the bright red squiggly line that pops up almost immediately after the last letter of the word is typed).

Also, since these words are exchanged over a screen, we lose the ability to see how our words impact others; we lose sight of the things and people we are critiquing so tediously.

Having an opinion is a beautiful luxury. We live in a country founded on the principle of freedom of speech, but just like it is unacceptable to shout fire in a movie theater, it is unacceptable to twist and conjure up facts for the sake of relatability.