When Did Twitter Get So Serious?

Saturday, September 7th, 2013

MLK klout tweetYou probably heard about the MLK klout tweet on the 50th anniversary of the I Have A Dream speech.

It was a huge deal on the internet. If you google MLK klout tweet, there are a bunch of articles about it including this one from Buzzfeed saying it’s the “worst tweet in history.”

I know hyperbole can sometimes be a fun way to get across how strongly we feel about something. But seriously?

Pick out any of the tweets calling our President derogatory and racist terms. Pick out some tweets from the women who said they’d be happy to let Chris Brown beat them. There are plenty of tweets on a daily basis worse than this one. So, calling this the worst tweet in history seems very silly to me.

Also, I don’t even really see what’s wrong with the original tweet. Someone else tweeted that Martin Luther King Jr. would have an awesome klout score (which is true!). Klout just engaged a customer while using a current event.

What’s the harm? Saying he would have a great klout score is just saying he was an incredible influencer of his time. So, true. And a compliment. I really don’t comprehend why everyone is up in arms.

That’s just one example of a tweet that got blown way out of proportion – which happens all too often.

There’s also this other incredibly annoying thing that happens on twitter. Sometimes people think that whatever event they deem to be the event (whatever the event means to them), they act as though no one is allowed to tweet about anything else.

Very soon after James Gandolfini died, Jerry Seinfeld sent a tweet about his upcoming show. Someone responded that it was too soon. First off, the news quite possibly hadn’t even reached Jerry yet. Or it may have been a scheduled tweet.

Also, did you know that 600,000 people in the U.S.¬†die of heart disease¬†every year? That’s 1,643 people per day.

I don’t want to take anything away from the great actor and seemingly great person James Gandolfini was. But if we went silent for every person who died from heart problems, we would never tweet.

Even during the Newtown shooting, there were people who still seemed to be yelling at people for tweeting about anything else the next day. So what’s the expiration on a tragedy, then?

If someone’s mad that someone else is tweeting about anything other than Newtown, what they really should be mad about is that on average four people under 18 are killed with with guns every single day.

The fact that there are thousands of parents who lose their kids every year and no one pays attention, that’s the tragedy – not that someone is trying to talk about something else on twitter.

(Obviously all gun deaths matter – not just those of children. I’m just tying this in to what happened on the internet, and how the majority of people seemed to care more because that shooting involved children.)

There is a huge number of these examples of celebrity deaths, other tragedies, and big news stories people think need to take up the entirety of the internet and our time.

But then I ask how do we decide which things are worthy of basically stopping time, and which are not?

In my opinion, people should be able to tweet about whatever they want whenever they want. Sure, it’s sometimes jarring when your whole feed is one thing and then one random tweet is in there – but sometimes that’s nice!

Twitter is supposed to be a fun way to share thoughts, jokes, inspiration, and information. It’s supposed to be fun. Can we just lighten up a bit, please?

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