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The article under consideration is written by Robert Lucky (2010) and entitled “To Twitter or not to Twitter?” The author dwells upon the role social networks play in people’s lives. The author does not explicitly point out his viewpoint on the matter. However, he makes the reader understand that social networks like Twitter have two sides. On one hand, Twitter is a great means of rapid exchange of information. On the other hand, it is often used for quite meaningless communication. Lucky (2010) does not explicitly state that he thinks Twitter is a negative phenomenon. Nevertheless, the author focuses on the negative effects of Twitter as the author evokes certain ideas and even feelings concerning the dark side of the social network.
Positive Effects of the Social Network
As has been mentioned above, Lucky (2010) claims that twittering has negative as well as positive effects. In the first place, it is important to focus on the positive side of twittering. Thus, Lucky (2010) points out that the development of social networks and the wide popularity of these resources can be explained by the development of technology and, to a certain extent, by the development of contemporary society.
The author claims that “natives”, i.e. people who were born when the Internet played an important role in people’s lives, have been surrounded by the cyber world (Lucky, 2010, p. 244). The author concludes that it is but natural that young people have acknowledged the advantages of communication via the Internet.
Furthermore, the author states that many people find this kind of communication quite effective. More so, such social networks help people to “feel a sense of connectedness” (Lucky, 2010, p. 245). Therefore, social networks help people to feel safe and connected to others. The author also claims that twittering is not a kind of entertainment for young people. It can be used during conferences and lectures to make more people involved in the discussion. However, Lucky (2010) expresses concerns that many people, especially older ones, may become distracted from the topic.
Negative Effects of Social Networks
Nonetheless, the author also reflects upon the negative effects of twittering in more detail. Notably, this is not just about being distracted during a lecture. The author notes that twittering can have far more serious negative effects. Admittedly, nowadays many people prefer online communication to real-world relationships. Another problem associated with Twitter is concerned with time. The modern world is rapidly changing and people do not have much time, so they simply cannot afford to waste it. However, social networking steals precious time since many people are absorbed by the cyber world.
Thus, Lucky (2010) claims that people often waste their time. For instance, the author provides an example of the youth who says that he twitters that he awakens each day. Notably, the author is not horrified by the fact that some individual writes about such trifles. The author stresses that he is horrified that this information reached a great number of people. Therefore, the author concludes that twittering does steal people’s time.
The Author’s Viewpoint
Thus, the author reveals the bad and good sides of twittering. Of course, it can be rather difficult to draw the right conclusion. For instance, some time ago computers were regarded as highly harmful devices, though now people have learned how to use their computers properly. Notably, the author does not simply end his essay in some overt conclusion. However, the author does come to a particular conclusion. At the end of the essay he notes:
So is the networking phenomenon a great revolution in social consciousness, or is this just a lot of pointless, incessant barking? I’m not sure, but if you get a message that I’ve just awoken, you’ll know that I’ve decided. (Lucky, 2010, p. 246)
Thus, the author asks a relevant question. The reader is encouraged to provide his/her own conclusion on the matter. The reader is seemingly free to choose from. Undoubtedly, some may conclude that twittering is an inevitable process that leads to the development of society.
Nonetheless, the author still stresses his own opinion. He understands that there are many positive things about social networking. However, twittering may turn into meaningless ‘barking’ and simple waste of time. The last lines of the essay prove that the author warns people about possible outcomes of ‘unhealthy’ twittering.
On balance, it is possible to claim that the author dwells upon the positive and negative effects of twittering. It is also necessary to note the author does not explicitly reveal his opinion, but he makes the reader understand his viewpoint. Thus, the author claims that Twitter is rather a dangerous phenomenon as it can lead to quite negative outcomes. The author points out that soon people can totally waste their time online, exchanging messages concerning their daily routines.
Of course, the author’s concerns are quite grounded. Nevertheless, it is necessary to remember that people always find the most appropriate ways to use technology. People will, undoubtedly, learn to use social networks as a means of sharing ideas that are meaningful and useful.
Lucky, R.W. (2010). To Twitter or not to Twitter? In L.G. Kirszner & S.R. Mandell (Eds.), The Blair Reader: Exploring issues and ideas (pp. 244-246). New York, NY: Longman Publishing Group.