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March 26, 2009
Posted: 1857 GMT

It seems Twitter's the new thing now. Everybody's doing it– or at least every body who's anybody ( I mean come on Hala has a new account-which I'll comment on...just wait). Or perhaps it's just anybody who is paying attention to what everybody seems to be doing when in all actuality it's really a small minority who are actually doing it. Whatever. In the news world anything techy that can help reach viewers is latched onto with a revelatory glee thus becoming transformative, interactive and ultimately bilateral. Whatever.

 I got into an argument the other night with a few people who work at CNN.Com. They were promoting the idea that Twitter is self-reflective. In other words it allows us to be more cognizant of what we're doing and of the world around us. I don't know if I buy that. In fact, I really don't buy that. And even if it were true why must we compress our observations into a 140-character, language-deforming entry. I don't eat my food and then go and cook that same food for everybody so they can have a taste too. What happened to privacy and personal experience?

 But being the upbeat and cheerful person that I am (injecting the clichés here) always looking at 'the glass half-full' or the 'money well spent' I've chosen to embrace the concept for reasons I will summarily list:

 First of all, it blurs the societal walls of celebrity that have become our own class-system. Anyone can sign on and 'follow' anybody else. This means you, normal person, can interact with Mr. A-list celebrity on an equal footing. On Twitter we're all equal, we are all reduced to a scant word max. Yes, we can now all communicate without fear or embarrassment of our level of education, fame, bank account size or of getting a restraining order.

 Secondly, and more importantly here, as a news platform it's unequivocally priceless. The real-time response it allows is essential to breaking down the fourth wall of TV. Unlike Facebook or Myspace, it reduces social-networking to verbal (or really written) interaction at it's most simple levels.  I write something, you write back. We correspond. No photos or quizzes or walls. It cuts out the convoluted interface. Instead of the site being the star the user is.

 So now, Hala, as I said earlier, has become a Twitterer (yes it's a noun that I imagine will be in Webster's Dictionary soon enough with its own special category, right there with Googler.) She denies her addiction but it's very real. And it will only get worse. So in order to satiate her burgeoning lust (and in order to chat with her) you can find her-if you too are a twitterer-under her name. Yes easy enough, we all know it.

And maybe I too will get on twitter. But I doubt it. I don't really pay attention to much.

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Filed under: Behind the scenes •CNN •I


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