Does Twitter Make You Evil?

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I’ll bet you were just asking yourself that. : )

Here are some opposing opinions shared by The Week.

Okay, it’s official, said Owen Thomas in Valleywag. Twitter makes you evil, according to a University of Southern California study. Or, more precisely, people caught up in the rapid flow of information in some online social spaces, such as Twitter, don’t have enough time to process the moral implications of their exchanges. But that’s by design, because Twitter was meant to be “empty of values except for the cultish worship of the now.”

Come on, said Sarah Perez in Read Write Web. Yesterday we heard about a bogus study saying Facebook users get bad grades in school, and now we’re getting another updating of the “TV rots your brain” mantra of the last century. Maybe it’s true that people aren’t as compassionate as they could be while monitoring a string of tweets, but “we do, in fact, still feel things.”

Of course, said Samantha Rose Hunt in TG Daily, but our ability to rapidly sort information erodes our capacity to sense the needs or pain of others, according to the study, to be published next week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. So if you try to process your friends’ tweets too quickly, you could miss what they’re really trying to say.

These caveats do have the ring of truth.  I guess the lesson is, think before you tweet.

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