How “Mean Tweets” Hurt Us All

Mean TweetsAs a someone who’s been blogging for quite a few years, I have come to think of Twitter as indispensible, and not only because it’s a way to reach however many people that happen to be interested in what I happen to be saying.

Twitter can be actually challenging to use at times, mainly because my thoughts don’t always easily allow themselves to be twisted and contorted into a mere 140 characters.

Which I actually—most of the time–appreciate because it doesn’t tolerate verbosity and forces me to GET TO THE POINT! unlike Facebook, which I deal with more because it’s expected these days, than deriving any sort of enjoyment (though I like the way it allows people to join groups based on their likes or dislikes, so obscure topics, such as whether or not Freddie Freiburger is responsible of the abrupt tonal shift from Year One to Year Two of Space: 1999 (Yes, if you want an easy answer; Not exactly, if nuance is your North Star) and whether Year Two was better than One (overall, Year Two was more visual and action-orientated than Year One, which was good, though the cost was the jettisoning of the contemplativeness that made the first year so fascinating). Such questions are discussed with a passion that someone unfamiliar with would find either curious, weird or extremely nerdy.

But with Facebook it’s also fairly obvious that the whole idea behind it is to mine your data, in an attempt to sell “you” to advertisers, which I am not too crazy about, which is why I don’t spend too much time there and I use DuckDuckGo for search-related activities—I am on to you, Google—when I have the option.

Though to get to the point, this morning I discovered “Mean Tweets” from Jimmy Kimmel Live, and almost bust a gut laughing, as celebrities read mean-spirited Tweets directed at them by (seemingly) random people.

And sure, it’s funny to see Gwyneth Paltrow reading how someone Tweeted that she looked anorexic and fat at the same time (till you see her afterward, and she looks genuinely hurt).

Despite that, I enjoyed “Mean Tweets” so much that I watched every episode so far available on YouTube.

As I mentioned earlier, I am an avid Tweeter (or is that “Twit?”), though when I Tweet celebrities I tend toward civility, because I know I hate receiving Tweets like any that were read on Kimmel’s show.

Which got me to thinking: If I were inclined to insult people that I don’t know, and I saw that there were a chance—no matter how small, to have them read on national television, earning me a notoriety measured in the time it takes the words to escape their lips, would I do it?

Sure, I would, which is the problem with what Jimmy Kimmel is doing—funny thought it may be—because he’s creating a incentive for people who know full well they they can’t be held accountable for their actions to act out even more than they already do.

Which isn’t good for anyone—though admittedly hilarious to watch.


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