@Twitter: Isn’t it Funny? By @LanaDot
By: Lana Adams
My name is Lana Adams. I am a writer, by definition. I am a twenty-something year old, recent graduate of Temple University with a degree in Broadcast Journalism and I am interested in helping people. I want to help people in whatever way that I can, whether it’s informing people about pertinent issues, or lending them a helping hand, or helping them to reach their personal goals, the one thing I love to do, is help. I hope to bring clarity to the things that we sometimes overlook; I want to shed light on the stories that aren’t told in hopes that we will begin to pay attention and make a conscious change.
I find it very troubling that whenever a celebrity or popular public figure passes away, I have to immediately log out of Twitter. The popular micro-blogging site is fun when there’s an award-show on television, or when you and your favorite followers are tuned into this week’s episode of “Glee” or “Law and Order: SVU”, but when something devastating or tragic happens, I usually have to put my phone down and away to avoid frustration.
The recent news of the death of singer, Whitney Houston hit me just as hard as it hit the rest of her fans and friends. As soon as the CNN alert of her passing crossed my telephone’s screen, I immediately turned on the news to confirm it. I, like most people, took to Twitter to keep up with any recent developments. The first few tweets were tweets of sadness and disbelief from her fans and celebrity friends, then, like clockwork, the ignorance began. The jokes about Whitney’s crack addiction and her rumored love affair with R&B singer, Ray-J became more offensive than I could handle.
It never fails, as soon as something tragic happens, people feel the need to log onto twitter and compete for the most Retweets. This time, I was sick of it. I guess I am partially to blame because I control the people I follow on Twitter. With the simple click of a button, I can choose to ignore the foolishness and crude comments by unfollowing the people who choose to promote them.
I think this new age of media, with Twitter and Facebook and Instagram, we feel the need to share everything all the time—no matter how, rude or personal or disrespectful it is. This spirit of being so public and showing everyone every single aspect of your personal life is encouraging insensitivity to privacy. The tabloid magazines, and the need to know every detail of a celebrity’s life has been around for as long as there have been celebrities but now these sites give us the opportunity to know everything about one another as well. It’s why we can say that Bobbi Christina needs her privacy and we should leave her alone, but that doesn’t stop us from clicking the link to a story that’s headline reads something like “Was Bobbi Christina on Crack Too?”
We are curious beings by nature, but now, with information so constantly and readily available, we almost feel we need to know everything and want to protest when someone tells us to back off. It is why Whitney fans all over the world are upset over her family’s decision to have a private funeral service for her. Yes, Whitney was apart of all of our lives and our history, especially for African American females such as myself, but where do we draw the line? She was somebody’s mother, somebody’s daughter, and somebody’s friend. She lived her life publicly and was crucified by the media for it. Not only do we as a society feel we deserve to know everything about you, but we should be able to say whatever we want and share it with all of our friends on the Internet.
We already see how the Internet has limited direct communication in public by the number of bowed heads we see walking down a city street while looking at their cell phones. We don’t talk to each other any more, which makes it easier to disrespect one another. People feel they are disrespecting your twitter handle rather than the living, breathing, flawed, human being behind the computer screen, and that is a problem. We need to reconnect.