Twitter Used to Be Great, Now It's a 'Prison'

Matt Lewis says it's become a haven for petty fights and snark

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted Jan 30, 2013 2:21 PM CST

(Newser) – Political writer Matt Lewis used to consider himself an "evangelist" for Twitter. No more, he writes at the Week. It's become "more of a hindrance than a help," more about imparting snark than useful information. More like a "prison." Lewis joined relatively early, in 2008, and was among the first journalists to use the site aggressively to tweet links and build a following. Eventually, though, everyone started using Twitter, and that's when things changed.

"Writers should be thinking of big ideas, but Twitter sucks you into small, petty battles," writes Lewis. "Like a game of whack-a-mole, you can end up chasing the things that irritate you—hoping to correct every misconception or lie." As a journalist, he can't leave Twitter completely, but he has changed how he uses the site—setting up select feeds and locking out strangers. Gone are those early days of interacting with everyone. "My guess is that as Twitter becomes meaner and coarser, more and more people will begin checking out," he writes. Given the site's lofty goal of offering a way to share information in a civil manner, "that's a shame." Read the full column here.

The Twitter bird.   (Twitter)
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