Enough said? Tweets too short for meaningful debate, some say
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WHITEWATER Susan Johnson has seen more legislators Tweeting these days, but said there are pros and cons to using Twitter for political debate.
More users turning to social networking websites for news on a daily basis means more opportunity for Tweets to be read, said Johnson, an associate professor of political science at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater.
“I think perhaps it gets more information out to people who otherwise wouldn’t get it,” she said.
“On the other hand, if you’re using Twitter, there’s no way to say anything meaningful in 140 characters. There’s a danger that it simplifies things so much it doesn’t serve to elevate the discussion — it serves to dumb it down.”
Johnson also wonders about the generational gap for Twitter users, although she said people in general are more comfortable using websites and e-mail to correspond and connect with each other.
“Twitter can be used to supplement face-to-face conversation between politicians and constituents, but it can’t completely replace it — certainly not at the local level,” she said. “Residents wouldn’t stand for it.”
Read the full story in the e-edition of Walworth County Sunday, HERE.