That brings us to the category of Americans who are almost all on Twitter, Facebook, or both. We’re talking about America’s journalists. It’s a rare news reporter or editor or producer who doesn’t have a Twitter account and doesn’t get a lot of his or her news from these social media platforms. But the world is a big place, full of things and events and people and opinions that aren’t talked about or linked to by the accounts one follows on social media.
It’s worth reflecting on periodically — so much of what makes up the national “conversation” we’re having at any given moment, especially on the web, is the product of a tiny fraction of media figures, maybe a few hundred of them at most, chattering among themselves. Many of them are currently whining about how terrible it is that Twitter has expanded the character count from 140 to 280, because reading three or four sentences is clearly much more strenuous than reading one or two sentence fragments. And, as we’re increasingly learning, much of what they’re reacting to is the product of Russian troll farm disinformation anyway. It’s worth repeating frequently — why do we allow them to set the tempo, definitions, and boundaries of our thoughts?