Tweeting isn’t just for the birds

Do you “text” “tweet” “Google”or “Facebook?”

The social media has taken over almost everything we do, read, see, hear, and/or try to ignore. What happens to those in the older generation who either don’t have a computer or who don’t know how to use one very effectively? When the news shows refer the viewer to “their website for more in-depth details” what happens to those who don’t have a computer, iPhone, or who wouldn’t know how to use them if they did; how do they get their news? And then we have the disappearance of newspapers, magazines and Heaven forbid, BOOKS?!?!?!? I was told recently that I needed to buy a Kindle Fire, iPhone and learn to “tweet” (I already text, Google and Facebook – aren’t these supposed to be nouns?) Well, no matter …

If it hadn’t been for social media would the Arab Spring been portrayed differently? Would there have been more or fewer deaths, atrocities, and riots? We have to give credit where credit is due and thank those Tweeters and Texters for bringing the news to the rest of the world. But when is enough enough?

I see people driving cars and texting. This is a danger in our society, and unfortunately the habit of texting has taken over our sensibilities. It is well documented that when one texts and drives they are endangering their life as well as the lives of others. Our children have forgotten how to communicate orally, they prefer to carry on conversations using their iPhones while pretending to listen to the voices in the same room with them and vying for their undivided attention; have you ever seen thumbs move so rapidly?

It isn’t just the texting, birds are not the only ones who tweet these days. According to a report by the Pew Research Center, 15 percent more adults signed up for a Twitter account in 2012 than in 2011. This report went on to say that, “While 4 percent of adults spent time on Twitter daily last year, now 8 percent log in on a regular basis. Among 18 to 24-year-olds, the tweets are flying out faster than ever; 20 percent of internet users in this age bracket tweet nearly every day.”

Of course, the younger generation hold the majority of Twitter accounts, and the report stated that women Tweet more than men. You might ask what this is doing to our productivity – as of last year, tweeting on the job was 700 percent higher than in 2010, based on research conducted by Palo Alto Networks. But let’s not forget the “Bloggers.”

I don’t blog, I haven’t progressed to that point yet, Googling, Facebooking, Texting, and soon to learn Tweeting are enough for now. You can actually Tweet me @vickiwestling. Or, if you are still into the just pick up the phone mode, you can do that too. According to Jack Dorsey, the creator of Twitter, “Twitter is an amazing success, but we’ve just gotten started.” From your lips, Jack.

It seems that everything is become digital these days. The iPhone and Kindle are old to many of you, but soon to be new to me. I like the freedom of not being tethered to a telephone, but my little old flip-top cell phone has worked just fine, and I like holding a book in my hands and turning the paper pages. I like the smell of books and the feel of their weight covering my face as I fall asleep. Richard often removes my glasses and lays the book on my nightstand for me (thanks honey). But, books are like old friends to me, and I will resist as long as I can before giving them up. I have a 22-foot wall of bookcases, and they are filled with books from which I find much comfort.

And all of this “i” business is almost too much for me. Did you know there is a company that now advertises the ability to provide iLipo to help you remove your excess fat? Really? What about a brisk walk and fewer fork liftings?

It seems to me that with all of this new technology and social media we should actually have a Congress that works and gets things done rather than continuing to kick the can down the road when it comes to the hard issues such as immigration, health care, the budget and dare I mention the looming “Sequester?” Or what about having someone in the White House who isn’t blamed for every ill will and incompetence that comes out of Washington. Or what about having a country that is once again on the road to economic supremacy in the world. Or maybe, just maybe I will start a BLOG, because sometimes it really is all about me. Tweet me.

Have a great day.

Vicki Westling is a Dunkirk resident and author. Send comments to