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Debates go better with Twitter

Debates go better with Twitter

Twitter is emerging as the preferred facilitator of online conversations through which Americans can immediately react to, digest, and in most cases, ridicule, the presidential debates.

The October 3 debate saw a record number of tweets, 10.3 million, for a political event, and Twitter has put together an inforgraphic showing just what comments sparked the most twitter activity:

As this graph shows, it was Lehrer’s quip “let’s not” in reaction to Romney suggesting more conversation, followed by Obama’s statement about the amount of time remaining for his answer, where tweeters were most active.

Millenials, in particular, are using twitter to engage with the political conversation. MTV Insights addresses how this medium is facilitating engagement with younger Americans:

Twitter provided an outlet for users to share their reactions to the debate instantly, while also checking out the reactions of their friends, comedians, political analysts and experts, and even major celebrities, all of whom live-tweeted the event. People could either publish their own thoughts or instead re-tweet statements that they find humorous or intelligent as a way to convey their opinions without getting too personally involved in the conversation.

Twitter fulfills Americans’ desire to take part in the debate, while preserving the personal relationships that could be damaged by expressing just exactly how little you think of that last comment by the other guy. In contrast with facebook, where you tend to know most of your “friends,” twitter allows an anonymous community of mostly likeminded people to affirm each other and share in the excitement and ridicule.


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legacyrepublican | October 18, 2012 at 4:30 pm

To paraphrase a great comedian,”Hooowwww Tweeeeetttt it is!”

New poll from Susquehanna will show Romney has taken a 4 point lead over Obama 49 -45 in the state of PA.

Henry Hawkins | October 18, 2012 at 5:24 pm

Rasmussen has Romney up 6 in North Carolina, with an RCP average of Romney +5.6 in NC.

Sort of like the audience yammering while watching or listening to an event and now we can all hear their comments too.

Two concerns: (1) groupthink, and (2) that no one ever learned anything while they were talking. What gets missed? Or considered too late once there’s a distraction over some silly minutia (women in binders), or widespread groupthink opinion?

    Henry Hawkins in reply to janitor. | October 18, 2012 at 7:01 pm

    I tried Twitter before, did it for a while, never got into it. Like cable TV or the internet, there was just sooo much trash between worthy tweets. Never been accused of being a Luddite; it just seemed like One More Damn Thing to keep up with.

    I’ve just today created a new Twitter account and will try it again, based on the fact that a lot of people whose opinions I respect have a lot of good to say about it. Perhaps it’s like Facebook – you either love it or you don’t.

    Hardly matters. The “internet” is just a fad anyway. It’ll be gone in five years.

      Let us know. Years ago, I was thrilled to be ahead of the techno-curve, even to the point of owning an ISP. Then the technology began to consume my time to the point that I felt like a plugged-in appliance. I started to have nagging doubts when my kids were little for all the usual signs and social changes, but the issue wasn’t really about them; it was me.

      At a point I got fed up. It happened shortly after we had a month without electricity after a hurricane. After the first day, the disaster wasn’t miserable at all. It was delightful. We barbecued and talked and visited with friends and read books and hung around outside. Not like a vacation because I can’t remember the last vacation I wasn’t nagged constantly with telephone calls and electronic communications.

      Now, I refuse to turn on the fax “without an appointment”. I rarely turn on or even carry the cell and rarely give out the number. I pay for a dozen fancy smart phones for family members and I refuse to text. I won’t FB or twitter. I operate multiple websites and listserves, and have many machines with terrabytes of computing power for work, because I have to, but with rare exception, I don’t blog. I refuse to do on-line banking, or bill-receiving or paying. I won’t get a toll pass. Or a GPS. Cards with RFD tags go into a metal-lined wallet. I’m torqued by e-filing and e-serving. If anyone answers a phone or texts during a meal, I get up and leave. And on and so forth.

      Maybe it’s curmudgeonly old age, or some kind of saturation point.