William Shakespeare likely wouldn’t ponder that notion if he were around today.
But we’re going to give it a shot here briefly.
Twitter is emerging as the social medium of choice for some high-powered individuals. Members of Congress use it. Journalists, too. Same for assorted entertainment celebrities.
And, of course, the president of the United States. That brings me to the subject of this blog post: Should the president keep using Twitter?
I’m torn by the notion of Donald John Trump Sr. continuing to use Twitter. On one hand, the manner in which he uses it is troubling in the extreme. He fires off these 140-character messages in the wee hours of the morning. I don’t object to him doing so per se. The troubling aspect comes in the consequences of those messages.
Don’t get me wrong. I use Twitter too. This blog is distributed on Twitter, along with Facebook, LinkedIn and Google. I use the medium to advance my own commentary on “politics, public policy and life experience.” It helps me expand my audience, which is every blogger’s mission. Twitter has helped me build my daily blog “hits”; while my audience has expanded manifold since I founded High Plains Blogger, it’s still not enough. Hey, it’s never enough!
I also send out tweets that comment by themselves on current policy matters and this and/or that other stuff. I’ve done so more than 16,000 times since signing up on Twitter while I was still working for the Amarillo Globe-News. I got into the game right away and have enjoyed using Twitter to convey pithy comments.
But I’m just a chump former print journalist who lives out here in the middle of Flyover Country. The consequences of my tweets pale in comparison to what occurs when the president of the United States fires them into cyberspace.
Trump on occasion has abused the medium, such as when he tweeted a policy change regarding transgender Americans serving in the military. That is far more than just a comment on news of the day. It signaled a fundamental policy shift: that the president had declared that transgender citizens no longer could serve in the armed forces. What’s more, he sent the tweet without consulting with the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Defense Department or his senior White House staff.
That’s just one example of abuse of social media, dear reader.
Do I wish the president would cease and desist on Twitter? No. If it’s used properly, it can be a useful tool to communicate — even for the president. The trouble with Trump is that he lacks any impulse control and cannot discern prudent use of the medium from imprudent use of it.
I’ve heard many folks say they want Trump to continue using Twitter. I do, too. However, my wish for the president is that he use it with wisdom and discernment.
Is he capable of such a thing? Oh … probably not.
Read more posts from High Plains Blogger here.