Good Afternoon
Good Afternoon

Everyone — not just Donald Trump — needs to tweet less and talk more

The icon for the Twitter app on an

The icon for the Twitter app on an iPhone in San Jose, Calif.  Credit: AP / Marcio Jose Sanchez

There is nothing I can write, say or do that will tame the flames of the growing social media wildfire.

But why not try.

Whether it’s politics or personal; true or fabricated; crude, criminal or straightforward communication, it has become far too common.

Got an idea? Tweet it. Having a special event? Facebook live, of course! Having a wild time? Snapchat away.

Our president, regardless of where you stand politically, tweets more than any in history.

They call it “the modern presidency.”

By using it as a platform for everything from responding to media criticism or personal slights to stating positions on foreign policy and commenting on interactions with foreign leaders, Mr. Trump has made it more than OK for tweeting — in his case — to be the norm for political discourse.

But the problem, in simple terms, is that — for the most part — it’s reactive rather than responsive, shallow and limited by a set number of characters.

And for that reason, it’s potentially counter-productive and opens a dangerous door to misunderstanding.

National and global messages are distilled into quick, reactive comments rather than thoughtful responses.

And, left me be clear again, this is not directed solely at our Mr. Trump.

Whether it’s our president or the neighbor next door or a long-time colleague, the normalization of pervasive, real-time cyber-communication is troubling.

Jeez, even I found myself emailing folks at work who were only yards away. So now I get up, walk over, and talk.

And it’s important to acknowledge that the media outlet I’ve been connected with for decades has an aggressive and growing social media team.

We use it to promote stories. Other news outlets and personalities do the same.

So what i’m appealing for here is not a return to the age of manual typewriters and snail-mail. That’s unrealistic, and — well — nonsensical.

All I am appealing for is to at least slow it down a bit on the individual level.

Take a breath and think before you Tweet.

Make Snapchat more meaningful. (You can still have fun with it.)

And then there’s a dark side that is growing darker.

A recently released study conducted by Pew Research has found that 41 percent of Americans have personally experienced online harassment, most often on Facebook and Twitter.

The study found that online harassment has increased by 35 percent since 2014, based on data gathered in an earlier survey that the research center previously conducted.

So be careful about what you post on social media.

And let’s lighten up with Facebook Live!

This one especially has gotten so common that it’s impact is fading fast.

So it’s your child’s birthday?

No need to fill the Facebook feed with that in real time.

Just have a party, light the candles and enjoy the moment.