How Joe Nocera Can Enjoy Twitter

In an op-ed, The New York Times’ Joe Nocera explained that he didn’t like Twitter. However, his complaints weren’t really about Twitter itself, rather the way some people use Twitter.

In order to help Nocera understand this, we collected some of his complaints and issued some rebuttals. We hope this changes his mind.

So much on Twitter is frivolous or self-promotional.

Don’t follow people who are frivolous and self-promotional.

It can bury you in information.

Don’t follow too many people.

Because people often use Twitter to react to events instantly, they can say some awfully stupid things, as Roddy White, the Atlanta Falcons receiver, did after the George Zimmerman verdict, suggesting in a tweet that the jurors ‘should go home and kill themselves.’

Don’t follow people who say awfully stupid things. Or Roddy White. No one likes the Falcons aside from MC Hammer. Follow MC Hammer.

Twitter can be so hateful. It can bring out the worst in people, giving them license to tweet things they would never say in real life.

Block people who are hateful.

I recently heard Dick Costolo, Twitter’s chief executive, bragging that the pope now has a Twitter account. Once, popes wrote encyclicals; now they tweet.

No one read those encyclicals.

With its 140-character limit, Twitter exacerbates our society-wide attention deficit disorder: Nothing can be allowed to take more than a few seconds to write or read.

We have just confirmed that there are no Twitter police making sure everything created can be consumed in a few seconds.

For several years, Douglas Kass, the investor and CNBC commentator, regularly tweeted his investment thoughts; with 63,000 followers, he was one of the most popular investment gurus on Twitter. Recently, however, he decided to stop because he had received so many inexplicably nasty messages.

What happens to Douglas Kass has nothing to do with you.

‘I concluded it wasn’t worth navigating the sharks to find the good fish,’ he [Kass] added.

Follow only good fish. Fishing in a shark tank isn’t a smart idea anyway.