Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Why Twitter is a terrible place to debate

I’ve had a few debates on Twitter, and pretty much all of them have been annoying.

No, not because of people who don’t get what I’m trying to say (although they are annoying) but because of Twitter itself.

Let’s get to the nitty-gritty:

  1. 140 characters are simply not enough. Don’t get me wrong, the character limits are great for certain things – many times I’ve found a better way of expressing my thoughts than initially when trying to fit within 140 characters.

    That’s all very well when updating my status or expressing isolated thoughts. But when I’m shooting off replies in a debate, I’ve invariably needed to abbreviate, mangle my grammar, and split tweets to fit within the character limit.

    That last one brings me to:
  2. People will try to reply to your tweets, even if you haven’t finished making your point. In my experience, the debater invariantly tries to reply to your first point before you make your second point.

    Sometimes they do so with something that would have been answered in your second point. But often it’s something that takes you on a long winding tangent away from the original topic, especially if they can continuously reply before you can actually finish writing your second point.

I’m probably not going to stop debating on Twitter, though, but I am going to consider taking it to Google+ if it warrants a long response (or my blog, if I think it’s interesting enough to write at even greater length.)

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