Monday, July 3, 2017

A growing concern about social media

I guess I picked the wrong week to complain about social media.

This after I spent the majority of my weekend on Facebook and Twitter updating the manhunt for the now infamous red pickup truck involved in the senseless road rage shooting death of a Chester County teen.

Even the Chester County D.A. and West Goshen chief took the time to thank the media for their efforts in pushing every update in this story, chiefly the surveillance photos of the truck, and the police sketch of the suspected gunman, even if the man eventually charged in the case does not look all that much like the sketch.

West Goshen Police Chief Joseph Gleason called the social media push "relentless," spreading each update like "wildfire." Then there is President Trump. If you have not heard, he was back on Twitter again this weekend, posting a mock video that showed him beating up a CNN figure in something he dredged up from his old professional wrestling days.

Yeah, that's presidential.

I'll be the first to note that social media has fundamentally changed the way I go about my job. Speed is important. Don't let anyone tell you different. It's important that we deliver information as fast as we can.

That is why I seemingly spent the entire weekend on Twitter, posting updates on the road-rage shooting.

It simply is now essential to any news organization's role in delivering breaking news.

That does not mean I am not becoming increasingly concerned - and more than a little disenchanted - with a lot of what I am seeing on social media.

I talk about that - where else - in print in today's weekly Letter From the Editor column.

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