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Stop me before I Tweet

Debra Saunders on

WASHINGTON -- When young adults starting a career in journalism or public service ask me if they should set up a Twitter account and join the fray, they all get the same answer.

Don't do it. Create an account so you can monitor what's going on in the Twitterverse, but don't dive in.

The time you put into Twitter is time you never will get back. When you die, your last thought could be regret for how much time you spent on Twitter.

For every quality moment you have on Twitter, there will be hundreds of feces emojis, f-bombs and annoying GIFs (snarky video snippets.)

I block people who use crude language on my Twitter feed, not because I would never use such language, but because so many people throw up four-letter words that I want to keep my Twitter feed from looking like -- and I'm guessing here -- a men's bathroom wall at a highway rest stop.

As in life and with Twitter, we are all sinners. I use Twitter to see what D.C. swells have to say and grab quotes for stories. Twitter also is a handy vehicle for shameless self-promotion. I plan on tweeting this column. I'll get a thrill if the post goes viral.

 

I've gotten to know and like people whom I have never met on Twitter, which is nice. When I log on, I can see what my competition is doing and read what the president is thinking. Some tweeps (Twitter users) are wickedly funny.

President Donald Trump has turned Twitter into a viral bully pulpit as he has used the platform to torch meddlesome members of his own administration, scoff at former appointees, and, notoriously, to brand opponents with nicknames like "Sleepy Joe" Biden.

For observers, it can be uncomfortable to watch, but for Trump, Twitter is free money. In 2016, The Street reported, the tracking firm mediaQuant found Trump teased $402 million worth of free media on Twitter, far more than Hillary Clinton's $166 million.

As Nov. 3 draws near, the platform seems edgier than ever in a nation already on edge because of the coronavirus and its damage to the U.S. economy.

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