Do you Tweet? Do you Tumble? Do you Message, Tik Tok, or Instagram? I’m pretty sure I can use all those words as verbs, although Mrs. Miller, my 6th grade teacher who learnt me all my goodly use of the English language might disagree. (If she were still alive, I’d say sorry about that sentence, Mrs. M. Taking a little creative license here. You taught me better than that.) I’m not sure what Mrs. Miller might think about social media, other than knowing for sure she would be appalled at how the language is often butchered on those and other platforms.

Facebook, I believe, remains the King of the Hill as far as social networking is concerned. Heck, even I’ve got a page there. (It’s my only foray into the genre.) I rarely post much, but must say I do enjoy using that vehicle to keep up with a few friends. At last count, I think I was all the way up to around 15. Woo-hoo! What’s most interesting about Facebook to me is the fact that Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook founder) or at least one of his many minions is nice enough to keep tabs on my needs, wants, and wishes. For example, if I happen to Google, say, “washers and dryers,” why almost instantaneously I can find ads for a wide variety of such products and just where I can purchase them right on my Facebook page. It’s as if Facebook wants to be my best friend and help me out as much as possible. Never mind that it is constantly monitoring my account and technologically looking over my shoulder wherever I wander on the Internet. It’s really nice to have friends in such high places. (But, honestly, if you’re reading this, Mark, I am no longer in the market for dollhouses. That was for my granddaughter’s birthday, and one is truly all that was needed. But thanks for checking so persistently.)

According to my extensive research, current big names in the social media universe include WhatsApp, WeChat, QZone, Instagram, and, of course, Twitter. I freely admit that most of those fall into the category of “Don’t know, don’t care” for me, but obviously they are popular with a fair-size chunk of the world’s population. MAUs (a measurement of popularity standing for Monthly Active Users) are definitely in the millions and sometimes the billions.

Lately, Twitter has surfaced in the news once again. It seems President Trump claims that this platform, used extensively by him to get his opinions out to his 80 million followers, does not particularly care for his views on several topics. News reports indicate that the site recently added a warning phrase to at least one of his tweets about the possibility of fraud involved with mail-in ballots, providing a link for receivers of the tweets to check other places for facts regarding the use of such voting procedures. Twitter was not exactly favorable to The Donald’s prediction that “mail boxes will be robbed.”

Mr. Trump’s tweets may or may not warrant Twitter’s attention. But the practice of monitoring them does raise a question or two as to what does and doesn’t require warnings about truthfulness. For instance, suppose I were to get a Twitter account (highly unlikely, but possible) and send out a message that says, “All descendants of Welsh coalminers are the true rulers of the universe and thus eligible to all rights and privileges thereunto pertaining.” Would that prompt Twitter executives to post a link refuting that assertion? Or would the claim simply be thought of as someone’s delusional fantasy? (Should no one dispute that statement, as a card-carrying member of that demographic subgroup, I have a few worldly things I’d like to change by fiat. One of them is the abolition of white chocolate, as if there really is such a thing.)

It occurs to me, if Twitter intends to delve into the political fray, it may have to tag a link onto any Tweet sent on its merry way by any elected official. Perhaps some of the rest of you have noted, as I have, that not everything emanating from the mouths or posts of our representatives is the gospel truth. It’s a malady common to both ends of the political spectrum, not to mention the middle and all points in between. Twitter representatives might find each day filled with an inordinate amount of time tasked to attaching links to wayward statements.

As for me, I’ll stick to the tweeting of the birds outside my window. Their version is much more harmonious.

©MMXX. William J. Lewis, III – Freelance Writer