Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Is Tweeting Getting Out of Hand? (And What is Tweeting, Anyway?)

If people talking on cell phones incessantly has caused a stir in society, tweeting is taking it to a whole new level. "Tweeting," in case you're not yet addicted to it, is the sending of short messages on the communications software Twitter. (The messages are called "tweets.")

Tweeting can be addictive, whether it's talking to friends or following celebrities who tweet, and that addictiveness is where some people feel it's gone too far. Prosecutors and police have cited numerous cases about jurors using Twitter (and other devices, like Web-enabled cell phones) to research information on a case on their own, in violation of judges' instructions not to discuss or investigate the case.

And just last week we heard of the first known case of an NBA basketball player tweeting during a game (though during halftime). Charlie Villanueva of the Milwaukee Bucks sent a tweet from the locker room during a game saying "Coach wants more toughness. I gotta step up." At least is was a positive message (as opposed to celebrity gossip), but the Coach was not impressed and has made the locker room a No-Tweeting zone.

Expect to see No-Tweeting rules in courtrooms, schools, and workplaces.

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