OMG were all getting #dumber, 140 characters @ a time.

Dave Newlands, TSV Staff Writer/Graphic Designer & TSV News Editor

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Turkey’s recent Twitter ban has the world once again singing the praises of a site that does nothing more than facilitate SMS texting via the web. Twitter is a 1985 invention in new millennium shoes. It’s the Ford Taurus of communication, and it should be junked.

We are asked to believe that Twitter is responsible for world-altering revolutions, rather than acknowledge those people burning themselves alive in protest, militaries going rogue against their own governments, and citizens facing off against armed riot police.

Twitter hardly invented revolution. Just ask Russia, France, or, oh yeah, America.

There is a new notion trending, that Twitter is also revolutionizing education.

Some believe that Twitter is an effective way to inform the masses. Associated Press, CNN, How Stuff Works, and Mental Floss rarely, if ever, use Twitter to inform or educate, however. They use Twitter to send links to fully fleshed out articles, relying on readers to click through.

In a recent study tracking a series of texts, the AP found that on average only 300 people actually clicked through to the full article. Not particularly impressive.

Sites that do condense an entire nugget of wisdom into 140 characters aren’t exactly bringing news we need. How could they? Imagine squeezing the U.S. Constitution, or the “I have a dream” speech into a tweet.

One such site, Uberfacts, tweets brain candy like this:

“Oral sex has caused pregnancy in at least two bizarre incidents.”

What, no context? No supporting data? Great. Prepare for a generation of morons who think they can get pregnant from a BJ. It’s Bill Clinton’s worst nightmare.

Twitter also makes teachers more accessible, apparently. This is an insufficient solution to a very real problem. Some teachers log as little as one office hour a week, and often not even that. If teachers are paying more attention to their Twitter feeds than to their students at least we know where to get fragmented responses to our abbreviated questions.

Some professors even allow students to tweet questions during class if they are too shy to ask them out loud. If you can’t raise your hand to ask a question in front of a class of your peers, you’re going to have much bigger problems down the road; problems that Twitter can’t solve, my friend.

Twitter does not start revolutions any more than it is itself revolutionary.

It’s not creating a generation of game-changing educators, or hyper-informed students. It creates a false sense of social confidence, while quietly making its users socially inept. It allows us to feign accessibility when we are anything but. At best, it disseminates incomplete information to a bunch of people who don’t care anyway. At worst, it’s just scary.