Can you be an expert in 140 words? Yes, but too often that is not the case. In the day and age of holding access to millions of readers in the palm of your hand, too often those 140 characters are used to spread false information that often just "feels" right.
One example of how social media can
offer 140 characters of possible poor advice is found in a research article
about sexual health. It was determined
that social media is the key location that connects youth to this sort of
information that is not found as readily in other sources
Another such example of this phenomenon
is more recent concerning the COVID pandemic.
Again, 140 word tweets were being used to send the correct information
out to billions of people, and at the same time spread lots of false information
as well. In another article about this
exact concept mentioned that often these tweets start with the same wording to
gain validity. In a fake post stating
that holding your breath was a valid way to test for COVID early on in the
disease cycle, the headlines were frequently started with “doctor/nurse/specialist
While these 140 character
headlines often are a way to share great information quickly, it comes with a
risk. What you read isn’t always valid
information and it is important to conduct more in-depth research before
responding to important life matters in the way that a tweet might tell you to. Being able to determine the validity of information
is a skill that is essential to living in modern age.
Byron, P. (2015). Troubling expertise: social media and young people’s sexual health. Null, 1(4), 322-334. 10.1080/22041451.2015.1110085
Llewellyn, S. (2020). Covid-19: how to be careful with trust and expertise on social media. BMJ : British Medical Journal (Online), 368http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.m1160