Tweets can now be cited with their source properly documented in any MLA style writing because official guidelines have been posted.  Great.  Although I do not have a twitter account and therefore have no right to say that nothing profound has ever been posted on a feed of tweets, but I am going to anyways.  Twitter was invented to be an endless stream of status updates shared amongst friends and to help young girls easily cyber-stalk hot, teen celebrities like Justin Beiber.  Unless you need to write a paper about how much Sally “loves her cat Simon!” or how Timmy “pwned Call of Duty 2” Twitter will not be of much help.

I fear that creating guidelines for citing tweets is a step taken in an attempt to modernize writing standards, but we would have been better off without it.  Younger people who are learning how to write essays and make citations have not yet mastered the skill of critical thinking and are not cautious of the validity of everything they read.  To tell them that they can now cite twitter could be potentially dangerous to their development as a good writer.  What cold hard facts can one possibly find from twitter that could not be acquired from a more reputable source?  Social network sites are not where you go hunting for data about the rainforests or the anatomical diagram of a frog—it is where you go to socialize. 

I acknowledge that there are scholarly individuals who use twitter, but it is not a location intended for people to post scholarly works.  The best information use when creating an academic work is peer reviewed, scholarly, and comes from a credible source.  If you have turned to twitter to find information, I think you need more help than good ol’ Sally and Timmy can give.

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