Don’t tell the kids, but social media tastes a lot like talk radio

Don’t tell the kids, but there’s a certain dimension of social media that is talk radio. Or at least it is what talk radio was.

There’s something about the anonymous nature of Twitter tweets and Facebook posts that feels akin to the random people who call late-night talk shows to rant about their favorite cause or sports team.

It’s always amazing the feeling of liberation that callers feel when they are faceless voices who go by made-up names to protect their identities. Like we really think there is a guy walking around who people call Kenny-Kenny?

Before your geezer alert maxes out, hear me out.

Just switch on Twitter during any big sporting event in your community. The conversations range from sensational plays in the field to the color of the uniforms the opposing team is wearing.

And Facebook is no better. Like-minded people migrate to their favorite pages. During these political conventions it’s easy to navigate to a pro-Obama or a pro-Romney page.

Often social media has become the battle ground as snipers from both sides line up and take their shots. One post last night asked how we all like former President Bill Clinton’s nomination speech.

OK, Clinton is a very charismatic speaker, but he makes for easy target for the GOP faithful. So most convention nights the barbs are flying fast and furious from both sides.

Any of this sound a bit like a certain nationally syndicated talk show that airs during the midday in most markets?

And now, the Internet abounds with fact-checking websites and apps. A politician takes credit for a big project. Boom! A team of busy-bodies is there to either give them the thumbs-up or the dreaded pants on fire.

My new favorite comes from It’s called the Obamameter and it measures how many of the president’s campaign promises have been kept. Sort of the official barometer of the Obamanator.

Doesn’t it feel like a ‘roided up version of the day when radio talk shows were king except now Jerry from Mayberry goes by @jberry? The ease and anonymity the process provides has brought about a major paradigm shift in social discourse.

So whatever you do, don’t tell the kids, the grown-ups are listening in on their radio, er, social media.


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