It's difficult to say this without being hypocritical, because the essence of my argument is that allowing people to think, speak, report, blog, comment, and tweet freely is important. It's more than important. It's essential to the integrity of society. So far be it from me to undercut anyone's First Amendment rights as they relate to the Cubs blogocracy or the free world in general.
On the other hand, part of the freedom of speech is the freedom, nay, the responsibility to freely point out when an idea is a crock. So, my fellow citizens of Earth, the value of truth compels me to say, the half-baked notion that Twitter is ruining spring training is a simmering slow cooker full of fecal matter. But don't let me tell you what to think.
Here's all you really need to read to understand the post:
In general, I believe the relentless, breathless nature of Twitter is spoiling one of the best things about spring training:
To show this isn't a personal attack, I'll try to give his overall point a fair summary. Journalists disseminate updates via twitter at a breakneck rate, feeding rabid Cubs fans insatiable appetite for knowledge and triggering explosive and irrational reactions throughout social networks of all stripes. The trend has turned Cubs fans from hopeful, optimistic sunbeams into mopey, whiny, dark clouds of humbug. If the journatweets were more selective about their updates or fans were more patient in their thirst for and reaction to said info, we'd be much happier people.
None of this is worthy of Bill of Rights-grade outrage, but the fundamental argument behind it is: people can't be trusted with facts; withhold information until it can be sanitized and spun; wait for the team management to disperse their version of the truth before you go drawing your own conclusions; it's not journalism unless it passes the desk of an editor; if it's important enough to affect the entire season, you can wait a few hours or until the next day before you hear it; leave the critical thinking to the experts.
I'd expect as much from the Cubs' PR machine. But to espouse that nonsense as part of a free society is downright irresponsible.
I don't care if you hate Twitter. Hate it. Don't use it. Register and block everyone out of spite. I really don't care. Twitter is not in your face. It's a way that some people choose to communicate. That's it. If a beat reporter uses it to communicate news to a lot of people, great. If a serious journalist refuses to use it, awesome. Take your time and write your dissertation. I might read it. But if people just stop communicating and opt instead to withhold breaking information for more prudent times, the only winner is ignorance.
If Starlin Castro gets hit in the butt with an errant Marmol fastball, I want to know. If some dude in his mom's basement thinks that spells the end of the Cubs' World Series hopes, I want him to say it. Smart people, dumb people, pessimists, and optimists, I want them telling whoever will listen what they know and what they think, because that's how people learn. I hope the right people correct the wrong people and the optimists cheer up the pessimists and the ignorant listen to the informed and the irritable ignore the annoying.
There are few things more bothersome than people who would rather put a damper on truth than change the way they think and feel. If your optimism depends on the restriction or suppression of information, your optimism is stupid. The same is true of pessimism. And realism. And socialist fascism. As much as I'd like to tell people to shut up, I don't really want them to. I mean, they should take the time to listen occasionally, but come on. Communication is good. Do it more, not less. And if you believe in willingly constructing a false sense of optimism for the sake of tradition by withholding the truth from the masses, feel free to do it somewhere else.