by Alexander Riche
In a surprise move last month, the Library of Congress announced its intent to acquire all posts since March 2006 from social media site Twitter. The reaction was swift.
Markus Trinion, a doctoral student doing his dissertation on faculty attitudes toward technology, described his frustration at the venerable institution’s surprise move. “I had my survey out and have spent the past few months tabulating the results, which showed an overwhelming rejection of Twitter by faculty. Then, late last night, I began getting calls from professors wanting to change their answers. The Library of Congress has ruined my life,” he said dejectedly.
For students, the reaction was different.
“It used to be cool,” said sophomore Jennifer Nugyen, “but now, my professor wants us to use it for class. Don’t they realize? I have total strangers who follow me. I don’t want people to know that I, you know, learn stuff.”
José de la Rosa, a senior at the Polytechnic University of North Eastern California, had a similar reaction. “Life is life, school is school. Weren’t we all happier when universities stayed behind their ivory firewalls?”
Faculty developers across the nation are reporting record numbers of calls and requests for training on “this Twitter thing.”
“We have an upward battle here,” said Dr. Nelland, director of Faculty Development at Homeland University. “You say ‘hash,’ not ‘pound.’ We’re talking about people who still remember using the Western Union phonetic alphabet to make a telephone call. Telephones, right? Who remembers that?”