Swine Flu and Twitter (Or the One Where I am Extra Snarky)

This afternoon, a media pundit mused “twitter could be the best chance at stopping swine flu” arguing that the incessant need to update the world in a sentence or less about your navel would lead to people being instantly updated about outbreaks. Someone would get swine flu and twit tweet “I’m sick. Neighbor also sick. Swine flu?”  And the CDC could establish hot spots in the U.S. and the WHO could do so globally, tracking the spread of the disease with google maps of course. And thus needed quarantines could be set up and the disease could be stopped in its tracks. Tah Dah!!!!

Go useless technology, go. Who needs the Wonder Twins when you have Google and Twitter?!?

Except:

  1. twitter requires access to the internet and text messaging
  2. the symptoms are no different than regular flu so anyone who is both paranoid and coughing could think they had it, or worse paranoid, racist, and watching a brown person cough, could report someone else has it
  3. if a bored student in the back of the room whining about the final papers being turned back too slowly and an equally bored high schooler pissed b/c the last pizza just got sold in the lunchroom and Voldemort Dick Cheney griping about Obama to Worm Tail Karl Rove are going to save us, swine flu is not our biggest worry

Let this cartoon illustrate my point. (Thanks to commenter Patrick for citation below):

swine_flu(XKCD Comics 3/27/09)

And Again I say, if you haven’t read World War Z yet, get yourself a copy and sleep with the tv off.

2 thoughts on “Swine Flu and Twitter (Or the One Where I am Extra Snarky)

    • welcome to the blog Patrick. I think you’re right, all it takes these days is someone saying they have the new “It/IT thing” and certain people come a runnin’. There are better ways for the media to be relevant, like reporting factual news no one else has. (Thanks for the citation!)

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