How did we ever know what people thought before Twitter? For that matter, how did we ever trust anyone’s sincerity before the ability to provide immediate hot-takes upon each and every tragic event? As can probably be surmised by my rhetorical questions, I hate Twitter — for a variety of reasons. The back and forth between Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and Kellyanne Conway, counselor to the president, over a lack of tweets and misinterpreted tweets represents much of the reason for my hatred for Twitter (and social media, in general). After Conway implicitly accused Ocasio-Cortez of being anti-Christian for tweeting about the synagogue shooting but not about the Sri Lanka shooting, the socialist congresswoman from New York punched back — on Twitter, of course.
This demonstration of immaturity all started after CNN political analyst Julian Zelizer mistakenly accused Conway of condemning Ocasio-Cortez for failing to tweet about Saturday’s terrorist attack on a San Diego synagogue. Conway almost immediately corrected Zelizer and pointed out that “she was slamming the freshman congresswoman for her silence about the Sri Lanka massacre of Christians… Try listening before spewing.”
Zelizer admitted his mistake and tweeted an apology and correction.
— julianzelizer (@julianzelizer) April 28, 2019
Not wanting to be left out of this childish Twitter war, Ocasio-Cortez tweeted:
Hello Ms. Conway,
On Easter I was away from tech visiting my grandmother in Puerto Rico, which continues to suffer from the White House’s incompetent disaster response.
Are you trying to imply that I am less Christian? What was the point of you bringing this up on national TV? https://t.co/TIypLf2CaB
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) April 28, 2019
I’m neither a fan of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez nor Kellyanne Conway. My disapproval of them, however, has nothing to do with how quickly they do or do not tweet about disasters and terrorist attacks. Nor does it have to do with how their tweets are worded when and if they do respond (although, the pettiness of their current Twitter spat doesn’t help my opinion of them). As a country, we need to stop demanding that public figures tweet profound things every time something happens. Outside of disseminating information, tweets are little more than virtue signaling. Why should we care who’s the best at virtue signaling? We should judge politicians and public figures by their actions and not by hastily tweeted sentences.