Having a healthy “news diet” via social media such as Twitter and Facebook is more important than one might think. If a person is not careful about which accounts they are following, their feed may become muddy with useless and unnecessary information, entertainment fluff, or even spam.
By keeping track of the accounts one follows allows for the most reliable information to appear on one’s radar faster. It is valuable to keep feeds clear of fluff and stick to publications such as The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, CNN, and others that post breaking news the minute it’s occurring. Tweets have the time advantage–they are immediate.
The importance of social media is often overlooked by older generations. Too many people are scoffing at the sight of someone with their nose in their phone. The reality of the situation is that young mobile users are, yes, checking what their family members and friends are sharing on Facebook, but also learning about global news as well. We are at that point in time when social media needs to be taken more seriously. Social media is making its way to the top providers of news, if not already there. It is practically impossible to miss the side news feed when logging in to Facebook.
Twitter is also important in the aspect of practicing writing headlines. Users must condense an article summary into only 140 characters.
If I were a Web Editor, I would constantly be checking my Twitter feed to see what the most popular/reliable accounts are posting. It is undeniably necessary. This would give me an advantage to what people are currently reading, and to also observe consumer reactions before I post my own material.