News & Runway

Think Before You Tweet (Closed Set with Julie Bensman)

Anna Wintour texting front rowIf the goal of art is to evoke a response, an artist might consider a particular piece a success if an audience leaves the exhibit wanting to share what they saw. Long ago, that was via word of mouth; then, radio, print, and television; now, Twitter, Facebook, and any of the other infinite mediums the Internet offers. But in an age of instant review, is there such a concept as “too quick”?

At the American fashion shows last month, a guest peering around the tents likely saw more crowns of heads than actual faces; nearly every person looked down to Tweet, email, or do some activity on his/her smartphone at a point throughout the show. At a recent friends and family preview for a buzzed-about Italian restaurant opening, the glints of light didn’t come from twirling spoons of pasta, but rather Blackberry camera flashes. And at a short-lead screening I attended last week for a high-profile film to open early April, journalists were forbidden to Tweet anything that could remotely be considered favorable or unfavorable until the press embargo is lifted March 30th…or else (and no one wants to mess with this studio to find out what that “else” might be).

The idea of instant review is, in some parts, exciting: a knee-jerk, unfiltered reaction to the newest, latest, greatest thing. Then again, there’s something to be said about letting a new idea marinate in one’s mind, crafting a thoughtful, honest response after sorting the actual product from the smoke and mirrors.

A co-worker of mine takes social media responsibility very seriously – and with good reason. She has over 26,000 Twitter followers (@StyleWriterNYC) and with an audience the size of a small magazine, she fully realizes the power of her words. Even though she’s not in the business of reviewing certain products, her comments, both positive and negative, resonate with an astounding number of people. On a corporate level, one only has to think back to the now infamous @KennethCole comments about Egypt to remember how easy it is to post and how difficult it is to take back.

Hiltons texting front row Nigel BArker

Navigating a virtual world of insta-info, insta-gratification and uber-connectedness, I suppose this column is a reminder to Tweet responsibly. You never know when you might meet the people you post about, GASP, face to face….



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Editor-At-Large Julie BensmanThe Fashion Spot’s Editor-at-Large, Julie Bensman, is also the Entertainment Editor for Niche Media, whose titles include Gotham, Hamptons, Ocean Drive and LA Confidential. Closed Set is a collection of her musings on all things fashion, from an editor’s desk to your desktop.