So I hear what you might be saying, "J.D., what's wrong with a little self-affirmation? Why do I need to defend my views all the time?" Well, there's nothing wrong with a little self-affirmation, positive self-esteem is important and we need to pat ourselves on the back every now and again. As for defending our views, here too, you would be right in suggesting that we shouldn't have to defend ourselves all the time.
The problem, however, is this: social media (twitter and the like) are rapidly becoming our dominate means of communication. That being the case, these media are also and at the same time becoming the dominant influence on how we think and formulate the ideas we are communicating. What does that mean? Well, it means that we get used to framing our ideas in 140 characters or less; we get used to building sentences with words that are short and accessible rather than precise; we get used to being vague for fear we might offend; we get used to setting aside the premises of our arguments for the sake of the conclusions; we get used to instantly communicating every thought and feeling (no matter how trivial or important) to an unknown audience and we get used to doing so without reflection or restrain. These preferences shape our habits of communication but, what is more, they come to shape the way we think.
The same thing happens on Facebook and Google Plus and MySpace and every other social networking site out there. Whether you're +1ing, liking, or digging, you're training yourself to judge without without exercising the one thing that, at least used to, set you apart from the rest of the animals--namely, your reason. It's true, we do need to toss a cold bucket of water on our love affair with social media because its causing us to become just like a lover trapped in the infatuation stage of an affair--that is, its causing us to become mindless simpletons.