Misguided Tweets


People are tweeting, but all I’m hearing is squawking.

Twitter has the potential to provide many benefits to society, but, if Miley Cyrus keeps tweeting about her haircut, I fear this popular social medium will lose its edge as a useful and convenient resource.

Twitter is an efficient tool when tweets are used to provide followers with valuable information. Yet the Twittersphere is increasingly being abused by users and polluted with meaningless self-promotion.

If what’s trending reflects our society, I’m a little concerned.

Miley Cyrus’ bun — a handle not even managed by the 19-year-old herself — has over 37,000 followers. The top most-followed Twitter handles are Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber and Katy Perry. On the other hand, US President Barack Obama is number six, and The New York Times is at number 66.

What tweets did I see trending Monday morning? #embarrassyourbestfriend, #Mention20CutePeopleOnTwitter and #RyanReynolds.

The trend is clear — Twitter newsfeeds everywhere are becoming sources for empty jabber and gossip, instead of

meaningful information.

It’s not that I don’t want to read what people have to say; I think the democratic, unregulated nature of Twitter can be of great value.

What I don’t appreciate is when people use Twitter as an open diary — a place to promote themselves and share things about their day that, to be frank, no one cares about.

Most people would agree that what Kim Kardashian ate for lunch is less useful, informative or relevant to society than a tweet from Craig Kielburger or David Suzuki. I’m not saying that Twitter should be restricted solely to social or political speak. However, I fear that if this trend toward shallowness continues, Twitter will lose its credibility.

This may deter businesses, magazines and services from using the social media tool to connect with their audience, leaving Twitter feeds with empty content.

Have an opinion on the presidential election? Witness an act of goodness on the subway this morning? Great, I’d love to hear about it.

But please don’t tell me about your bout of the hiccups or your wicked hangover — save it for the pages of a diary.

Let’s make Twitter a resource for relevant information — a tool to inform and benefit society and not for mindless, self-centered jabber.

Trilby is the Blogs Editor at the Journal


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