I have read many articles about Twitter and how professionals are not using the tool effectively and that it is the saving grace of all communication. According to recent reports, it is even having an impact on the 2012 election. As a single voting entity, I myself have not made any determination where I am leaning 11 1/2 months from now.
I am a professional that utilizes a number of Twitter accounts to engage in knowledge sharing to help promote visibility and communication levels around information pertaining to my organization and my writing. A few have embraced the materials, others just let it pass in the wind and others chose to unfollow as it has no particular relevance to themselves or it is just an annoyance.
Can Twitter be an effective tool? In many respects and in theory absolutely yes. It has the capability of reaching hundreds of thousands of people through views, retweets and beyond. But, like most toys, yes I did just call Twitter a toy, it has ability to fade in interest level and get over-saturated with meaningless garbage.
Let’s simplify Twitter for just a moment. It allows every human being (that has access to the platform) to vent in 140 characters, upload potential viruses, give faceless opinions, and self promote anything and everything. That doesn’t sound like something I want to be a part of. Given all the critical news being focused on globally, I would think this global instant communication channel would have valuable information at the top of its list other than commentary about a football game.
I decided to look at the most trended items in the United States at a given moment. This was the list of top trending items on Monday:
YOU KNOW YOU ARE BORED
Based God Velli
Hate Sleeping Alone
At a moment in time when Western Europe and the United States is in economic turmoil, terrorist activity is still very active, housing, retail and consumer spending are down, unemployment is hitting crucial levels and protests are being staged in financial markets, we are trending items including fat girl stripper names, got Aids, and replacing names with curry sauces.
Let me ask you this, does Twitter lack maturity or does its users?
I think the answer is very simple, both.
The developers and executives of Twitter are not choosing what items become popular at a given moment so thus the users are to blame, but are the fine ladies and gentlemen behind this formidable communication tool doing anything to enhance the importance of the data and provide us with a valuable tool we can use?
I am not a fly on the wall, but as an end user, I am not seeing Twitter showing signs of maturity.
Twitter ranks up with Facebook, LinkedIn, Foursquare, Quora and Google + in terms of media coverage both good and bad and when you add this blog, it will be viewed as another opinion about the platform.
In my defense, this piece is over 140 characters which may eliminate a substantial number of Twitter users from reading this.
My advice to Twitter: find a way to make this a more valuable tool with content that has relevance to our lives and not just a forum for R.I.P tweets, sports commentary and meaningless phrases.