Twitter often outlet for the mundane

U-Wire and U-Wire

Like you, I’m pretty hip to what’s happening in the world.

I surf the Web, watch television and recently sold my soul to Steve Jobs and bought an iPod. My Facebook page is a thriving center of ideas and progress (I recently took a quiz on there and found out that if I was a drink, I would be a martini). However, despite being relatively connected to the latest trends, I just do not understand the appeal of Twitter.

Twitter.com, the darling of media personalities, Hollywood actors, sports stars and thousands of others, sprang from nowhere and went on to dominate the Internet and popular culture like a virus.

According to a March Nielsen.com blog, Twitter.com grew by 1382 percent in the month of February 2009 alone.

For people who have stronger wills than a dieter at CiCi’s Pizza and shunned any mention of Twitter, it is a social networking site. Founded in 2006, Twitter allows users to sign up and ‘tweet’ small 140-character posts about anything going on in their lives. Usually these posts are incredibly mundane but several media outlets, such as CNN or ESPN, and public figures, like Ashton Kutcher or even U.S. Congress members, have used the site and broadcasted its ‘cultural significance’ to the world.

A few months ago, I decided to set up an account, hoping to understand the draw. After one tweet of my own and a useless search to find anyone of interest, I resided to merely following the always entertaining Shaquille O’Neal. Call me old fashioned (is Facebook already old fashioned?), but I’m not sold on it.

Now don’t get me wrong, there are several positive aspects of Twitter. It has brought regular Internet users closer to the media and public figures while adding another option for the instantaneous transmission of information.

For many, Twitter is great. It does not require the upkeep of a Facebook or MySpace account, and is more hip and high tech than shouting from a top of a soapbox or writing opinion columns in a local newspaper. However, Twitter has simplified social networking to the lowest denominator and, by doing so, made it much less engaging and expressive.

The presence of so many imposters and fake profiles on the twitter site has made searching for potentially interesting people almost useless. Twitter has also caused an information overload and truly redefined media and mass information, often for the worse. The ability of thousands of people to post little details about their daily lives devalues the overall meaning of social networking and can get really boring.

Perhaps my biggest gripe with the Web site is its undue popularity and the way in which the media has sold it as the new big thing. However, in the face of Twitter’s growing cultural importance, maybe I should just end my boycott. I’ll think about it and tweet you later.