Is Twitter in the gutter?

I don’t know about you, but my heart sinks a little every morning when I log on to Twitter to see what users of the world’s favourite 140 character message forum consider of significance enough to trend, only to be greeted by #WaysToBeginSex, #SignsThatYouUgly and #ReplaceAWordInAMovieTitleWithHoe.

I mean, seriously? This is what one the Information Age’s greatest innovations has given us? Alright, not every single trend is an exercise in the immature, the pointless, or plain insulting. But based on my own (very casually collected) empirical data, around three out of every 10 daily trends falls into the aforementioned category, one is a promoted trend (so, entirely fabricated) and another is usually something to do with ‘Social Messiah’ Justin Bieber, which leaves only 50% of all daily trends open to any vaguely useful topics.

I suppose I shouldn’t be so hard on Twitter really. It’s not as though the content shared on Facebook or Google+ is particularly high brow. Perhaps it’s because we’ve come to expect more from Twitter. During times of crisis, like the London riots or the News International scandal, it earned a position of greater standing than merely ‘social’ media, but media. Twitter has the potential to provide breaking news to the world and to galvanise action.

So, given that it’s the go-to social media for journalists, celebrities and businesses, why is Twitter still in the gutter?

(Image attributed to Juan Travieso)


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