Whither a Twitter Nation?

Not too long ago the world was content with Facebook and Myspace. But now Twitter.com has taken over. Everyone seems to have gone Twitter crazy in just the past few months. For those still in the dark: Twitter is short-messaging service that allows users to update their friends, fans and followers in 140 words or less via their Twitter pages, Twitter widgets or Twitter text messages. Twitter is set to conquer the lives of everyone.

People are taking time away from their day to make posts on their Twitter pages and to check Tweets from other people. “I was getting bored with Facebook,” said Deria Richards, a 21-year-old user from Piscataway, N.J. “I get to stalk my favorite celebrities and friends.” She updates her profile every couple of hours.

The network gives users their own personal platform. “I Twitter because I had something that I felt was Twitter-worthy and decided to join,” 21-year-old Jeffrey Fleming of Richmond, Va. said “I update maybe three times a day.”

But there can be a dark side to Twitter, too. News reports said actress Jennifer Aniston dumped singer John Mayer because he spent more time tweeting than with her. After the two split in March, Mayer wrote on his Twitter page: “This heart didn’t come with instructions.”

And Twitter was to blame for a possible mistrial when one Little Rock, Ark., juror was found to have tweeted on his cell during a $12.5 million civil case.

All this tweeting is making some people skeptical about the use of Twitter as well as Facebook and Myspace. “In my opinion the world is over-saturated with Internet networking options and Twitter just doesn’t have anything to set it above the competition, which is already so deeply entrenched in American culture,” said Ray Speller, 22, of Suffolk, Va. “I’m not all that impressed. America could be headed to an information overload.”

Malton D. Edwards IV said Twitter allows people to step a little too closely into personal boundaries. “I feel that our lives are just being put out there too much,” he said. “What’s the point of having everyone know what you’re doing at all times? It’s a good way to probably keep in touch, but that’s about it.”

Edwards said he worries all this instant connection could be a danger to creating real bonds. “Face-to-face interaction is healthy and builds social skills,” he said. “Too much communication strictly through technology stagnates this kind of growth, especially in youths who are just developing.”

Still, not all see it that way. Some, like Itohan Omolere, 23, of Chicago, aren’t so critical of the new Twitter phenomenon. “I think Twitter is popular because it gives people a sense of importance, a mini-celeb status, knowing others care about how they’re feeling and what they’re doing.”