I do that twitter thing, I spent most of its formative years wondering what on earth was the point of it. I’m a naturally curious person though, verging on the nosey so I thought I would sign up for a curious poke around in the tweetings of the twitterers. I am going to do a piece here for those who don’t know what twitter is and maybe to amuse those who do. I am going to also explain why I am going to completely redesign my relationship with twitter as it’s in danger of being becoming something of an obsession, me being so curious.
Twitter is in a nutshell somewhere you can a) express a point of view in 140 characters or less and b) keep up with the miniature version of the opinions or movements of those you are interested in. That’s about it.
If you aren’t naturally a vocal opinion haver you can just follow people whose opinions you would like to know without going out to look for them and say nothing in return. This wont get you any followers though and with Twitter it is all about the followers, if you want to be followed that is. Some might feel they are being stalked, that can happen too.
If you are one for expressing out loud a point of view every time one enters your head then twitter is tailor-made for you. Even better you can aim your opinions at those you might like to hear them by use of their @address. Or you can join in a mini version of a conversation with use of the #Hashtag. I do all of these things. I follow just over 230 people and I have 239 who follow me, that’s right, 239 people or organisations who like what I say or want me to buy stuff from them. I use judicious use of the @ or the # to get people to read my blog. You may even have arrived here by the siren call of one or the other.
I’d like to make a couple of observations about what you see on Twitter though.
Firstly you know how they used to say the internet is for pornography? I’m sure they still do, but it seems a big chunk of Twitter is for Jewish people to trade the most vile insults with each other. Seriously, just follow a couple of Jews from either side of the activist scale and you’ll see what I mean. They tweet all day, and I mean ALL day about injustices and ill-treatment of the Jews and Israelis interspersed with visiting the followers of each other to point out how the other ones you follow are on a par with the Jewish Kapo’s of concentration camp fame. It’s quite extraordinary.
Comedians are big users of Twitter but they aren’t funny on Twitter. I am funnier on a daily basis than Jimmy Carr for example.
If you mention anything slightly risqué you will get half a dozen pornography twits following you. You can block them though.
If you discuss the Liberal Democrats you will be followed by representatives of the Macrame, Real Ale and Hemp communities.
You will discover many very high-profile Americans, in America that you have never heard of. For example, Chelsea Handler has over 4.5 million followers. Yes, her.
You may choose to follow some sports folk. Let me give you some snippets of their wisdom. Names hidden to protect the inarticulate or unimaginative.
From one of South African rugby’s biggest heroes “Had a great day! My turn to prepare dinner- jip….time for Mimmos pizza again!( With a salad..)”
He does not look a fellow who spends too much time grazing on Salad.
From major English Soccer Star “Can u all send in some pics pls and best 1 i will put as my new profile pic. 24 hours before i pick 1.”
This is because there is not a single good picture of this gentleman that he would like and would choose himself.
Huge American football star “Another all-around awesome team win! I thank the Lord to be lining up every Sunday with such great men GB²”
Seems god is also involved in his team selection, which is nice
Top 4 Tennis Player “Off to be now, not sure ill get to have my warm up on ashe as fed and monaco might still be playing!”
No? Me neither.
A senior England Soccer team member “Just got sent a cd with MC CREED on it….I am throwing out some old skool moves in my onesy + slippers!”
A Famous New Zealand All Black “brothers!! He went hospital to get stitched up.. Cops arrested the other guy.. Kama was K.O when they arrived!”
An English Cricketing legend “I’m going for grapes from spain this evening ! I hope there not off it says there from 2004 on the label !”
Spent his education learning to play Cricket, clearly and just as well.
However, it is not all rubbish and you find out some things you would like to know by following people who are likely to say it first. I found out the other day that the new series of Top Gear is on soon. I would have missed that otherwise. I can get a quick synopsis of a film. Travel tips, I asked where was the best Jazz joint in Manchester and found out in seconds from people who live there that wouldn’t sell me a pup, as it were. I get breaking news from the BBC and can see whats going on in the streets of the worlds trouble spots from people who are on the streets at the time. If I feel aggrieved I can send protest messages directly to people I would like to protest too. They are just as likely to read them as an email or a letter. I used Twitter to embarrass a large retailer into taking action on a complaint by tweeting my complaint out loud, at them in public. While much of twitter is pointless rubbish, there is also much that you can use to find things out and have a voice in this new social media age. I am going to use it more wisely as of today.
So, as of today, I am going to unfollow all those who I have followed out of politeness. I am only going to follow those whose opinions I am genuinely interested in, are friends, or who interact with me. I shall only tweet worthwhile, interesting or informative tweets and less pictures of my puppy unless absolutely necessary. At point of posting I have 239 followers, Expect to see this drop off a cliff. I would like to think people follow me because they like my blog, I make them laugh or we share an interest. Which is why I should follow them, I don’t want to be a fair-weather follower. Chances are most are only there to get me to follow them. So use Twitter wisely you never know who is looking. Here goes.
Credit to http://www.etsy.com for the poster