Mr. TweetHate or How I learned to stop worrying and hate Twitter

For those unfamiliar with what the title of the article is a parody of, cancel your plans for tonight because after you are done reading you have to go rent this movie.  Anyhow, if you want to learn all about what makes Twitter an annoying pain in the ass when it was just recently so much fun; read on.If you haven’t heard of Twitter, please leave a comment explaining how you got flexible enough to wedge your head all the way up your own ass.  Here is a short video that exactly sums up Twitter, regardless of what anyone else says.

Twitter started out just a few short years ago as a microblogging service.  It’s not the only one but for some unknown reason (it isn’t the best by a serious margin) it caught on and became the end all be all of constantly talking about yourself.  One of my friends put it best when I showed him Twitter and he said “Uh… it’s Facebook if all there was were status updates.”  He’s right of course but that’s ok.  I’m not trying to make everyone on the internet read my every though, even if Twitter is public and can get you fired if you tweet retarded things, I just want to be able to connect with friends who aren’t big into Facebook and can’t (or don’t) keep an IM client open all day.  I have friends all over the place and microblogging is a nice way to not feel quite so separated.

Thus ends the positive portion of our discussion.

Twitter is not a place for professionals, or serious conversation.  Because of it’s public nature everything you tweet is the digital equivalent of going into the middle of an infinitely crowded room and shouting everything you say at the top of your lungs. What is worse, the only person who is guaranteed to be listening is a man with an pen and paper who chronicles everything you say.  Forever.

Everything you say is chronicled forever like it or not.

Friends, employers, potential friends, potential employers and everyone else who can access a phone or computer can read every single word you type.  Most people realize this which leads to sickeningly sweet updates becoming the norm.  Everyone is having a great day, everyone loves their job and every sandwich is the best sandwich ever!  This is not reality, this is some kind of crazy acid-high view of reality that only people terrified of their own thoughts would embrace.  “Social Media Experts,” “Consultants,” and “Other people full of shit” abound on Twitter and they all see the world this way all. the. time.  Their fear is justified unfortunately.  I may have a terrible day at work, but that feeling will pass and life will go on.  However, in the heat of the moment someone is likely to tweet “I hate my job!” and one wrong word could haunt them forever, but if you can’t communicate your thoughts honestly for fear of reprisal then why are you part of a service that is all about letting everyone know what is constantly on your mind?

Oh that’s right, because you are totally full of shit.

All people on Twitter, from the valid users to the celebrities to the hungry-for-freelance-work are totally full of it.  No one ACTUALLY gives a shit what you’re doing all the time.  Not even YOU.  Which is why you have to validate yourself through amassing more followers than the Johnson’s.  What?  You only have 500 total strangers who pretend to give a crap about how that bagel from Dunkin’ Donuts was?  Well over 10,000 people know I just took a piss.  So there!

These are REAL numbers.  On Facebook or MySpace you are considered a friend whore when you start to crest the low hundreds, but on Twitter it is COMPLETELY REASONABLE to have followers into the high tens of thousands.  Which is ONLY reasonable on a one way street.  We all know who the President is, and keep track of everything he says, but he can’t possibly return the favor even though it is relevant to his job to know as much about who we are and what we want at all times.  Oh, except for the irrelevant crap which is almost all Twitter is anyway.

Conversely, most of these power users are also following a roughly equivalent number of tweeps (*groan*) because it is considered bad Twitterquette (is that a real one too?) to have someone follow you and not follow them back.  This means that tens of thousands of updates are coming at you constantly and I am sorry, you can’t possibly give them all equal time.

In fact, I KNOW you can’t because the most popular application for using Twitter is the computer-resource-gobbling tweetdeck.  The difference between this application and any other?  It lets you seperate your followers into columns making it easier to ignore the ones you don’t actually care about.

So let’s sum up because if I don’t get off this topic soon I’m going to need to tweet about how hard it is to tie a noose using a bed sheet.

  1. Twitter is fine is you use it as a way of connecting with real people and not strangers who will never be real people as far as you are concerned.
  2. Everything you tweet follows you forever so avoid negative thoughts and admitting to crimes. (Or don’t; give the police a hand.)
  3. Followers/Following numbers mean NOTHING concrete.  Deal with it.
  4. If Twitter is the main way you connect with professionals or promote something that you are trying to make a living off of you are begging the universe to smite you.  Consider more reliable and less douchey ways to live your life.

Now you tweeple, get out there and start living your boring lives so I can read all about it!  For the love of God at least try and be funny if you can’t be interesting.  Consider the crime-tweet-getcaught formula.

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