Friday, August 24, 2012

Why I Don't Dig Twitter

I’m gonna just cop to this: I’m not a fan of the Twitter. I know that, of all the social media outlets available to us, Twitter is the most popular, and the one that tends to get the most exposure. It’s the one that’s young and hip and pithy (although no one young and hip would use the word “pithy”, I know).
But Twitter makes me feel like a grumpy old man who’s microphone gets cut off when he starts to make an angry speech—“Why, when I was a boy, they wouldn’t let us have a second helping of rhubarb pie, and we had to—“ “Okay, gramps, you’ve hit your word limit, take your meds and say goodnight…”
Unless I’m linking to something, Twitter is fairly useless to me. So that’s more or less all I use it for. A gateway link to a place where I can actually SAY something, or promote something or whatever.
And I don’t get the #FF thing. Once in a while, I’ll see my name among many other names, posted by kind people who want others to “follow” my meager tweets. I appreciate it, I really do, but I don’t know really how to repay the kindness. Do a #FF of my own? Urge others to follow them? I’ve done it a couple of times, but it feels weird and false.
But here’s my biggest problem with Twitter. It often seems insincere. What I mean is (and this happens ALL the time) I’ll get a handful of new followers, and I’ll check them out to see about following them back (because that’s the idea, right? Follow ‘em back, that’s only polite, yeah?). But sometimes I don’t want to. Sometimes, the Tweeter in question already has, like, 15,000 followers. Which is crazy. Do they really, truly keep up with all those tweets? Is that really about communicating with other people? Or is it about “collecting” followers? If someone has that many followers, I figure, they don’t really need me to join up. It’s doubtful they’re particularly interested in my tweets.
Proof of this tends to happen a bit later, when the tweeter assumedly checks his followers, finds that I haven’t followed them back, and promptly stops following me.
My rule of thumb with Twitter, in most cases: if you have less than 1,000/2,000 followers, I’ll follow you back. Also, if you aren’t an asshole posting crazy shit. Also, if I’m a fan of yours.
That criteria isn’t too harsh, is it?
I’m not trying to collect followers on Twitter. The bulk of my social media happens over on Facebook, that old man of media that even your Granma uses. You can stretch out over there, relax and take your time. It’s a better atmosphere than the rush rush rush, stick-and-move, “I don’t really want to know you” vibe of Twitter.
Now, of course, I’m going to post this and link it to Twitter. Ha.


  1. I totally agree. The bulk of my tweets are RSS feeds automatically tweeted. All writing stuff, mostly.

  2. Well said, Heath. I do use Twitter. Every day, in fact. I think I have it down to a science on the word count thingy, (I despise restrictions!!!!) and I link it up to my FaceBook account to save time when I have something really witty to say *cough* and don't want to cut/paste.

    By the way, I think the word 'pithy' should be resurrected. I still consider myself young and hip, so count on it showing up at some point amongst the youngsters before they cease to be young and hip. I'm on a mission. And you know how I get when I'm on a mission.

    I only #FF the people I like, and so it tends to get repetitive. Still, it's a nice way to get the word out about folks who I think rock the big one, including you, and I think I've received a few follows as a result.

    I know what you mean about people who have umpteen-thousand followers. There's some sort of shammyness to that, I feel. I get these followers all the time who advertise how to get a godzillion followers for money. That's just slimy to me. I get my followers the old fashioned way: One flippin' witticism at a time, thank you very much. And I CHOOSE whoever the hell I'm going to follow. If I like what they have to say on their page, I'll follow. If they blow, they can take their follow and blow elsewhere. I am not my follows. My validity as a writer is not contingent on the number of my followers. So there.

    Still, as irritating as Twitter can be, it's one more avenue for self-promotion that I think is worth taking advantage of.

  3. Heading over to Twitter to unfollow you. LOL! Seriously, I agree 100%!!

    Michelle V

  4. Well said my good man. I am not a good tweeter myself.

  5. Yes, we can only aspire to become one of the Twitterati.

  6. All I need is just one more distraction to completely put at end to anything productive. I am a distraction junky.

  7. Many fine points made, Heath. And I agree with several but Twitter moves books for me. No doubt about it. When I offer a book for free (and Twitter pals promote and purchase) it pushes it out in the Amazon stream. For a poor man, Twitter is a good promotional tool.

    1. David, I can't argue with that, considering that every time you post a link to my stuff on Twitter, the sales go up automatically. But I don't do any real "socializing" there.

  8. I really try to balance the selling with what I'm currently doing. Not sure anybody cares but there I am.

  9. Much more articulate than my old Twitter rant. I hate that about you.