A little while ago I signed up with Twitter. Beeeg farking mistake. For someone as flighty as me, Tweeting is a horrible idea. Dangerous even.
One of the problems with Twitter is that it doesn’t come with a manual or a ‘Rules of the Game’ or even a ‘Tweet Etiquette for Dummies Guide.’ There seems to be an online help section where it covers all that stuff but I don’t want to read it, I just want someone to tell me about it in 140 characters or less.
Anyway, I signed up for this blasted thing having no idea how to use it, no idea who to follow or how I get people to follow me. It ‘helps’ you by suggesting you narrow down whom you’d like to follow by searching through categories. Even bigger farking mistake.
I thought that if I followed people like copywriters, we’d have something in common. We don’t. I’ve even reconsidered my line of work so as not to be associated with them. Tossing hipsters, the whole bloody lot of them.
Even worse, I chose to follow people in the ‘digital’ field but quickly realised that this would only serve as a cruel daily reminder of my digital ineptness. Those digi-geeks are
What I understand about Twitter (after a bout on Wikipedia) is that it’s used on different levels for different things. For some people it’s a self-promotion tool whereby you can:
1) Show how smart, accomplished, funny, witty, sexy etc. you are
2) Show off your depth of knowledge or how well read you are (here’s where you get all the links to interesting and not so interesting stuff)
3) Show off how aware you are – of news, of politics, of sports, of issues and more issues of issues
By far the biggest slice of the Twitter pie chart however, goes to pointless babble and conversational content at 40% and 38% respectively. Well wadya know.
‘Course, that just tells you what Twitter is used for, it doesn’t tell you how Twitter feels. So here’s my analogy.
Imagine that the Twitter platform is a really, really big cocktail party. Imagine that a large portion of the people there are hipsters. Imagine that it’s bloody noisy because everyone is talking over everyone else in a very hipster kind of way. Imagine that you don’t know why everyone is there and that you don’t even know why you yourself are there.
Imagine that it’s compulsory for everybody to take part in a cocktail-party-game of verbal one-upmsanship where you have to try to sound smarter and wittier and sexier and funnier than the person next to you. Also, many of the hipsters there have an avatar, so you think you’re talking to Jenny, a writer from Sussex, but it’s actually Clive, a serial killer from Calgary.
Now imagine yourself easing through the crowd. You approach maybe ten people and comment on the conversation that they’re not having with anyone in particular. Yup, they’re just standing there shouting up into the space above their heads. Occasionally, someone that knows them on the other side of the room picks up one of their messages. This person then acknowledges the other person and affirms how fabulous they are. You don’t know that they know each other and you’re not allowed to butt in on the VERY LOUD conversation they’re having with one another or you will appear extremely uncool.
If you agree with what someone says, you’re not allowed to say things like: ‘right on’, ‘haha, classic’, ‘good one’, or ‘very funny.’ You just have to repeat what they have said and say ‘@cleverpants said this’. This part of the party game is called retweeting. Some people might really like what you have to say and will award you a gold star. This is called favouriting. If you get enough tweets favourited you get something but I don’t know what it is. Possibly a big fluffy blue bird or a trophy of sorts.
Imagine that two out of ten people at the party ignore you, two out of ten reply to you, three out of ten listen to you but don’t reply and the rest either listen to you and roll their eyes or listen to you and simply can’t be sodded. Then imagine that some of those that reply to you, will volley-respond twice, after which time they just abandon the conversation mid sentence and move on to another next person.
Finally, imagine that you start feeling a crushing pressure to come up with equally witty, funny, sexy, smart things to say (which of course you can’t, because you’re just you). Imagine this pressure building up so much inside you that the only solution is to find a quiet corner where you can rock to and fro in the foetal position whilst sipping on *witblits.
That is how Twitter feels.