Friday, April 20, 2012

The Trouble with Twitters

I don't fully understand Twitter. I'm not having technical problems; I know how to tweet and haven't forgotten my password or anything. But I'm not sure exactly how I'm supposed to use it. First, I don't have a smart phone, so anytime something interesting happens when I'm out, I have to remember it until I get home and can get on my computer. Needless to say, I forget. And, frankly, nothing particularly tweet-worthy happens when I'm sitting at home in front of the computer. Do you want to know about "the cutest thing" my cat just did? I didn't think so. Since I don't want to spend untold sums of money for a data plan and a new cell phone, I think I'm stuck with uninspired tweets.
OK, I can handle that. I'll just tweet occasionally and follow other people who I find interesting. Which leads me to my second problem: How many people am I supposed to follow? Everyone I see follows hundreds or thousands of other people. THOUSANDS! How is that even possible? Even if every one of those people only tweets once a week, it would be a full time job to read all that stuff. Plus, there are a few people I'm particularly interested in, but if I'm following a zillion people, then the ones I'm most interested in get lost in the shuffle, and I never see their posts. What's the point?
On a related note, some people I've seen are tweeting constantly. Is it necessary to literally share a minute-by-minute account of your day? But if you start following someone like that, then isn't it rude to unsubscribe from their feed? Do they know someone has unsubscribed? Will they take it personally and have their feelings hurt? And if I want people to follow my tweets, then I assume I'm supposed to follow theirs, right? Is that a requirement? It seems like the polite thing to do, but I have no idea what kind of social rules apply to the world of Twitter.
Which brings me to another issue: It seems like everyone cheats the 140-character rule by tweeting links. Sure, I'm guilty of doing this, too, but I don't usually want to read an entire link. Whatever happened to just tweeting a short thought or comment? Don't people do that anymore? Isn't it possible to just subscribe to someone's feed, read a short thought or comment from them, then move on without having to click through a link to a whole article or blog or something? What's ironic is that I'm posting a link to this blog on my Twitter account, so people might read this rant against links when they've just followed a link. Is that irony? Or is that just a sign that I'm a sociopath?
As a result of all my confusion, I've found it easier to just not get too deeply into Twitter. I can't tweet much without a smart phone anyway, I don't follow many people because I'm afraid to unsubscribe if they tweet too much, and I'm not wild about having to deal with links in tweets. But maybe if you're reading this blog, you could explain to me what I'm doing wrong. Please tell me how anyone can actually follow 10,000 Twitter accounts. Maybe there's a trick that I don't know. And, no, I'm not willing to give up sleep in order to be an accomplished Twitter user. So if you can solve these problems, please send me a link to the answers. J
Happy tweeting!

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