One of my Facebook friends recently asked me about twitter. She was unfamiliar with it and knew that I was a regular tweeter. Trouble is, my relationship with twitter has become quite complex.
I still love it, I have several twitter accounts, a couple of personal, a couple of theatre, and I manage accounts for every client that I have. One would say that I am fairly au fait with using twitter. However, it is never straightforward. I use different accounts for different purposes.
On FB I rarely ‘share’ things, apart from my own personal news that I want to share with my list of friends. I don’t like the way my timeline has become cluttered, so I rarely comment on public pages or play games because I don’t want to clutter up my friend’s pages. I am sure that they don’t want to hear about my politics, what shows I want to see, or hear theatre gossip. I am getting increasingly fed up with my facebook newsfeed because more and more it reflects my friend’s opinions rather than their news. Here is a shocking truth, I don’t want to read every clickbait article they have shared and I tire of cutesy animal, baby pictures and inspirational quotes . I complained about this a couple of years ago and it is even worse now.
But enough about Facebook. This post is about Twitter and why I actually prefer it. Mostly.
I have more tolerance for twitter and use it more liberally, I share what I like, chat about subjects that I want to, find out all about local news, share jokes, answer quizzes and learn about the gossip from celebrities I like. I don’t feel the need to bore my friends with this side of me. But my relationship is complex because it has its flaws.
Five things I love / hate about Twitter
1. Filtering is a must
The worst thing about twitter is that there is a lot of hate out there, people with very extreme views (about every subject) who troll other accounts and can be very opinionated and nasty. Twitter is not for the faint-hearted. If you can get away from that there is but a lot of healthy and informative conversation if you bother to find the right threads or hashtags. From politics to sport to entertainment, there is a wealth of information and chatter on every conceivable subject.
2. Twitter will swallow you up.
Twitter can be absolutely hilarious. Occasionally if I see a hashtag that looks amusing, I can get sucked into funny comments or games for hours. On the flip side of this of course it means that twitter can be extremely addictive, unless you can easily dip in and out of social media, it is best to steer clear.
3. Misused Hashtags
I love a good hashtag. Hashtags are widely used on Twitter and Instagram and are extremely useful to follow topics if used correctly. For example I, along with many other people use the hashtag #101in1001, By clicking this hashtag you will find lots of relevant posts regarding the challenge. A hashtag has to start somewhere so I don’t mind people experimenting but what annoys me is when people string together words randomly just for the sake of it or worse to save characters. #thereisabsolutelynopointindoingthisifyouareoneofthesepeople.
4. Recent updates.
Yes Twitter, I am talking to you! Are you and Facebook really trying to become the same? Why on earth did you extend the character count from 140 to 280? This not only reduces your USP but also gives brands more chance to bore you with their pitches. I agree with JK Rowling when she tweeted:
Twitter’s destroyed its USP. The whole point, for me, was how inventive people could be within that concise framework. #Twitter280characters
— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) November 8, 2017
and while we are only the subject of brands, I understand you (and FB) have to make money to keep the service free but personally I would rather pay a small amount yearly for you to STOP suggesting posts. I want to decide what I see. Algorithms are all very clever but they are still bloody annoying. The last update that annoys me is I don’t want to see what other people I follow have liked. Why would I want to do that?
5. Unnecessary tagging
People can ‘tag’ you into posts or photos (although I admit there is the option to disallow this). On one hand it is nice to know they are thinking of you but if the post is liked, retweeted or commented on many times the notifications get extremely tiresome. This is particularly true if the post was just for your information and actually is nothing to do with you. Is there an ‘untag me from this tweet’ option I haven’t found? If not there should be one.
Oh my goodness, this turned into a bit of a rant. It wasn’t meant to. I do love Twitter I really do. I hope that if you are thinking of joining I haven’t put you off. After all, I shall be sharing this post liberally on Twitter and many of you reading it will have discovered it there. I would be interested to know if you have anything you particularly like or if you have pet hates about twitter. Feel free to share them.
I thank you for reading and I thank you twitter, love you really.