I miss Twitter sometimes.
There, I said it. Yes, I deleted the App from my iPad months ago and stopped Tweeting altogether, but recently I’ve been missing it just a tad, and today, while reading an excellent Guide to Promoting Your eBook at Smashwords um … guide … I was reminded what a good and useful tool Twitter can be.
Which got me thinking about why I quit Twitter and why I miss it.
First the easy part; Why I Miss It. Ego, pure and simple, from the eighth dimension. When Twitter first came out, I thought it was the biggest glob of egotistical mental masturbation I had ever heard of. Then I tried it, and realized that while my first impression might be true, it was also kinda fun. And a good promotion and information tool. And we Writers are nothing if not egotiscial self promoters. We have to be, it’s in our DNA.
Also I’m a chick, and at work all day I’m alone ninety nine percent of my day, and have no one to chit-chat with, so it stores up, all that verbal communication, and some days I think I’m gonna as’plode from the lack of human contact! (other days I’m reminded that I hate people)
Second, the more complicated part; Why I Quit. Retweets, pure and simple from whatever depth of hell they originated.
You know how Twitter works … you set up your account (free) and then if you wanna follow someone, you can see what they have to say. Your friends talk, you talk. Talking and sharing happens. Occasionally you’ll get a follower, or you’ll find someone to add to your list of interesting people you like to follow. Life is good.
Only then one of your friends starts to ReTweet posts from someone THEY follow, which means YOU have to see it too, because you follow your friend. You don’t follow THEIR friend, but you see it because YOUR friend retweeted it.
Get me? Pretty simple concept. Mostly harmless, until it reaches the point of being REALLY SERIOUSLY IRRITATING BECAUSE, DAMMIT, IF YOU WANTED TO READ EVERYTHING THOSE PEOPLE WERE SAYING YOU’D FOLLOW THEM YOURSELF, ONLY YOU DON’T BECAUSE YOU DON’T GIVE AN F WHAT THEY HAVE TO SAY!
So for a long while, I was having to virtually run around the planet BLOCKING all these people that I don’t even follow because other people were ReTweeting dozens of them daily. 1) if I wanted to read their Tweets, I’d follow them, but I don’t. 2) The person I was following never tweets their own thoughts, but retweets like it’s candy.
So the person you’re following isn’t hardly saying a thing, but they’re ReTweeting a million other Tweets from a half a dozen people you wouldn’t follow if you were paid to, but now YOU have this Tweet-box full of shite you’re scrolling through trying hard NOT to read because it’s either politically, personally or religiously offensive, and the person you follow doesn’t seem to give an F that they’re, by default, seriously annoying and/or offending you on a deep personal level.
But, like I said, I’ve been missing it just a tad. Especially now that I have an iPhone, and could be Tweeting on the fly, as it were. Plus, I’m not just a Writer. There are plenty of artists out there, people who make and sell their wares online and at art fairs, who I’d like to share interests and ideas with, but I don’t because I quit Twitter. Did you know I’m a Lapidary artist? Probably because I’ve mentioned it before, but did you know I’m also a Chain Maille jewelry maker/designer? Did you know I’m setting up a new shop online? Or that I sell every year at an art show in Poulsbo Washington? Well, okay, I may have mentioned that one or five times before.
Still, there are reasons, such as those, that make me miss Twitter. I’d like to connect with fellow art makers, share designs and discuss techniques. Help them promote their work as they help me promote mine. And basically just chat with like-minded individuals.
But I hesitate, because of the blasted ReTweeting issue.
Do I reload Twitter on the iPad, and just ignore 99.8% of all the Tweets showing up just in the hopes of finding the one or two a week from the people I actually follow? I’ve even avoided following other people because my “tweet-box” is already flooded to the point of pissing me off with all the retweets that I just don’t want more messages getting lost in there. I suppose I could impose my own little rule – if anyone I follow ReTweets more than they Tweet, I un-follow. Or if they ReTweet more than four Tweets a week, they’re history.
Sounds really egotistical of me, doesn’t it? Sounds like I’m being an elitist snob. Follow my Rule or ELSE! Piss me off one time, and it’s Off With Your Head! But frankly, I got sick of it. I got sick of finding drivel all over my screen, insulting, offensive. Crap I had to scroll by in the hopes of finding something from an actual friend I was following. Sure, the world is full of crap, but we tend not to invite it in to our homes. And I tell you, when your computer (or phone) chirps to tell you there’s a message, and you happen to be sitting on the couch, a tad bored or lonely, and you check it only to find FIVE MESSAGES MOCKING YOUR RELIGION OR GENDER it doesn’t really make you feel warm and fuzzy.
I can hear some of you now – “well you’re just gonna end up with no followers, with an attitude like that”. To that I reply “I’ll still get up in the morning and pour soy milk on my multi-grain cheerios.”
Tweeting is mostly just a running journal anyway, like this blog. I don’t measure my worth by the number of followers I have, that’s juvenile. Most of your followers are auto-bots anyway. I don’t measure others by how many people they follow, either. In fact, if someone is following more than a dozen people, they’re just being ridiculous. How can you have the time to pay attention to the random things that many people have to say? Especially if those dozen are constantly ReTweeting things a few hundred OTHER people are blathering on about?
I am of two minds. There are interesting people out there, who have interesting things to say. There are also a whole lot of ass-hats.
The trick lies in following the interesting ones who DON’T just ReTweet the ass-hats.