February 26th, 2009

My Love/Hate Relationship With Twitter: A Rant

Twitter feels dirty and overused; I just want it off me.

My first tweet was on November 15, 2007.  I thought Twitter was great: I linked it to my Facebook status and updated frequently.  All those “in the know” on technology and social media were using it.  It wasn’t overused, people were sharing information and gathering information.  Fantastic.  I had big dreams about how Twitter could be used for online focus groups and research: instant feedback from people that were plugged in and engaged.  I even blogged about Twitter last October and was excited about it momentum.

Today, I officially came down with Twitter-fatigue.  If I hear one more news “personality,” government official or agency old fart talk about Twitter I might officially turn my Twhirl feed off.  Watching MSNBC this morning, an anchor signed off with: follow me on Twitter @whatever.  I rolled my eyes and might have even yelled at the TV.  I got to work this morning and it seemed like every article that was sent to me and every blog topic on my favorite blogs was about Twitter.  Now even the government is doing it, because government is always on the forefront of new technologies!

Here is what Twitter should NOT be used for:

  • A way to text message with your friends in a public forum.
  • A way to promote yourself constantly.
  • A way to promote your friends constantly.

Here is what I appreciate about Twitter:

  • The passing along of interesting information.
  • The sharing of “what are you doing?” for those people that really care about what you are doing throughout your day.
  • Breaking news.

I follow 82 people and have 59 people that follow me.  I don’t know most of the people that follow me, so I have no idea as to why they think my tweets are interesting, or if they even follow me for that reason.  I have experimented with the different ways I use Twitter over the past year and half, and yes, I have broken some of the rules I list above.

I tend to be somewhat of an early adopter of technology (Twitter had been out over a year and half–March 2006–when I signed on, so not even that early in this case) and usually by the time it becomes mainstream, I am over it.  I will keep using Twitter for now, but will be much more selective in who I follow.  And, I will be on the lookout for that next thing to replace it.

Until I sign off completely, you can follow me @Reeves501.

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