Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Tweet Tweet!

Nope, not birds this time - well after all we're not birdwatchers you know! This time I'm going to talk about Twitter - that well known "micro-blogging" site where you can say whatever is on your mind, so long as it doesn't take more than 140 characters...

It's a bit of a marmite thing isn't it - the world seems to be divided between those that love it, and those that hate it with a passion bordering on fear - you know the ones, they call it things like "Twatter" as though by being disparaging they can ward off any possible contamination. I'm firmly in the first camp though - if I was going to be forced at gunpoint, today, right now (far fetched I know, but work with me on this) to step away totally from either Facebook or Twitter, I'd be scrabbling for the "delete account" button on my FB profile in seconds. Twitter has so many advantages - the greatest of which must surely be that 140 character limit. Why? Well quite simply, because PEOPLE CAN WHINGE LESS! Oh sure, there are still some that will manage it, but it is, in some ways, less annoying. FB has become synonymous for people using it for attention seeking, for "poor me" cries, for posting that they are "Terribly upset, I can't even begin to say" in a bid to get their "friends" to virtually gather round and ask what's wrong, at which point they will respond with something like "I've emailed you!" to the chosen few - well if you don't want to talk about it, don't bloody well write it on an effectively public messaging platform then! Don't even think about using your own status to have a moan about such things though will you - if you do you'll have several people huffily say "Do you mean ME?!" (they don't think for a second you do, although 9 times out of 10 they are precisely the ones you were meaning!) and another handful of friends who are clearly racking their brains to think what they might have said (those are the ones who would never even for a moment have popped into your head in connection with such "me me me!" behaviour, of course!).

I've found all manner of fun on Twitter - from complete and utter kindred spirits to some absolutely fantastic photographers. It's a great platform for sharing photos, for getting a quick laugh at a bad joke, for keeping up with peoples lives in little chunks. It's revolutionised sites like "Doglost" - if Fido goes missing now the message can be got out around the local area before you've even got your first handwritten sign taped to a lamp-post. It's great for promoting things like blogs too - I've found a number of excellent blogs to follow via people re-tweeting stuff, and even by people following me. others occasionally find my stuff useful too it seems - the Gnat Display team, based near us in North Weald, Essex, are currently using a photo of mine that I took in the summer as their header pic...

Followers is another dividing factor it seems. Some folk seem determined to amass as many as possible, and are willing to follow thousands of folk in the hope that they will follow back. Others follow, then unfollow when they realise you're not going to join their party (usually because you have NO interest in what they have to say!). Personally I'm unfussed about numbers - I follow those whose tweets I'm interested in (private individuals) or whose services are of use. One chap who describes himself as one of the "busiest sports broadcasters in the UK" uses numbers of followers to ridicule people who dare to criticise his somewhat shouty commentary style, in a "your three followers will enjoy that" sort of way. He seems to have forgotten that the person he's ridiculing's three followers are actually interested in what that person has to say, whereas his thousands of them follow him mainly in the hope of a bit of interesting news! Nasty, rude and certainly not big or clever, that sort of approach I would say.

Do you tweet? How about Facebook? Do you prefer one or the other? Why not add your Twitter ID if you have one to your comment! And if you refuse to do ANY form of social media, why is that? (And had realised that blogs are social media too, hadn't you!)



Anonymous said...

Is it funny that I found this post after you tweeted the link? Lol!

I have to agree with Facebook. It is indeed a haven for whingy, attention seekers. I originally set up my account to follow some friends who were taking a year to travel. That was back in 2007. My how FB has changed in the last 6 years (and not really for the better).

Although I tend to be a more anonymous on twitter - no real names, no photos of the kids etc after an eye opening experience - I do feel that twitter is friendlier. Strange that!

Rupert Neil Bumfrey said...

I think you should be considering G+ as a replacement for FaceBook, your photography will be far better appreciated over there, plus you will find a new audience.

As for Twitter @rupertbu, I enjoyed it in the days when it was a smaller community, it truly drew a disparate group of people together in UAE, nowadays I find the volume to loud, hence my preference for G+ now.

Rupert Neil Bumfrey said...

too :-(

Anonymous said...

Great post as usual R, and as you know I'm all to familiar with both Facebook and Twitter. I know a few of the 'woe is me' types, but I do then feel a bit guilty as I don't always have a sunny disposition!!
I tend to keep Facebook for sharing my photos, whereas Twitter seems to be suited more to random nothings or heartfelt somethings, or indeed sharing blog posts. One thing I don't do though is link the two, there's too many people I'd rather not have reading my tweets 😉
By the way, it's great that the Gnat Display Team are using one of your photos as their header, but how rude, they're not even following you back!?! 😉

gillibob said...

I need to look at the G+ thing. I use blogger to follow favourite blogs. I am getting used to Twitter. I agree re facebook, although i do own up to the odd ranty/whinge on there...shame on me.

The trick with most of these things is not to personalize others whitterings. I try not to-but as with any written word, it is a dangerous beastie once it is let loose on a reader.

I did read a really good article about it all a while ago. I will see if i can find it and post a link.

Marksgran said...

I think because I don't have a smart phone or the apps that go with it I've never got to grips with Twitter. I signed up to it for my business then never followed it through so I cannot work out how it works! I have a facebook page which I signed up to see the photos of my son when he was on a round the world trip and it was brilliant for catching him on live chat too. I've stayed on now he's back as much to nose around at what my kids are doing as anything else and I don't have many 'friends' on there as I cannot be bothered with exactly the sort of stuff you were talking about - one relative comes on every evening to tell the world at large she's about to go to bed! Really!! Thats a great photo they are using, I hope you're getting credit for it too!

Robyn said...

I think everyone is guilty of rants/whinges from time to time - at the end of the day a good moan can clear the air, be refreshing, and be an excellent stress-reliever - it's when every second status is designed to attention seek that it becomes a pain.
Rupert I think so much on twitter depends on who you follow. I did look into switching the blog across to G+ but wasn't happy with the amount of info that they make mandatory for a profile, so backed away again.
TwoGirls - I very rarely link mine either - very much separate as a rule!