Continuing the effort to build my online presence, I recently fired up a Twitter account. I have so far had some decent success in connecting with people via this blog, so I considered Twitter the next logical step. Having now been “tweeting” for three or four weeks, I’m starting to wonder why I bother. My short foray into the Twitterverse (a word I just made-up) has landed me a mere 12 followers. From what I can tell via my WordPress stats, not one person has accessed my blog through Twitter. To be fair, I’ve hardly clicked on the links other Twitter users (Tweeters?) have posted. This got me thinking: Is anyone on Twitter actually paying attention to the endless stream of virtual chatter?
Being on Twitter is like being stuck in a room with someone who doesn’t stop talking. It’s an endless tirade of meaningless blather. I was following one writer but eventually dropped him, as he seemed to tweet every 30 seconds. It was constant. Whenever I logged on, his were the only tweets I saw. He drowned out everyone else. If you’re going to tweet (I’m really growing to hate that word), then please post stuff that’s stimulating in some way. I don’t care enough about the mundane minutiae of my own daily routines to bore other people with them, so why do I care that someone I’ve never met is “Pretty raved out”?
I suppose I’m missing the point of Twitter—but now that I’ve dabbled in it (I have since cancelled my account), I can honestly say I don’t understand its appeal. Is it actually possible to convey anything meaningful in 140 characters or less? The tweets that really annoy me are things like, “You can make your dreams come true if you believe” and “You are the engine of your own destiny”, and other feel-good affirmations that have zero substance to them. Thank you, but I feel pretty good about myself already. Also, don’t bother telling the rest of us that you’ve just gotten up or are going to bed or heading to the gym or heading home from the gym or deciding what you’re going to have for dinner. We don’t care.
Facebook I understand. It allows people to reconnect and keep in touch with friends and family. That said, I’m suffering a severe case of Facebook burnout. What is this need we have to constantly be updating people about everything we’re doing? Since when did all our lives become so interesting? Do we need to know that a friend or acquaintance—at this very moment—is eating at the International House of Pancakes?
Don’t mistake this for the misanthropic rant of a perpetual grump. As opposed to Facebook and Twitter, I love WordPress because it allows people to share unique opinions, ideas, and experiences in a way no status update or a 140-character phrase can. It requires a level of effort and creative thinking.