Lately I’ve been hearing it more and more – you’re a nobody in the online world if you don’t use Twitter. Surprisingly, I’ve been part of the online world for quite a few years now, and did not actually have a private Twitter account up until a few days ago. It wasn’t laziness or lack of knowledge, I just don’t like Twitter.
Twitter has been around for ages, and soon enough, everyone I knew had an account except me. This is when I started thinking seriously, why am I not joining the party? After realizing what exactly made me want to avoid Twitter, I also realized the right thing to do is probably join. Here are my reasons for avoiding one of the biggest social networks in the world, and the reasons I ended up joining it.
It’s Way Too Easy To Tweet
Whether you use Twitter for personal reasons or professional reasons, I’m sure you follow some people or companies that tweet way too much. You’d say this is not a problem with Twitter, but with the people, but I generally see this happening on Twitter much more than I see it on Facebook, for example.
People feel that sharing LOTS of short messages is probably fine, and I end up having to read about every random thought that passed through their heads today. On the professional side, many companies use Twitter to promote themselves, but there’s a strong tendency to abuse this and update every 5 minutes. I don’t care about them that much!
So true, I don’t have to follow such people, but mostly everyone is guilty of this Twitter crime. Twitter just makes it so easy. The result is that my Twitter stream, no matter how I tweak it, is actually kind of boring. And boring things are abundant enough on the Web. So why join?
Re-Tweets And “Personal” Conversations
The ultimate argument people give me when I talk about Twitter is “you can follow whoever you want”. This is true. But the people I want to follow are not to blame for the way Twitter is designed. This results in my feed being constantly bombarded with tweets from people I never followed and never wanted to follow, and with personal messaging that should take place somewhere else.
This is no one’s fault. This is what Twitter was meant to do. I do wish some of my friends re-tweeted less and tweeted more, but I can’t blame them for the option being so easy to use. Same goes for replying. Someone mentions you or writes something you want to reply to. What’s easier than to hit reply? The result differs greatly from people commenting on a status in Facebook; it’s a whole stream of separate tweets that are actually a conversation I care nothing about.
OK, so spam is part of the Internet and you can’t really escape it no matter where you go. But with Twitter, it’s easy to drown in it if you don’t pay attention. Be it just spam accounts that follow you and bug you, be it automatic DMs that try to sell you something when you follow, unfollow or breathe. It’s hard to avoid.
This, on top of multiple tweets, re-tweets and private conversations, it’s really easy to lose track of the things I’m really interested in following.
Who Are These People Following Me?
One of the things many people don’t like about Twitter is how many people use it just to promote themselves and for impersonal messages. But I say, how can you use it for much more than that? Not 24 hours after I created my account, I already had over 20 followers, most of which I don’t even know! So yes, it’s nice to have followers and the bigger that number is, the more influence I have. But who are these people? Do I want to tweet personal stuff for them to read? Are they even real people?
Yes, I can block people from following me, but I don’t really want to do that. It sort of defeats the point of Twitter. This turns Twitter, at least for me, to a tool I can only use for professional means.
Which brings me to the reasons I finally joined.
So Why Did I Join Anyway?
After this ridiculous rant, you’re probably wondering why I even bothered to open an account. Well, even I can’t be blind to Twitter’s benefits.
People Are Out There
What I think aside, most people use Twitter. If you want to get to know people and see what they do, Twitter is a great tool for that. And just because I don’t know the people who follow me, doesn’t mean they’re not real people, or even nice people. It just requires a change of perspective.
It’s Professional (When Used Right)
I mentioned earlier that I can only see myself using Twitter as a professional tool. But for that, it’s much superior to services like Facebook. If I’m interested in a company or a website, I can follow them. No need to “like” brand pages. The things that are getting shared tend to be more to the point too.
With Twitter, you can find out what’s new and can learn about what people are looking for and what they’re interested in. This is something that should definitely be utilized, not ignored.
When you don’t know something very well, the easiest thing to do is hate it. I never really understood Twitter, and therefore it was easy for me not to like it. What do you do when you don’t like one of the biggest, most influential networks out there? Easy, you join it!
Now it’s your turn, tell me why you like Twitter and how I can make the most of it despite the reasons I have for not liking it. Do you have any reasons you don’t like Twitter? Share those too!