About Twitter

Twitter

She says, by @mammapolitico

Twitter – A Parallel Universe ?

At first glance and to the uninitiated, Twitter can seem like a stream of words in a foreign language. I remember the first time I used Twitter being totally dazed and confused by the @’s, requests to “follow me” and the myriad of hashtags and acronyms that litter tweets. For a while, to be honest, I wasn’t so sure I was going to like it.

Twitter divides opinion, perhaps more so than any other social networking site – Twitter addiction, vitriolic hatred or the view that people who tweet are brainless and should find something better to do with their time – I’ve heard all these opinions and more. Many thousands of users, however, myself included, choose to spend hours a week on Twitter and many who have tried to leave, find themselves drawn back in before too long away.

Twitter is a reflection of our society – the good, the bad and the ugly.The recent harassment of prominent female tweeters going as far as to include bomb threats being an example of Twitter at its very worst. Journalists, Politicians, Celebrities can be some of the most prolific users of the site – they need it – yet they frequently slate it? Like I said,Twitter divides opinion and sometimes that opinion changes on a whim.

So why do I love Twitter?

Twitter for me, is at its best during big news events and I’d even go so far as to say that it does a better job than the national press at reporting real-time news. The London Riots, The Leveson Inquiry, the Boston bombings – these events came to life for me via tweets and photographs posted as events unfolded. During the awful Woolwich attack the photo of the man with a bloodied knife in his hand was on Twitter before it was in the press.
I have always been a news addict, but experiencing these events via realtime tweeting added a whole new amazing, disturbing and somehow addictive dimension.A big news story breaking? – you’ll find me on Twitter.

There is a whole book waiting to be written on the varied population of Twitter. So many different types of people use Twitter, it’s like entering a huge room full of people you don’t know. Just as in real life though, it is up to you to connect with people who make you laugh, smile, share your interests or even make your heart beat a little faster when they tweet you. I’ve made friendships and a new business partnership on Twitter – I’ve laughed till I cried and cried a few tears at times as well. For me its possible to get an idea of what a person is like via their tweeting and for all the media talk of fakes and liars on Twitter, most people are not hiding their true personalities, even if they themselves think that they are. Some tweeters would do well to remember before they fall out with each that there is a magical thing called the unfollow button. If you find someone is not who you thought they were, or someone offends you irretrievably – with one click of the unfollow button they are gone. There are cliques and arguments but it’s your call if you let Twitter and your response to other people’s tweets become too much like the school playground.

Hang around long enough and communicate in the right way and it is possible to make all kinds of long-lasting connections. It’s called social networking for a reason – if you don’t tweet to people they won’t tweet back ! It’s perfectly possible to spend pointless hours talking to yourself on Twitter if you don’t approach it in the right way. The right way is to simply be yourself. If somebody doesn’t like your Twitter style it won’t be too long before someone comes along who does.

***

He says, by @ADadCalledSpen

I’m old. Comparatively. You can tell my age by cutting me in half and counting my rings. Or by carbon dating. Either way I’m old. Mummies in the museum call me grandad.

So, being old, I think back to the time when you had to take your Walkman out and about and carry a rucksack for all the cassettes you might want to listen to. Clunky clacky clunky clack. That’s the noise the bag made.

Now, if someone had said to me then that, in a few years time you’d be able to keep all your music. ALL of it. On a PHONE which you can carry in your pocket and call people on, instead of using a piss-filled telephone box, I would’ve told them to go back to the planet they obviously just came from. In the future. And leave me be.

And if that same space future alien person also said, there’s a thing where you can talk to people in 140 characters or less, make friends with them, share opinions, thoughts, just say STUFF, and those people might respond, engage, talk you down from the roof at times of crisis, offer advice and support, make you laugh, cry, annoy you or simply inspire you, then I might say something like ‘Well, after the whole phone/music thing I’m tempted to believe you’

Sounds crazy doesn’t it? Posting your thoughts, actions, minutiae of daily life into 140 characters and onto the internets and expecting people to know what you mean. A bite slice slice of life.

But it’s here. And it’s called Twitter.

Some people I know fear it. Oooooh, it’s full of nasty people who do… nasty things. And I have encountered this so I accept that, but it’s not the thing that defines it for me. In my Twitter life and experience I’ve encountered more friends and good thoughts than bad people and ill will. I’ve made friends, good ones. Sadly I’ve also lost friends, good ones, but that’s life and that’s not Twitter. I am who I am and will always be so. In real life or in 140 characters or less.

140 characters a time you can give the world a bit of you. You don’t have to be funny, witty or say anything interesting at all. Someone out there will know what you’re going through. It’s life. Crazy, exciting, naughty, infuriating and with all the bells and whistles of a whistling bell shop.

It’s called Twitter and I think it’s rather fab actually. What say you?

***

Thanks for reading and please leave your comments and thoughts in our comments hole.

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10 thoughts on “About Twitter

  1. Here via the glorious Twitter! Great posts. It took me a while to be a convert but I love Twitter with my whole heart! One of my favourite things ever is watching TV, and watching TV on twitter is like being on a ginormous comfy sofa in your lounge all saying ” DID YOU SEE THAT?”
    The Olympics opening and closing ceremonies spring to mind. I’ve made really lovely worldwide chums too! Three cheers for Twitter!

    • Can’t imagine watching Eurovision without the aid of Twitter. And alcohol. Okay, so mostly alcohol. But Twitter definitely helps!

  2. Twitter is simply wonderful. Throw up a techie question with a couple of hashtags and you’ll get a response you can use in minutes. Just grand. Which reminds me, I promised someone a subscribe form!

  3. I love it for the instantaneousness of the reaction to things, to gauge the mood of the nation, to see what people think, to see what people love and hate deep down. I hate it for the revealing of sexist, racist and downright abhorrent attitudes that some people display. I hate it sometimes because the minority has more voice, I also love it for the same reason. I think it should stay but self management hasn’t worked. Ignoring trolls or blocking them doesn’t remove the harm they do to your soul. Just like ignoring bullies in the playground was the answer every parent suggested but none actually thought would work.

    It worries me that some people think that any step to control how twitter works is pushed back vehemently. Yes, I agree, it’s very nature is exciting but the laws of the land which would apply to verbal, written or emailed communication also apply to twitter. Some people forget that. It’s not a brave new world, it’s the same world but in a different format. Just because 100s, 1000s break the law, does not mean that if you do you could or should not be held accountable for that.

  4. It took me ages to decide whether I liked Twitter or not. I joined and was inactive for months because I just didn’t ‘get’ it (still not convinced I do).

    Now, I’m on daily, tweeting or just observing. I have connected with such interesting people that I never would have had it not been for Twitter, made some good friends too.

    So yeah, erm, I likes it 🙂

  5. It took me ages to decide whether I liked Twitter or not.

    I joined and was inactive for months because I just didn’t ‘get’ it (not sure if I do now).

    I am now on Twitter daily, tweeting or observing. I have connected with so many interesting people who I wouldn’t have had it not been for Twitter. I have made great friends too.

    So, erm, yeah I likes it 🙂

  6. haha twitter is such a love/hate thing! you either love it, or you hate it, or you hate to love it, or you love to hate it… lol I vary between all of them. Twitter is a timesuck, and a time saver, at the same time. I can open twitter and be stuck there for HOURS reading tweets, following new people, etc. I can also hop on, ask a question, and have my answers (some good, some given in the form of jerkery) in minutes! It’s all about the hashtags of course 😉 I can also follow celebrities I love and have a glimpse into their real life (NPH springs to mind!) or rather, their real life they let the public see…of course 😉 All in all, I do love Twitter! But I agree with comments above too, about the jackassery that is all over twitter… but it’s also on fb, and..well everywhere on the interwebz and real life too!

  7. Great blog, fantastic concept. I love Twitter. I love there’s always someone to chat too and that you can connect with people you are unlikely to meet. I love you can be anonymous. I love the banality. I loathe the needy, the permanently miserable, those on their soapbox ALWAYS. However, as in life, you choose who you mix with and follow. It should not be a substitute for life though.

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