I’ve held off judgement to Twitter for some time now, because it seems to be a service that is constantly evolving. Not from a technical point of view, but concerning what the community is actually doing with it. Before I go on, I should say that I still think it is a service of immeasurable use and service. However, that’s really all up to what the majority of the users are doing with it. Sharing applicable information makes it something that I can’t do without, but the way that it has been utilized by many over the past month or so has made me reconsider how applicable it really is to me.
A few nights ago, I somewhat hazily sent out a tweet that said I was becoming quickly jaded with the service. That’s mostly because I’m tiring of the useless tweets that many I’m following are sending out. I think that perhaps many don’t realize that many of their followers are made up of those who aren’t close friends of theirs. Subsequently, they likely don’t care what they had to eat for lunch and even less for the rest of their daily schedule. I really can’t understand why many feel that can be worthwhile information for most of their followers. This is my only real gripe, however the frequency of these types of tweets have increased dramatically as of late. Causing me to care less and less for checking the latest tweets from those I follow. And it’s kinda disappointing that I have to dig through the trash in order to find potential useful information.
On a side note, my dissatisfaction with the state of the service really showed itself last week when I fictionalized a zombie attack on the UAH campus in real time. I thought that if we were really telling everyone about the little and overwhelmingly mundane details of our life, we could at least ramp it up a bit and make it actually compelling.
That said, I hope many might be willing to re-introduce themselves to Twitter. It’s time to realize that with its current functionality that Twitter isn’t simply a friend-to-friend platform like MySpace or Facebook. Telling everyone what you’ve been doing lately may be interesting when you can fully elaborate on a blog, especially when its directed towards those who may know you outside of it. But within the confines of 140 characters, it ain’t happening. Updates detailing trips or similarly unique status updates are always welcome. But most times, I really wouldn’t care to know that you’re eating a hot dog. What does that do for me or your other followers? Instead, before hitting the send button, ask yourselves a few questions. Is this tweetable? Is this useful? Is it new? Will your followers actually care? A second thought could really go a long way here.
I really hope that everyone doesn’t interpret this as offensive or insulting. This is more of a one man intervention, really. Were Twitter to actually provide some type of categorization of tweets, these mundane updates might actually have a place. If we had the option of sending certain tweets to only certain lists of friends or followers, it would make a lot more sense. I won’t name names, but there’s one person that I follow simply because of the retail store that they work at. I couldn’t care less about their personal tweets, but those detailing their workplace are usually really useful. If they could categorize these into “work” and “home”, it would solve that problem for me. But unfortunately, this probably isn’t happening anytime soon. And until it does, these kind of relatively pointless tweets are really diluting and lessening the service. I really hope that it doesn’t turn Twitter into just another fad that will be forgotten soon as opposed to a concrete source of information, but exactly that is going to happen unless there are certain steps taken both by the Twitter developers and the Twitter community.
So again, ask yourself. Is this tweetable? Is this useful? Is it new? Will your followers actually care?