I guess I should start out by saying I was never really a Twitter addict; I was never one of those individuals that had to tweet every little thing or just take a peek at the Twitter stream every five minutes (though for a short time there my girlfriend might beg to differ). I was and continue to be fascinated by Twitter, but I’ve noticed that in the last several months that fascination is waning.
It has slowly begun to dawn on me that many of the folks I have, for some reason or other chosen to follow, are really just spewing useless crap that a) I care nothing about whatsoever, or b) has no bearing on my life or interests, or c) simply don’t understand because I really have no context. This has slowly led to an increased disinterest in even checking in on Twitter, and it’s got me to thinking about why I even use Twitter in the first place.
Twitter seems like the Michael Jackson of social media sometimes. Everyone likes it, but secretly harbors some doubts about its inherent goodness. It’s the thing that everyone in the know does, but no one seems to know why really.
Perhaps I’ve missed the boat, or I’m simply not smart enough to get it, but it seems that Twitter has become clogged with an incessant stream of marketing blurbs, product plugs, and self-serving conversations between a constantly shifting set of people one could call the ‘twitterati’. The alleged ‘in crowd’ of Twitter, the super-users, those that sit slightly above us mere mortals who can inspire interest in a random subject or product with just a few timely words. Social media noise. If Twitter were email, we’d call it spam.
But I’ve been asking myself lately: Why? Why are we listening to these people? Why do we care what they say, seemingly hanging on every word? Do they have their fingers so unerringly on the pulse of technology that they have elevated themselves to the status of today’s oracles? I don’t know, I really don’t.
I’m not mentioning any names here, and I’m not going to paste any tweets I feel might be relevant to my little rant, mainly because I have nothing personal against the individuals I have in mind, and hell, I even enjoy some of their social media antics at times, but I seem to have come to a point in my life that surely we must all come to in our increasingly digital culture: that is, how much of this massive fire hose of information is actual useful, or even truly interesting and beneficial to my life?
Alright, I will point to one example that perfectly demonstrates my point. Apparently, singer/songwriter(and I use that term loosely) John Mayer recently caused a stir by saying Twitter was dead.
Yes, it’s true. But my immediate question, regardless of my opinion of his ‘work’, is why should we care what he thinks? And does it bother anybody else that he went on to throw his hat into the ring for a different social media platform, Tumblr? Kanye West also just decided to join Twitter after disparaging it in one of his many useless . Again, who cares?
I don’t. And I don’t care about your new widget, or your new fool-proof method of making widgets which will subsequently make me rich beyond my wildest dreams, or how I can attract thousands of followers to my blog in 48 hours using your simple eight step method. Maybe I’ve just made some bad decisions on who to follow…
How did I come to follow some of these people anyway? Was it because I read somewhere that I should be following them? Were they supposed to be ‘gurus’? I’ll permanently pull the plug on my internet connection the day John Mayer becomes a guru of anything, much less social media. I’ve tried to the follow the pack in the past, but it’s usually left me stumbling along side the road racing to catch up, wondering where I went wrong. I guess this time, as the dust settles about me, I’m wondering why I’m running in the first place.