Sunday, 15 July 2012

How do you use Twitter?

I am appalled to admit that I have spent much of this weekend either tapping away on my phone or fiddling about with my lap top - enthralled with the world of blogs and Twitter. As someone who prefers, generally, the outdoor life - running, gardening, sitting outside soaking up the sun - this sort of behaviour is a ghastly thing to admit to.

But, by God, the English weather has driven me to become a veritable couch potato!!

Of course, being a blogger it may seem strange to say that being on a computer is a bad thing thing - after all writing on my lap top is one of my favourite things. But this weekend I have been dragged in to the murky depths of Twitter, bored to within an inch of my life by the wet weather and gloomy grey skies and drawn in by the interaction between Tweeters from around the world.

Now, I do use Twitter to let people know I have written a new post, but I don't think I use it to its full potential and, to be honest, I'm not interested in it in that way. I just like finding interesting, funny and genuine people with whom to chat.

When I first joined Twitter I wondered how people got lots of followers, but within a short time I realised that quality is far better than quantity. So many people click to follow, follow, follow in the hope that they will be followed back. So many people write outrageous or rude tweets in the hope of notoriety, copying in celebrities in the strange belief that they will gain kudos from having a celebrity follower. Their stats show them following masses of people, but being followed by few.

Each to their own and as someone who, by my own admission, is not very good at Twitter, I don't suppose I have a leg to stand on when it comes to talking about it. But I just don't understand the point of following for following's sake.Surely you should have a connection of some sort? I don't want to follow someone whose tweets are full of ... well, just rubbish ... stuff that holds no interest for me, just for the sake of being able to boast lots of followers. I want followers who are interested in what I have to say and, in turn, I follow those in whom I am interested.

For me the interest lies in the voices of the people out there - whether they be young or old, male or female - its what they have to say that counts. I follow people who are funny, witty, serious, struggling with divorce or bereavement, parents who tweet when the kids go to bed ...  all sorts. The thing that links them all though is their genuineness and the way that what they say resonates in my life.

Of course there are other reasons for joining Twitter and if you own a company or want to publicise something then my way of tweeting will certainly not suit you. It would be completely wrong and I would imagine that my ways would end in bankruptcy!! But if you are tweeting for connections then why waste time with people who are only interested in the number of followers they have, or the number of celebrities in their timeline?

Twitter is a funny old place. My mum thinks I am insane and geeky to have anything to do with the internet at all so Twitter would probably send her over the edge !! She's probably right in lots of ways! We all use it in different ways and some people are dead clever in the way they make it work for them. I suppose it all depends on what you're looking for. I know what I like and this weekend I have 'met' some interesting people. I am probably rather naive in my use of it, but I wonder how you use it and if you agree with the way I do? I'd love to hear your views.


BP2 said...

I totally agree!

Anonymous said...

I use Twitter to connect with (spy on) writers I admire. I followed academics when I was planning on doing a PhD, the networking opportunities are endless and I made several real life connections with fellow victorianists. Now I am taking a different path I follow people in education: the TES and people who blog on education matters. Not for networking purposes, but for information. I also follow NeighboursTV - sad evidence of the only soap I watch. Nordic TV programmes are well represented too. I have found a place in a focus group reviewing new novels via twitter and the news is more up to date than any other medium. I also follow you! I don't link my blog to it as I have a couple of friends on there and my blog is not really for my 'friends'to read - yet. It is a time suck though and I don't really feel comfortable posting my every move. I am more of a follower than a poster, despite my tally of over 200 followers - I must be very boring for them! I am very aware of my online identity while I'm applying for jobs, I am proably not high enough up the food chain for a potential employer to google, but you never know. If or when I get a job I may post a bit more, not about the job though. However, I do post pictures of pies I've baked - weirdly!