Titter about Twitter

Baby Osprey

Baby Osprey – isn’t he cute?

I never understood Twitter.

Of course I heard of Twitter as soon as it came out, but it held little interest for me.  It seemed like the ultimate short attention span media.  I could see absolutely zero reasons why I should join and follow.

Back at the end of 2014 I was told that if I was at all serious about blogging then I needed to be on Twitter.  A blog without an attached Twitter account was a dead end.  So I joined Twitter and started tweeting.

The first thing I did was go through and find some blog friends to follow and some third party things that sounded cool, like NASA.  I spent some time trying to read and found I grew bored in exactly 1.2 seconds.  I didn’t get it.

OK, so time went on and I followed more and more people as they followed me.  I found more special interests to follow.  I’ve tweeted things that had nothing to do with the blog.  I tried some Twitter etiquette.  And I tried reading tweets.  I can read about two before I decided it is the most pointless use of my time ever.

I don’t get it, I don’t get it, I don’t get it, I don’t get it!   Why does anybody waste more than a second there?  I have so little free time, I do not want to waste what little is there reading tweets.

Some people claim to get information about the world from Twitter.

OK, I like the news.  I read CNN and BBC on the web.  I go back and forth if I have a subscription to the Economist or not and when I do I read it cover to cover.  I read the local TV station’s news page.  I sometimes read a local paper and regional one (Boston Globe) and occasionally a national one (NY Times).  I hate, hate, hate sound bites.  They are worse than useless and usually are created to mislead people.  No, their one and only purpose for being is to mislead people who are too lazy to research issues.  There is no other reason for a sound bite.  But we live in a sound bite world.  If it isn’t a sound bite, people won’t listen.  Nobody wants to know what is happening.  The world is an ultra-complex place and people want to find the ultimate answers in 2 seconds or less.  They don’t want to really understand.  They don’t want to know.  We have access to more information than has ever been possible yet people don’t want to look at any of it.

And going beyond news, why do I care what a celebrity tweets?  That makes even less than zero sense to me.  I think it absolutely weird that anybody would care.  To say I don’t get it is an understatement.

So yes, I’m a dinosaur.  I like spending my time doing things.  If I want to know something, I want to really know it and not a sound bite so I do research.  I feel my life is important enough that I don’t have to live vicariously through somebody who is well known because they happened to be in a popular movie or TV show or, hmm, what is Kim K famous for?  Never understood that one at all.  Anyway, I am a dinosaur and I don’t get Twitter.

OK, so after ranting for a while, I’ll go back to pushing all of my posts to Twitter and going on once a week to acknowledge people who have tweeted or retweeted my posts.  I’ll also follow most who follow me first.  But will I actually sit and read anything?  I doubt it.

Sorry if I offended you.  Well, maybe not.  ;)  This was a bit, shall we say, tongue in cheek.  A bit.  Anyway, I don’t take myself seriously enough to get too concerned about it and I try not to judge other people for doing things like following Twitter.  OK, maybe I do judge people who follow Kim K. religiously but….

I don’t know if a baby Osprey makes tweeting noises or not, but I needed a bird and thought he was cute ;)

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43 thoughts on “Titter about Twitter

  1. Prior-2001

    that is a cute bird T!
    and I came here from the coffee chat mention of this post – and enjoyed reading your take.
    in y experience – twitter is like olives – you either like it or you do not.
    well maybe – ha!
    but really – i have seen some folks “do” twitter in a way that I marvel at. For example, a former diss coach tweeted out random stuff – about her students bad manners (students can we please start email with a greeting) something like that – and she even asked for help via tweet (I was going to add to a chapter in her book on bullying and even tho it did not pan out – i was too busy – it was a connection I owe to Twitter). And then I have seen other folks use twitter in a way that seems perfect – for example, after a recent debate – this person was on their twitter feed getting some fun comments about the debate.

    And for me – I had two very different experiences – when I first used twitter I followed 56 people and i loved my feed. I looked forward to scrolling and just enjoyed it. But then I grew and thought I had to reciprocate the follows – and I still was picky – but was told about the mute option – which seems silly – but oh T – I hated my feed. Somehow I had too many friggin quotes. I had sketchy images – more ads – surveys – and too many messages waiting. Once I had 88 private messages and just deleted them all – none mattered – well maybe two were legit from Vass or M – or other bloggers I love.

    so I echo your comment – ” I don’t get it” and I wish I did. I wish I had the feed of my first year – but that likely will never happen again. and I also am very happy with blogging….
    :)

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    1. trentpmcd Post author

      I have seen people who use Twitter in a way that they get a lot out of it, but to (mis)quote Bob, it ain’t me babe, no,no, no. I can see having a few people you really want to follow, or tweeting for a specific reason to specific people, but not what I do. I like Kalamata olives, but not Twitter ;)

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        1. trentpmcd Post author

          Don’t really like green ones and black ones are too salty, but the Greek/Kalamata are great. Oh, and I forgot – thanks about the bird! I saw some juvile osprey in the same area so I might have seen that same one. Pictures in a week or two…

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          1. Prior-2001

            looking forward to the pictures. The one in this post is so clear and was so nice to enjoy today.
            have a great rest of the weekend T and see you next week.
            oh – and seeing that you like to try things – there is still time to join in the “after before one photo focus” at visual venturing – I just finished mine (which is actually why I was online too) – and well, of course I connected my edit to jason bourne. ha!
            anyhow, you should join in – :0) the 3rd is the deadline….

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  2. Pingback: If We Were Having Coffee on the 30th of July | Trent's World (the Blog)

        1. trentpmcd Post author

          It wasn’t long ago that the osprey were endangered. Now they are everywhere on Cape Cod. People have built towers that the birds make their nests on. One is over the river I kayak on but also close to a road. I posted a few pictures, some taken from the road and some from the river – this is from the river but very heavily cropped. When I was in Ohio over Memorial Day weekend I took some pictures of eagles in a nest – those are great birds to see!

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            1. trentpmcd Post author

              I occasionally see them flying over at stratospheric altitudes here in New Hampshire (Actually right now I am on the Cape and never see them here), but I get a lot of pictures when I’m in Ohio.

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  3. tj6james6

    I have used Twitter for various things over the years. Keep track of my kids and their friends, watch a show with others across the globe (buffering irritates me to no end), I get a faster answer from WordPress there than I dO the forums, advertising for my blog, etc.
    I’m on there less than nice a month but when I am it’s for a specific purpose.
    As I’ve gotten older I find myself getting bored more easily and Twitter just can’t hold my attention for long any more.

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    1. trentpmcd Post author

      To be truthful, no matter how many times I said “I don’t get it”, I do understand many uses of Twitter, it just does fit in with the way I do things. And it is funny, when you said that you get bored and Twitter can’t hold your attention as much any more, that’s how I feel and yet I call say people who use it have short attention spans…. OK, I’m not trying to be a hypocrite, but.. ;)

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      1. tj6james6

        Yeah, I realized the irony when I was writing it ;).
        It’s not that I have a short attention span since there are some things which can hold my attention for hours at a time but Twitter is no longer one of those things.
        I think part of it is the advertisements and plain old stupidity that goes across the public feed.
        On the other hand, when I’m reading the newfeed it fits right in to how I view the news anyway, lol. I look at headlines and that’s about it.
        If you’ve spent anytime using Flipboard you’ll know what I mean :D.

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  4. Rhio

    I have a twitter account and use it for two reasons only…
    1. My blog, I get a fair amount of clicks from twitter. Mostly patients, and the National Health Service staff (who I volunteer for). Keeps me up to date with all that, seeing as they are crap at website maintenance and don’t use Facebook yet.
    2. For complaining to companies about stuff. My TV service and bank answer stuff on there faster than it would take for me to call them, and in fact, my bank always takes about an hour to get through. One time, my bank card wouldn’t work so I tweeted at them, then messaged with them and gave them my phone number and they called me back instantly and told me that someone had used my card fraudulently online.

    Otherwise, for me, it’s too much of a short attention span thing. I admire some of the comedians on there who manage jokes and funny stuff in 140 characters, but I don’t spend time on there at all. I prefer lengthier posts.

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    1. trentpmcd Post author

      That is so odd that the banks, TV service, etc. respond so fast on Twitter. Maybe it’s because it can be opened up to public scrutiny so much quicker. I haven’t tried anything like that.
      I get about half a dozen hits a week off of Twitter, so some traffic, but not a huge amount. As I said in other comments, I rarely get very focused when I read tweets, so I’m sure if I had one or two things I needed to stay up on it could be helpful.
      A good joke in 140 characters is a skill, and one I don’t have. And also like lengthier posts, both in reading and writing (this comment went way over 140 ch! ;) )

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      1. Rhio

        I used to be BIG into twitter when I was studying physics. It was awesome then, the physics community is huge on twitter and I made quite a few friends who I ended up adding to Facebook and don’t speak to on Twitter anymore. One of them works at NASA! That was fun, and it actually helped my studies so much.

        Also when is the new weekly smile? :)

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        1. trentpmcd Post author

          That does sound like a great way to get into the community!
          The new smile post will be tomorrow morning. Well, morning for me. 8 AM here should be about 1 in the afternoon for you. I leave it open all week, so you can post any time.

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            1. trentpmcd Post author

              Good! I’m glad you have something to smile about :) Actually, I can see the smile most of the time you talk about your daughter, so you’ve always had something to smile about….

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  5. pranitapatra

    I am not a big Twitter fan, Nor am I that great at writing short posts anyways, feels so unsatisfying :D I usually end up following poets, authors and film makers with stimulating one liners. Although I am
    Sure I have followed the news channels and quite a few celebrities for the heck of doing something when I log in.But then again, it’s useless since I log in like once a month..
    And Baby osprey has interesting eyes and a sharp beak! :D

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    1. trentpmcd Post author

      I’m sure if I used it “correctly” I would enjoy it more, but I have no interest, so I don’t. I might go in once a week just to look at the notifications and such, but I read it much less than that, except for new people – I will read their tweets to see if I want to follow them or not.
      The adult osprey’s eyes turn yellow/gold. Still cool, but different. They mostly eat fish so they don’t need the big heavy beak of a hawk or eagle.

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  6. waltruistic

    For me, spending a few minutes here and there on Twitter is Borg-like. I assimilate the posts (thoughts and interests) of people thereby getting to know them using the ant theory. Little by little I come to know them, develop relationships and actually consider some of them good friends now.

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    1. trentpmcd Post author

      Hmm, that’s an interesting way to look at it. Maybe it’s me who has a super short attention span that I don’t want to spend that 1 second a tweet going through. Actually, one of my problems is that when I look at tweets, I look at the entire feed and usually don’t filter it with a hashtag or a particular person (except when I’m look at someone new to follow).Looked at that way it’s a bunch of random bits of nothing, but I could see how looking at a mosaic of one person or one idea from a hashtag or whatever can give a bigger picture.

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  7. DailyMusings

    I signed up years ago just to see what it was all about. I followed a few famous people but realized I didn’t really care what they had to say. I personally had nothing to say that I thought would be of interest to anyone, so I closed the account. To me it was a mindless egocentric waste of time. :-)

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  8. Nancy

    I don’t actually know a lot about Twitter having avoided it completely myself but I know it’s a big thing for many people. It is probably one of the reasons that the younger generation have thirty second attention spans. They need everything this minute. Patience and research are becoming a thing of the past and the art of conversation is being lost. Kind of sad.

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  9. madamewriter

    I concur; the point of Twitter is lost on me — I have more to say than the limited characters allowed. You have a good point about “sound bite news.” I’m a researcher, Twitter is like a constant commercial or broadcast. It’s one of those “seems to be” necessary as per current events. Personally, I have distaste for the celebrity worship that goes on. It makes me uncomfortable that entertainment seems to be top priority for many people.

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  10. Sarina

    Well, to be quite honest I don’t hang there too much either. I like using certain hash tags to look for stuff or blog link ups I’m part of. It’s a nice way to discover new blogs. I’ve grouped some people who tweet a lot of personal growth, inspirational and wellness related stuff – so I’ll occasionally browse that. Mostly though when I got on twitter it was to encourage sharing and SEO. The more links point to your post the better your SEO.

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    1. trentpmcd Post author

      It does seem to be mostly SEO. And although I “don’t get it”, I do understand the tracking events and things like that. And finding blogs, though I have enough trouble keeping up with the ones I already follow…

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