Monday, October 18, 2010

Opt out of Twitter

I’d been having a fairly rough time all round, both in the real world and Twitter. I realized that Twitter for me and possibly others was starting to lose its shine.

I realized that if people put a call-out into the Twitterverse, I’d RT and try and help. If people needed help to solve a problem, I’d help if I knew and if I didn’t I’d RT and hopefully someone else would know the answer.

On Wednesday I put a call out for help to source a product, quite localized, but a majority of ‘my’ followers are in my area, so it shouldn’t have been problem.

24 hours later not one person had RT’d that tweet.

Alright no big deal you say 1 tweet, not RT’d, who cares? Well I care, because I cared enough to help or try to help via RT and then not have that returned, not even a thank-you. Made me feel used.

I thought about it and Thursday at 2pm I decided enough is enough and didn’t RT anything for almost 24hours. Big deal you say.

Many people who follow me, are interested in the weather alerts I also put out, which I do nationally when I become aware. I became aware that a highway in the North East of the state had been closed due to flooding. I put that out there – 3 hours later NOT ONE RT.

Excuses, people are busy, people don’t care, doesn’t affect them – so why should they RT? For me I always thought of twitter as a world-wide neighbourhood. Where everyone could help everyone with little actual effort required (Yeah I know lazy)

I’ve now not participated in Twitter as I knew it for 24 hours and you know what? Not one person has asked if I’m okay, even when I put this tweet out “FYI - There are some great one liners around, & requests for info, but I'm on an RT black ban for the interim - reason disclosed previously” Didn’t get ONE response.

I did get THREE responses when I first had a sook, but after that people just didn’t seem to care. Yeah I know sooky-lah-lah, shut up, grow up. It’s about none of that – it’s about caring and I always thought that those I associated with on Twitter cared.

So I am not going to RT anything, although I did RT a dog! (but dogs don’t count, they are faithful and never talk back and love you unconditionally)

So I will revisit Twitter, I’ll still watch and maybe interact, maybe RT – but certainly not at previous levels.

How long can I resist the pull?

What are you thoughts and experiences?


  1. Like FB, I look at it occasionally. I started well with Twitter, but soon lost interest. Most of those who I follow I know via their blog and I rather read what they have to say there. I am sure it is very useful for some people, but not for me.

  2. Wow, no-one retweeted?

    I find that when things go downhill for me twitter has to go, its just too time intensive and as I do it on my computer, if I'm not well I'm not there.

    I'm going to miss seeing you in twitterverse when I'm there though.

  3. I don't always RT your items, but when I am on Twitter (and I'm not on there much), I look at them. I am amazed at how many different subjects you touch on and, yes, how much you try to help others. In fact, first time I interacted with you was after Haitian earthquake. I'm sorry that you are feeling used.

  4. My experiences and thoughts are that twitter isnt a social group. You put stuff out there and you might or might not get a response. You might or might not get friends out of it. But the expectations out of 140 characters is pretty low and that is why many people like it. Because its not a blog with all your thoughts or facebook with all your connections.
    Its just 140 characters of thoughts and a heap of followers IF your lucky enough to be interesting.

    But its just there to put your thoughts out and what you get back from it is up to you.
    You cant demand friendship and loyalty from a site as basic as twitter.
    You only get followers and each follower will have a different way to use it. That might not be your way.
    There are other sites for doing that if thats what you need.

  5. Sorry you're feeling that way.
    Use Twitter for whatever you want and expect little in return. Anything you gain after that is a bonus.

  6. Twitter is just place to write whatever comes into my head. If I see something I want to respond to, I do.
    Quite frequently Im ignored. I don't care.
    Quite frequently Im abused by some stranger for something I said.
    I've been called the C word a few times. A moron, an idiot.
    Twitter is a mix of world wide nice people and downright loonies.
    So I keep my expectations very low.

  7. Andrew - I get no joy from Facebook, so I don't participate.
    Dragonsally - The time is not an issue - I normally wander from one PC to another, so I just pop in and out when I have the time feel like it. people want me/expect me to Rt stuff - had one hig-profile poster DM me asking me to RT something. Yet I can't get a simple tweet RT'd?
    Anon - One person, big deal, but of a collective of 1150, one person perhaps picked up at least ONE of the tweets concerned. No-one did.
    Anon2 - I've always been lucky - the couple of times that people have attempted that with me - I've either stopped them in their tracks or blocked them.
    I can 'understand' idiots on Twitter, thats' not what I'm talking about - it's the I want help, help me - yet when you do, no thanks amd when you ask for help nothing.

    I don't know - but at the moment I'm not RT'ing anything and don't know if I will re-start again. I'll see

  8. I'm with you as I wrote on my blog some months ago - I think twitter has lost it's shine I RT all the time and like you get little in response. I've RT'd your posts and helped where I can for those calls that you've made and like you get little in thanks or response.

    Frustrating it is, I made a conscious decision some months ago to lessen my activity on twitter because of the time required to do it how I want to do it.

    You are one of the few authentic individuals that I follow and if you decide to leave I will sorely miss your posts and RTs

    As a small business I saw twitter as a way to communicate the workplace safety message but with the exception of a small number of other workplace safety people and a couple of great supporters, the message almost always gets lost in the crowd.

    Like you I am opinionated and I tweet about articles that interest me, politics, random comments, workplace safety and also like to have some fun, but the return on my investment (eg time and effort) is woeful from a business perspective and also like you I really wander about the socialability of the "social media" which seems to be not very social at all.

    Time will tell, but my tweeter friend I will miss you if you leave.

  9. Maralyn - read the blog - well put and worded. For me twitter is not a business, not a money making machine, only a time passing (wasting) interest. I enjoy yhe 'noise' of news up dates, like you. I enjoy seeing what others are doing. I enjoy information, I enjoy learning, I enjoy sharing and this is where ^this^ post falls, into the sharing catergory, or lack of.

    You are in the 'A' team, along with a few others, but for the noisy rabble who expect you to RT something and then fail to acknowledge/respond and then to add insult to injury don;t 'help' you - that's what I'm talking about.
    I always thought of twitter as a world-wide neighbourhood - where you can talk over the fence for 1min or 20minutes or a day, and get something in return for the giving you do.

    and it appears I was wrong, or as someone did say on Twitter, The Neighbourhood is losing value, thanks to the new residents.

    Problem is I'm not even sure it's the new residents, I suspect it's mostly the old who are using, abusing and not returning the sugar bowl.


  10. Hi mate

    It can get lonely out there and on many occasions no one even replies to my questions. Don't take it personally, people are still deciding what is etiquette for twitter.

  11. Carbonite - thanks for the comments - you mention etiquette is politeness, politeness is manners. There is no question about how to act/react on twitter.

    Treat everyone as you wish to be treated and the world would be a nicer place all-round

    I suppose between real world nastiness and then the let-down at being used - I let rip

  12. Me personally, I rarely RT anything because I get annoyed with the same stuff being RT'ed over and over again. In fact not all that long ago I went through my list of people and turned of the "retweets from this user will appear in your timeline" option on almost all the people I follow. Some people I follow RT an inane amount of stuff and I simply got tired of it.
    Twitter holds a lot of appeal for me still, I dip in and out as I see fit. But I could care less if people weren't reading my stuff. I don't have a need for acceptance.

  13. Fen - thank-you for taking the time to comments. I agree that some stuffs seems to go around the goat tracks or merry-go-round - time and time again - but that is something I put up. I'm talking about I need to find a seller of XYZ, or how to fix ABC. I only RT stuff of value to other people, not inane tweets (well occasionally) but certainly very minimal.
    RT's can be powerful

    As I said in previous comments - I always treated twitter like a worldwide neighbourhood, but now I'm beginning to wonder if all my neighbours are as nice as they claim

  14. I think I have a better understanding of what Twitter has perhaps evolved into. I believe today it's less of a social medium and more of a public broadcasting tool. Knowing that I have lowered my expectations and avoided some of the frustrations you and others feel.

    That said, I understand your frustration but maybe from the other side. I RT others throughout the day, focusing on offers anyone can take advantage of despite their location or information applicable to my followers. The frustration comes in when almost no one will thank for a RT.

    I've been told by some that I should be grateful they provide the info to RT, therefor they don't feel compelled to give thanks. Yet another reason to pay attention to what Twitter is today.

    For what it's worth in my API I have you and many others sorted out of the main stream into a friends column and will always see your posts. This gets to a quote I saw that 75% of posts are ignored, yours ma'am isn't by this Midwest US soul.

  15. Kyle - maybe that's my mistake - I mistake everyone as a friend?

    You are right when you say that Twitter is now a broadcasting system rather than a social network.

    About the thanking - agreed, I think is part of the problem, is the fact that few say thanks.

    I watch for your tweets - I enjoy the interviews ;) they are hilarious!

    Thanks for commenting - really appreciated!

  16. Hmm. I enjoy Twitter primarily as interaction with people. To the extent that my main way of following people is when they talk to me. If there's a fault with that, it's that so many awesome people have talked to me that at times my feed becomes a stream that flows over me.

    On the flipside, I try to add useful things to Twitter and to help people. I also use it as a stream of consciousness thing at times, putting out weird/funny/absurd thoughts. I love to have a laugh but I've also found meaningful friendship and people that genuinely care, in some ways helping me to open up and become a better person too.

    I find it hard to take Twitter too seriously - I do keep an eye out for tweets from a core group of people and I'd say I catch your tweets quite often. But Twitter is not what I'd regard as a persistent medium - I'm now in the habit of visiting people's blogs etc to get to know them better and understand where they're coming from. Twitter as a volatile and transient medium is a good introduction, but the more traditional media is far better for a long lasting interaction.

    I tweet and retweet all manner of things - interesting, agree with, disagree with, can't understand - and also sometimes have some fun with retweets. But if I'm not around to see them, I'm unlikely to go back too far to catch up, it's not so easy with the volume of people I follow :-)

    The one experience on Twitter that I still can't understand is people abusing me for being 'noisy'. I take the attitude that I force no-one to follow me, yet someone will follow me and then give me crap about how much I tweet. The truth is that I don't think any of us tweet for more than purely selfish reasons - I don't care that much if people don't read what I tweet. My response is inevitably "so stop following me" - why would I change the way I am for one person when I never actually asked them to follow?

    It remains a constant source of surprise as to the number of followers I have, who stick around in spite of how prolific and absurdist I can be. More surprising is how many genuinely care and will respond to serious and heartfelt tweets. I never expected to find friendships on Twitter, yet I now have best friends in real life who originally came from Twitter.

    Giving up on Twitter? Your choice, but I enjoy interacting with you. I've certainly seen useful retweets from you, and tweeted them myself. But is that really the measure of Twitter, or is it more the satisfaction you can get from the realtime interaction with others, regardless of where they are?

  17. I don't see the point of Twitter if you're not interactive with people.
    Otherwise might as well just go read a book.

  18. Someone posted this post on the wrong post - so I've taken the courtesy of moving it - it was an ANON post - so no harm done!...............
    On the subject of assuming friendship. It sets yourself up to be hurt, I think. Assume internet 'aquaintences' who you don't really know and may, in real life, be nothing like they appear on the net. Time, commitment and chemistry will make some become friends. But the majority not. Not everyone is on the net to find friends. Some are just there for a look. Some are just there to pretend. I like to think I am part of the rich tapestry and proceeding with caution.

  19. Matt - you word things well, I agree, Twitters' not something you can totally seriously, but then again I think that of facebook. Like you in 12 months - I found friends that I didn’t think was possible.
    Noisy? - you and I are in the same boat - I ignore the trolls - perhaps they are jealous?
    I plan on hanging around - but still not sure about RT'ing anything. I was tempted to RT something today and then thought I haven't finished with the 'experiment' yet and I'm still not sure if I want to get sucked in at the same level.

    I doubt I'll be going anywhere, at least in the immediate future. I have plenty of time to 'play' with twitter as I progress from PC to PC from place to place. Hell it beats the boredom of having nothing to do for 1-2 hours something, when I have to wait.
    Thank-you for your contribution

    Anon 1 - I'm interactive, just currently not RT'ing anything and as for 'good books' I've read several good ones in the last couple of weeks - Try Stephen King's "The Cell" BRILLIANT!

    Anon 2 - acquaintances, certainly, I often mistaken acquaintances with friends, when talking to people, people say friends and I say I don't have friends, only acquaintances. Life's easier that way.

    And yes - proceed with caution - the same thing can be said of life, unfortunately I don't always look both ways ;)