There are those who complain that Twitter is not what it was, it’s swirling the drain.
Correspondingly, there are idiots among us.
Twitter, like much of life, is what you make of it.
Imagine if, in real life, you had to fill a cocktail party with 80% of the people being marketers, people who insist you should be friends even though you don’t have much in common, and anyone else you feel obligated to have around.
That party would fucking suck. You’d stab yourself in the eye with a fork before you could even have another drink.
So why are you doing the same thing on Twitter? A real estate agent (who’s OBVIOUSLY using Twitter for real estate) follows you, so you follow him back. Would you invite a guy trying to sell you a house to your cocktail party? No? MY HEAD EXPLODES at why the hell you’re following him on Twitter, then.
This goes for the Angry Political Man, Annoying Coworker You Avoid In The Hall, Politicians, Companies You Don’t Buy From, and so, so many more.
It’s your fault your Twitter sucks. I sure as hell don’t have your Twitter experience. I invite the funny people, the ones who are good journalists, smart writers, interesting conversationalists, and real people to hang out in my Twitter party.
Follow Me! I’m Needy!
Honestly, the “reciprocal follow” has got to be the stupidest thing in the world. Could you possibly set the bar any lower?
Anyone telling you it’s “smart Twitter” deserves a cock-punch full of logic. It’s akin to someone saying BUT I WANT TO BE FRIENDS WITH YOU SO YOU HAVE TO BE MY FRIEND. Fuck that shit. Fuck the social media gurus/ninjas/rockstars. They’re all asshats.
Friendship doesn’t work like that. What the hell school did you go to? Did you get spanked if you didn’t befriend every needy, desperate kid? No milk for you?
Reciprocal follow? Oh, well, the Most Boring Man in Nebraska, who also happens to sell not just cars but fishing bait, followed you, so you follow back? Are you THAT desperate for validation that you really give a fuck if he unfollows you because you didn’t reciprocate?
Make your world interesting. Follow people who shock you, make you laugh, and that you care about talking with. For starters, you can ignore most people with a 1:1 follower/following count. And those guys with nothing but links? Move on.
But who gives a shit if they don’t “engage”? It’s CONTENT. It’s not about you.
Fact is, not everyone’s on Twitter so they can buddy up and get chatty. I hate it when people engage me and then keep replying for 10, 15 tweets. I’m on there to soapbox, rant, make my observations of life, not sit around and talk all the time. I work, people. You’re cramping my style, man. Engage and move on.
Not for nothin’, but that’s actually what Twitter was invented for. It was created to be a microblog where people would park one-liners, not the world’s biggest cocktail party. The public re-tooled that original concept and now we have what we have.
The conversational aspect of Twitter can be enjoyable, but it’s not why I’m there, even if I do it from time to time.
I told you part of why I write on Twitter, but it’s also because I’m love making weird observations and recording minutiae of my life. I cannot open a new document, write a new thing, every time I think up a funny or a poignant thought. But I can whip out my phone, fire off a tweet, and see if it hits the wall or not.
I am a writer. This is what I do. I’m not on Twitter to make friends. I couldn’t give a shit if you like me. I don’t wanna go for beers. I don’t want to get invited to your party. Hell, I don’t even want to eat at your restaurant if I’m obligated to tweet that I liked it. I just want a voice.
Fortunately, I have a lot of people who follow me who enjoy me having a voice, or spouting off about the latest stupid-stupidness to befall my world, or listen to me babble on about cooking or whatever else has me distracted.
That’s great. I’m thrilled. I try to be interesting and not just put boring “journaling my life” content out there unless it’s got a twist or a unique POV. It’s my worldview in a nutshell. A lot of tweets, a lot of weirdness, but it’s my party, man.
Anyone’s choice to read my content, follow my world, means jack shit to me. My door is open, come in and have a peek, by all means. I’m not obligated to follow back. In fact, it would be detrimental if I did. The more mundanity I have in my feed, the less inspiring and useful Twitter is to me. As a writer, boredom and stupidity are a killer.
It’s Your Party, Dude
You’ve got big-kid pants on now. You don’t need no reciprocal follows! The “you like me so I like you” bullshit doesn’t happen ANYWHERE ELSE IN YOUR LIFE, so stop insisting on it online.
Choose your content because you LIKE it, not because they follow you back. Choose content to follow because it gives you a different worldview, makes you smile, challenges your notions, or inspires you to be better.
In fact, choose your life — everything you do — because it’s what you want to do, what you want to see, where you want to go. Social media should be the same. Don’t connect with anyone out of obligation. Don’t commit to things that don’t better your life. Don’t do it because you feel you need to do it.
Stop whining that Twitter “isn’t any good anymore” when you’re following indiscriminately and feel like all you see is noise. (Because all you see is noise.) Unfollow people. Make lists. Take control. Make Twitter interesting again. And hey, if you do it well and you’re really yourself, and you follow people you really dig, it might even help you land clients or get a great job.
If your Twitter sucks, you throw a bad party. Do something about it. Turf the losers and open up the good stuff and drop your guard for those who remain. Maybe, just maybe, you might finally have a good time.