At least I can say I tried. Twitter, the massively popular [and growing] social utility allows you to tell your friends stuff. In 140 characters or less, people report random moments of their day, a website they enjoy, or even make a quick shout out to a friend, topic, organization or team. Twitter has all kinds of uses and once you learn the somewhat confusing language you can do quite a bit with it. Well, maybe YOU can, but for me, I’m switching it off…possibly for good. I could go on and on about the pitfalls of twitter, but I’m just going to focus on my personal experience. I’m done with this tool and here’s why:
1. It turns out that I just don’t care.
This pretty much goes for the majority of stuff that people post in social networking published statuses. So you just drove to McDonalds…or you are wearing your favorite shirt…or you drank to much…even friends don’t care too much about the small stuff. I feel like there should be a resounding “nobody cares” when you post stuff. It could be a helpful reminder that just because people are “following” you they aren’t really interested in your mundane everyday life. And really, that’s okay. But Tyler, (you might say) don’t you even care about what your close friends are doing? Yes, I do but most of my close friends don’t use Twitter. So all I’m left with is old friends, aquaintances, and people-I-know and although I find them, as people, cool and interesting I don’t really care about the normal day-to-day stuff.
2. Cardinal’s fans.
Of all my friends, in all areas of the country, being fans of all kinds of sports and sports teams, cheering for their team on social networking, none are as obnoxious as St. Louis Cardinals fans. Normally I would approach this issue with a passive aggressive statement but I’m just going to address it straight on. How many bragging posts do you think you can possibly make before you start to be flat out annoying? I mean, I understand rooting for your team, but the constant boasting and goading (remember I live near CHI) is stupid and irritating. RIVALRY right? Maybe if I was a baseball fan, but I’m not. The unfortunate thing is that I actually am interested in what many of my old STL friends are up to, but by the time I’ve cut through the stupid high amounts of posts bragging about every little thing the Cards have done I’m frustrated. Seriously, there are 162 games in the regular season. Save the praises for when something important happens.
3. I don’t need help finding websites.
This is actually one of the features that I like about Twitter. People come across a funny or helpful website and they share it. The problem is that when everyone does it it becomes overload and it defaults into the ‘I don’t care’ category. When I really think about it, I’m perfectly capable of using online tools to find good articles, funny pictures, or other helpful tools. Some people like to post links to their own blog/website and that’s cool. It helps others know that a new post is available to read. However, if you write a blog and I read it and find it interesting I’m probably subscribing to it. Since I’m aleady notified about the new post via Google Reader, I’m not usually relying on Twitter for this function. It’s not a criticism to those that tweet that they have a new blog, its just a statement that Twitter doesn’t help me find it.
4. It’s all on Facebook anyway.
So what if you tweet a blog that I’m NOT subscribed to? What if I really do enjoy following you and the witty posts you make? It’s all good, because nearly everyone I follow links Twitter to Facebook. So I won’t really miss much. Dropping Twitter just means less redundancy and less ‘I don’t care’ attitude.
5. I don’t worship celebrities.
Twitter has celebrities to thank for some of it’s widespread popularity. Most people like celebrities because of the characters they play in the movies (and TV) or because of the music they play. But people are people and just because you you like their work or tv personality doesn’t make their day-to-day mundane activities less mundane. I used to follow Rainn Wilson and after a few months I realized that I liked Dwight (his character on the Office) more than Rainn…only Dwight isn’t real and even if Rainn decided to post as ‘Dwight’ it would be lame. So what’s less interesting that following a celebrity? How about having to read the posts by someone who does and worships them via their own Twitter. Hey! If I wanted to follow someone that you are obsessed with, I will. You don’t have to re-tweet everything they post. It doesn’t make you more interesting.
Verdict: Twitter annoys me. So I’m quitting until things improve (either with Twitter or the people who use it).
What I’ll miss:
It was a pretty good time waster.
What I won’t miss:
Feeling annoyed by people that are my friends and then later feeling rotten for feeling annoyed by my own friends.