Monday, December 21, 2009
MyTwitFaceFriend: Thoughts on social networking with a slight focus on Twitter
Oh the world of social networks. First was Friendster who was mimicked and mastered by MySpace, who was followed by Facebook which took us into Twitter. Everyone has something to say. Everyone feels important. Everyone self-promotes. Now, I realize the inevitable irony of posting this on a blog, which I will most likely hyperlink on my Twitter page and maybe Facebook (if the mood's right). Let's move past that. Let's focus on a specific area that most of these hold in common. The status.
Myspace started the early form of a status by giving you a limited amount of space by your profile picture to insert anything on your mind. People used it for good quotes, lyrics, dumb jokes, promotion, or just plain wit. Then Facebook gave us a new vessel and placed our name in front of our status with the word, "is" and then a blank slate to inform the world of our doings. After the reformatting of FB(which also brought about thousands of useless applications which plague my newsfeed to this day), they decided to erase the word "is" and add a seemingly unlimited amount of characters to give people more freedom to post their thoughts ("What's on your mind?"). Then, Twitter came along and mastered the status. It stripped and simplified it to 140 characters or less. A format that would be world renown and celebrities and common-folk alike would join this revolution of information overload.
The 140 characters or less rule is brilliant. it keeps people from going overboard. People need rules. Nothing is more annoying than when you post a tweet in 3 parts. If you feel compelled to write a paragraph, save it for Facebook. Twitter has become a sanctuary for braggers and whiners. But maybe more importantly, it was become a sanctuary to people who posses the word trapped inside of "Twitter". Wit.
Examples (actual tweets): "You know what this guitar needs? Lessons"-(Tony_D)
"I just realized Chewbacca carries a purse"-(unknown)
"It's happened. I've developed real emotions for my iPhone. Actually, its no surprise because i was raised by a TV and a microwave."-(stuartpaap)
This is why the funnest people to follow are those with the one-liners. Mitch Hedberg would have ruled the Twitter-verse with the most followers had he lived to 2006. Stephen Colbert is one of my favorite people to follow because of his amazing commentary. And what list of witty tweeters would be complete without the Twitter celebrity who got a sitcom deal with CBS solely based on his twitter account called "shitmydadsays" which is simply shit that his 70 year old father says, usually conversational. He has rightfully earned 968,568 followers. (Warning: tweets are often senile and inappropriate....and usually hilarious)
Example: "A mule kicked Uncle Bob once. Broke his ribs. He punched it in the face...My point? You have an ingrown fucking toenail. Stop bitching."
I once asked a friend why they didn't have a Twitter account and she said, "I'm just not witty enough." As I was going to try to convince her, I realized I wish more people had her self control. People use Twitter as an outlet to whine to the whole world wide web. Others use it as an overly-detailed narrative of their lives. People post anything. The following is a compiled list of things which I have deemed acceptable to post on Twitter in the order of their importance:
2. Observational Humor
4. Big news (baby, weddings, deaths, ect.)
5. Hyperlinks to other things worth note (use discretion please!)
7. Updates (use discretion)
8. Condensed Anecdotes (make them be at least somewhat amusing)
9. Quotes (whether inspirational, applicable, humorous. RT count in this category)
10. Replies (sometimes a tweet just asks to be replied. don't go overboard with these)
REMINDER: this list mainly applies to common-folk. Celebrities like Ashton or Shaq, or bands like Coldplay play by very different rules on very different playing-fields. For them Twitter is all about the public relations aspect, less about the heart of it. They are just in it to sell. Let me know if you deem anything else worthy of making it to the list that I missed.
Let's remember that Twitter is a tool to be used to stay connected to those we cannot spend every waking moment with, yet we can carry their words in our pocket hiding inside our cell phones. Above all remember to USE DISCRETION. If people stop following you for no reason, you are probably tweeting too much about nothing. We don't want to hear every little detail about every little thing. Don't waste our web space with mindless jibber-jabber (thanks Mr. T!) that nobody cares to hear just to remind us that you are alive. I am trying my hardest not to sound as bitter as I really am and I myself am not innocent of all the crimes that I have just named. I am just trying to make the internet more enjoyable for all of us. Just because you are having fun posting those tweets, doesn't mean we are having fun reading 'em. Momma used to tell all of us that "if you don't have something nice to say, don't say anything at all". I think that if momma was hip enough to even know what Twitter was, she would say, "If you don't have anything worth saying, DON'T SAY ANYTHING AT ALL."
#Twitter #isnt #for #everyone