Me and my Twitter

Laing Art Gallery

Mashable put out an article today called Twitter: A Day in the Life. In it, it shows an infographic depicting how we, in general, are using Twitter every day.

The article starts off with, “Woke up, fell out of bed…checked my Twitter right away. Sound familiar?” For me, it does, but I rarely even bother updating anything. Actually, the article reveals that only 7% of Twitter use is an actual status update. They analysed 750,000 links posted on Twitter and 8% was regarding a product. That is why I don’t use Twitter all that often anymore directly.

Twitter has never been one of my favourite things in the world, and I’ve mentioned this plenty of times. While I understand it’s important to have a connection to the outside world via the most popular social network, I don’t particularly rush to use it except on certain occasions. Personally, I do like a lot of people do, and share interesting articles. Of course, I add links to my blog posts whenever I update it. I also click “share to Twitter” when I update my Goodreads, check in on Foursquare, or when I take a photo with Instagram.

In fact, photos make up for 36% of Twitter’s usage. That makes sense to me. I use Facebook for the same reason, and more often (Actually, I found the Mashable article via Facebook) because I know the people who are on there. With Twitter, I try to be less personal. I never update pictures of my family, and once in a while I update pictures of myself. Now, links through my blog which connects to my Flickr, fine, yes. I use that as extra storage and sharing capabilities for friends who don’t have Facebook or Twitter. Sometimes I add Youtube videos on my Tumblr but only once in a while do I notify Twitter of them.

But as far as communicating with Twitter, I chat with people off and on. Maybe once every couple of days I’ll have a brief exchange. Once in a while I have a nice conversation with someone. The rest of the time I see links to books by an author’s Twitter account, retweets of books by an author’s Twitter account, Follow Fridays, Writer Wednesday and retweets of those #FF and #WW. Granted once in a while is fine, of course, but constantly, that’s what I see.

So why do I follow these people. Well, it’s simple. Twitter ratios. Twitter has rules about your following-to-follower ratios. Now, I thought that it was for new accounts, which makes total sense when we’re still getting stupid, adult themed, diet spam message crap. But now that my Twitter account is years old, I have to deal with this rule:

Once you’ve followed 2000 users, there are limits to the number of additional users you can follow: this limit is different for every user and is based on your ratio of followers to following.

What is this magic number they want? And why do we have to have it when they know darn well I’m not a spammer and haven’t been since I opened the account? Why should I have to follow users who have no interest in discussion, only useless thank yous and retweets and book sale links? Should I just block every single account that does this? What about the people who occasionally do it and sometimes have an actual update or two? Should I risk letting them get blocked from Twitter just because I, personally, don’t want to read their updates?

I’m currently now in “Twitter jail” because of it where I can’t follow back a legitimate account because I’ve not followed the useless accounts. I really should just clean the whole account up but when I use a tool it only who I do/don’t follow back. It doesn’t give me any idea if they’re real, decent accounts or not. And what if that person is in Twitter jail too and can’t follow me back right away? I still want to follow that person because they’re real. Heck, I want to follow any celeb I want even though they don’t follow me back and, dang it, I should have every right to do that.

The bottom line is, I like Twitter but in small doses. Now, if there’s a TV show on, yes, I Tweet like mad (and most people ignore me anyway so I really shouldn’t even bother.) During the Olympics I was a Twittering fool. But all in all, nope, I’m not constantly on but I am happy when I get a nice conversation from the people I follow because I want to, not because Twitter wants me to.


About Suzanne Schultz Pick

Married to Steve. Mother of Jack. Librarian IT Assistant. Writer, teacher, blogger, podcaster, technological princess.
This entry was posted in All About Me, Books, Technology, Writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Me and my Twitter

  1. worldsbeforethedoor says:

    I’m beginning to feel the same way. I was off twitter for a week and it was a so nice! When I first got on twitter I talked to lots of people and it was fun. Now it is a chore and I even get more views on my blog when I don’t tweet. I’m thinking about just staying mostly off of it now. We’ll see!

    • I know what you mean by it being a chore. I know people say they have lots of close friends on there and they absolutely love it but it’s just not worked out that way for me. A lot of it seems very impersonal and based on the pretence of selling books.
      That’s interesting that you get more hits without posting your blog links. Every time I update I post links every few hours for that day. Not sure if it really helps gain a readership or not.
      But, yeah, being off Twitter for a week wouldn’t be difficult for me at all. Thanks for the advice!

      • worldsbeforethedoor says:

        I have my facebook fan page linked to my twitter account and I often post links from that to my blog. The more followers I get on Twitter the less I’m able to connect with them. I try and do some advertising for my blog and plan to do the same when I get published. But…I’ve been having second thoughts. It seems to only be #WW and #FF or something like that. I’m trying to decide what I want to do about it right now…cause what I really need to do is spend time writing. 🙂

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