twitter me this: 5 twitter gripes

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Sunday, November 15th, 2009

twitter me this: 5 twitter gripes

i love twitter.

for a lot of different reasons. it’s fast, it’s streamlined, it’s connective, it’s educational, it allows regular exercise in brevity, it’s ADD-friendly, it’s bridge-building, it’s uniquely expressive. ๐Ÿ™‚ it’s all this and more.


i do have a handful of gripes. there’s several things that consistently bug me on twitter. one of the beauties of twitter is that it’s not too strictly-defined, so you can use it for whatever purposes you might have. so my list of gripes is highly personal. it isn’t like these things are violations of some kind of twitter equivalent to the code of hammurabi or the 10 commandments. and while i do think my list is probably shared by a large number of twitterers, it’s still necessary to say that it’s just sorta “one of those things” kind of deals for me and maybe not for anyone else.

alright, here’s my list.

1. reciprocity. so, the basic idea is, “i follow you, you gotta follow me.” um, not so much. i simply have no interest in following someone just because they follow me. and i’m not talking about spammers here. i’m talking anyone. if i get followed by the dude down the street from me, i don’t feel obligated to reciprocally follow himโ€”unless i find him interesting or engaging or whatever. honestly, i have a hard time keeping up with the nearly 200 people i follow as is, so i’m very choosy about who i follow at this point.

2. twexperts. generally speaking, if i see someone say something about being a “twitter guru” or “social media expert” or some close facsimile thereof, i don’t follow that person. don’t get me wrong, there are certainly twitter experts and social media mavens who really know what they’re doing, but it’s more about having to tell everyone you’re that person and proving it by posting 400 tweets a day about it. just engage twitter and let me see for myself that you know what you’re doing. don’t tell me.

3. twreally? speaking of “twexperts”, let’s take it easy on adding a tw- to the beginning of every word. i’m mean, tweriously. see how dumb that sounds? now, there’s some appropriate times, admittedly. if it’s insanely clever or obviously a joke, it’s ok. but if it doesn’t fall into those categories, then we’re just dealing with over-saturation of a once-clever phenomenon.

4. follow-whoring. this probably isn’t what you think it is. i’m not referring to people who ask people to follow them or retweet them or hype their thing. (although we’ll get to that…). what i’m referring to is the obsession with people tweeting, blogging and linking to things about how to increase your followers. the worst part is that i see this a lot from well-known, highly-followed twitterers. it’s not just joe followwhore doing it. having a broad base of listeners is great, but being followed by the masses is much more about ego than influence.

5. twassumptions. oh, the humanity…i did it again with the tw-… ๐Ÿ™‚ i began with a bit of a disclaimer by saying that one of the beauties of twitter is that it isn’t overly-defined. twitter is a micro-blog. it’s a way to goof off. it’s a multi-person instant messenger. it’s a means of having a voice. it’s a stalking tool. ๐Ÿ™‚ it’s all those things. it’s none of those things. it’s more than those things. so, that’s why it drives me nuts when people have assumptions of what twitter must be. i’ve had a couple people tell me to lighten up with some of my tweets because this should be a place that’s playful and not too serious. why is that? if you want to spend your days tweeting about imminent death and all things morbid, more power to you. i’ve also, on the other hand, had people say that they’re tired of me “goofing off” on twitter. why is that? if you want to talk about the smell of your farts and tell knock knock jokes all day, more power to you.

so, these are the 5 things that come up over and over for me in terms of gripes on twitter. i could list more (people twittering in massive clusters, people writing articles/blog posts about “twitter 101”, people taking things personally, people who state the obvious and act like it’s breaking news, people who don’t actually reply but rather just type a new tweet, etc.), but this will suffice for now.

so, have a good time with twitter. do your thing, but just lay off these 5 things and the twittersphere will be a happier place. ๐Ÿ™‚

do you have any twitter gripes? what bugs you about twitter? leave a comment!