Tuesday 21 August 2012

Twitter is what you make it

Following up on a challenging post by Luis Suarez, let me jot down my thoughts on what Twitter is, has become, and will be.
The word "dead" is cunningly avoided after all these years that certain things have come to be claimed dead, dying, or extinguishing - and rightfully so. If anything, any new thing is born, and at the very moment of that wonderful occasion, it's dying at the same time. We humans, plants, rocks, stars, galaxies, universes - we all are born, and destined to die. As the black-and-white vision on that is not up for debate, we all must agree that the only thing worth discussing, preferably dialoguing, is the pace at which what happens, and the achievements in between

People can achieve wonders, miracles, magicious accomplishments in a lifetime or even less. So can plants, trees, vulcanoes, stars, galaxies, etcetera. we all are witnesses at best to 99.999% of whatever happens in our life, and only control our own feelings and emotions - at best, at the very, very best

I live by a few simple rules, the elaborate journey to which is to be found on my About, the concise version of which is: you can do whatever you want within the physical confinement of nature's laws on this earth. Anything. It's all up to you. Yes, it is.
That leaves room for the full 100% everyone tries to cope with on an everyday basis: happiness, sorrow, grief, guilt, joy, pleasure, business, family, colleagues, friends, loved ones, disappointments, surprises, etc - all of which are interchangeable. Let me ride my favourite horse again and tell you that proximity and intimacy, versus distance and anonymity, are the physical and mental extremes to most and determine how you will fare

Does someone hate you, on the other half of the earth? Chances are you won't lose sleep over it - I certainly wouldn't. Chances of your intimate loved ones starting to hate you? Slimmer than slim, compared to the odd stranger you meet on the streets,
The odd one out is e.g. you and your neighbour making each other's life sour, and of course there are entire TV series dedicated to that topic, as we all find it to be rare - and again, rightfully so

Back to the topic at hand: Twitter. Luis Suarez states it's where conversations go to die. I state that Luis has died himself on Twitter, and now enjoys the backlash of that.
A gentle disclaimer: I hold Luis highly and although we've never met in person, we've tried more than a few times to meet, but he's just all over the place and my schedules aren't too loose either. Still, we've hung around and conversed long and often enough on Twitter to allow myself to consider him a valued and valuable person

So this post is not a Luis-banging one - Luis raised an issue and has somewhat of a point in my opinion, but there's far more than that to it.
Luis states a few harsh things:

  • Nobody reads Twitter anymore
  • Nobody reads your tweets anymore!
  • Twitter used to be fun

Well yes and no.
I started well over a few years ago with Twitter, and have indulged myself in the new experience: talking with perfect strangers, I loved it. LOVED IT. It was something that blew my mind, and I am exactly in line with what Luis says in his post.
Then, I became somehow engulfed in a Tweet stream - I started to get ReTweets on my blog posts like never before, and I noticed that most where from the same people, who ReTweeted all the content that flowed in between, pretty much no matter what

I noticed that, and a year ago or so, I dropped 20% of the people I followed - particularly those. My RT count dropped almost dead, relatively, within a week or two. Then I knew I made the right decision

Did I have conversations with those same people? I did. Many. But a good part of them should have been labeled arguments, ever so slightly. Yet it wasn't until I unfollowed them that the ReTweets by them dropped dead

I suppose I don't have to tell you how this relates perfectly to life as we know it. I have made many and very dear friends on Twitter, and they couldn't care less whether I ReTweet their posts - same here. I have let perfect strangers (in the old sense of the word) sleep in my house for days, just because we met on Twitter and I felt that click. Which lead to deep friendship, of course

Life is what you make it. So is Twitter. I always compare Twitter to a party if people ask me. I say: well, if you are fun or manage to hang around with the fun people, you'll probably have a good time. If both, chances are high that you'll have a great time

The picture above shows Luis Suarez's Twitter volume for the last 5 years. Of course I'm not comparing quantity to quality, but it's clear, I think, that Luis enjoys his holidays in June ;-)
The next one is mine:

My advice? Luis, you'll feel a lot better in September. Continue to lead by example like you have done. And if you've ever outgrown Twitter, or vice versa, thatt happened well over a year ago - if ever

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