Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Can Someone Explain the JOY OF TWITTER?


PLEASE
I took a while (an understatement) to appreciate the connective powers of Facebook. I mean, the first few years I had a page, I looked at it so rarely that my daughter gasped at the un-answered friend requests accumulating on my notification bar.
“Mom, these people will think you don’t like them!”


Who knew that a number next to an icon meant there were messages I was supposed to click on? It wasn’t on the manual. For that matter, I don’t recall being handed a manual for how to facebook in the first place.


But I learned. Slowly but surely, Facebook became a place I check regularly. Facebook groups are water-coolers of surprising high quality. Messenger turned out to be the great connector for one whose phone is not smart.


But Twitter’s charms elude me. The hashtags and twit-speak feel strangely affected, like valley-girl speak of the 1980s. When I post there, I’m in a jungle where I have nary a chirp of evidence the forest animals heard me. You know the old question: if a tree fell in the forest and no one heard it fall, did it make a noise?


Back in the days when my kids thought Facebook was cool, (apparently, since our kind has joined it isn’t so much anymore) they also explained to me that Twitter only makes sense for celebrities. The rest are just riff-raff hangers on, and really, Twitter was for old people. In kid-speak that's professionals in their thirties.
I was not a celeb, and my thirties had passed. But at someone else’s urging, I finally dipped my toes and joined.


And to this day, I’m there but never really there. If anyone cares to explain to me the country called Twitter and how I might like visiting it more, I’m open. Please.



17 comments:

Evelyn said...

I'm right there with you, my friend. So I'm afraid I can't give you any advice.

Vijaya said...

Oh dear, I'm a FB fail and twitter doesn't register, so no advice. I'm just so happy for the blueboards and the blogs I enjoy reading, like yours.

MirkaK said...

Ditto for me. I don’t do any social media, though it’s advised. I figure it could become a black that sucks all my time, which I’d rather give to creating in my studio or hiking.

Mirka Breen said...

Social media can become a black hole,(i.e. time-suck ) but that is true of many things. For me it's about what I actually enjoy. I don't get Twitter. I'm sure I'm missing something.

We are: Clamco said...

I try very hard to keep my Facebook page (and my blog for the most part), free of anything controversial, which may make me appear to be a wimp in times of political and social turmoil, but since I have friends on both sides of issues, I try not to insult anyone or stir the pot. Its very difficult to hold that line, so Twitter is where I go to vent and retweet stuff that I feel is important to share. I follow politicians and other people whose opinions I value. That being said, some of what is on there is so raw or sometimes so outrageous, that it can be overwhelmingly depressing. I've started carefully vetting profiles so that I'm not liking or sharing anything that could possibly be a bot or a fake account that was solely created to cause outrage or division...you know....like the president does. lol

Mirka Breen said...

TWITTER seems particularly TROLLie. FACEBOOK feels friendlier. [How's that for alliteration? ;) ]

Sherry Ellis said...

Twitter is more impersonal. It's like you're shouting at someone who's on the other side of a crowded auditorium.

Mirka Breen said...

Sherry Ellis: This. Exactly.

Jenni said...

I am on both Facebook and Twitter, but I only really use Twitter to post links to my blog (which I guess is just bad self-promotion), and I only use Facebook to share the occasional big announcement or picture of my kids. And sometimes I just have to stay away, so I can like people that I disagree with better. :)

Both of these don't feel like real conversation, which should have a back and forth element to it. I much prefer blogging for social media. Even better, I like meeting people in person, although that's not quite as feasible as it once was.

Mirka Breen said...

I'm with you, Jenni. Blogging tops all, and that is the platform that's dying. Maybe we're just out of time or out of the loop.

Janie Junebug said...

I'm afraid I have no explanation for the existence of Twitter, other than it being someone's favorite way to attack people.

Love,
Janie

janlcoates said...

Just signed up for Twitter a couple of months ago, so I'm still figuring it out. I mostly follow writerly types, and if I read a book I LOVE, I'll tweet about it, which typically gets a response from the author/publisher of that book. Seems people use it to publicize launches, new books, etc. Honestly though, I don't think any of the social media stuff I do sells any books, but pubs want authors to engage, so I do. Tagging (the topic of your tweet) definitely draws more eyes to your tweet, I find.

Mirka Breen said...

hank you for the tip, Jan. I'll try #hashtagging and see if I like it more ;)

Mirka Breen said...

That^ was supposed to be "THANK" :O
{One missing 'T' and not dotting the 'i' makes one take out the *hankie* ;'( }

Katie L. Carroll said...

It took me awhile and some careful curating to figure out (and enjoy) Twitter. Creating a Tweetdeck account was key as it allows you to categorize what you want to see in addition to all the tweets on the endless scrolling feed you see on regular twitter.

I now use it to keep up to date on what's going on in the publishing world, what's going on in the real world, and connect with others. There are so many amazing people to listen to and learn from on there. I don't get a ton of interaction on my own posts, but enough to feel connected and have a regular group of people who do engage with me.

One of the most fascinating things to experience is when some big newsworthy thing happens and you can follow right along with the people who are actually experiencing it. You have to be careful to check who the source is (as one must do with all things on the internet), but I've found it can be a quicker source of info than any other place at times.

Yes, it can be a dumpster fire just like anything else and trolling happens (never happened to me because I'm not big enough to bother with, but I've definitely seen it happen to people I follow). There are definitely times when the conversations lack nuance because of the nature of the limited word count and how hard it is to read tone. When stuff turns ugly, I mute people/hashtags as needed and turn it off.

With all that being said (typed!), not every social media platform is right for everyone. I always say do the ones you enjoy and that have value to you and ignore the rest.

Mirka Breen said...

I'll check into the Tweetdeck you mentioned and see if it serves my interests, Katie. I really appreciate your sharing your experience.

Sue said...

I'm late to the conversation, but here's a blog post I wrote to explain twitter. https://susanuhlig.com/2016/09/why_twitter/ I think I'm on it less than I used to be. I also think hashtags go through cycles--the specific popularity of a tag, I mean.