I am pissed off. This week was an example of how a popular service can be totally and utterly regarded in the wrong way to different people, and also a charming example of how not to use twitter. I first heard of the phrase “netiquette” probably about a decade ago, and it was generally the way you should talk with some sort of respect for the other people on chat rooms and forums etc. before trolling became popular. But this week I took a 2/3 day hiatus from twitter because of a massive work load and my reluctance to use a computer outside of my allocated working hours. Netiquette always seemed like a bit of a joke, but in some small way, I treat people I don’t know, and people I do know on the Internet in the same way as I would treat them on the telephone, so I guess it works for me somehow.
I currently follow 61 people. Recently there has been a lot of media coverage of twitter, especially by BBC Radio 1, and with people like Stephen Fry and Jonathan Ross talking about it on popular shows of theirs. This has meant that twitter has moved places from a normal geeky demographic to futher afield to people who would not normally use a something like twitter; or as I like to call it “mainstream”. This means there is a hell of a lot more tweets being sent and received.
I was asked this week what I think about twitter-chats that seem to have become all the rage these days, and I am not adversed to them. I actually think they are quite interesting, and the fact that they are 140 characters makes them feel like you are texting someone rather than than in a chat room or on a forum. However, where I don’t see twitter being used right is, for example, the recent blacked out icons that have become the latest bandwagon hop of the current twitter phase [I’m only saying that for my point-emphasis, I haven’t actually been keeping up with why/actually done it myself]. The information is widely known and retweeted , so I must ask, why do people continually ask what it’s all about. Let Me Google That For You because you can’t seem to be arsed. Well actually, no, you fu*king Google it.
Something else I hate about twitter users (especially of some of the actual real life friends people I follow) is their use of one word tweets. These are pointless. Especially when they are swear words. If you would like to swear, bearing in mind the present company, why don’t you use the hole in your face to express how you really feel, because I sure as hell don’t care, and couldn’t even possibly care if I wanted to because you’ve only tweeted one swear word; cock. At least with twitter-chats they are all in context to something and to each other. Only people who are OCD about reading everything they follow are likely to be offended or annoyed by it. If that is the case, the solution is simple: stop following the culprits, or join in with the debate!
Twitter is a social place where people can get together to share links, thoughts or activities in a predominantly mobile way. Twitter is a place for social debate. Twitter is a place for friends.
Twitter is not a political tool designed to force ideas upon one another, especially making them feel obliged to jump on the bandwagon. Twitter is not overloaded with tweets if you use twitter how you want to use it. You wouldn’t tell facebook users that they shouldn’t post on someone elses wall if the ability to do so exists, so the same applies to twitter. There is also, an obvious difference between twitter-chats and spam.
Social applications like twitter aren’t written with rules, their definition is written by how the people use them. Twitter is about fun guys, not about politics and pedantics. UPDATE 31/03/2009 – Twitters latest blog post is proof of this fact [LINK].