Thursday, 10 October 2013


Maybe I'm just a fucking geek. Maybe I'm just being way too sentimental. It's already becoming clear to me in my adult life that I care far too much about things that other people really don't. I, myself put that down to being passionate, others tell me that I'm a stress head and I'm constantly moaning and whatever. I think the underlying truth is that I used to really enjoy twitter and I know I'm not alone. A lot of other people used to really enjoy twitter. I used to enjoy going there, having a small community of people I rarely have to see in the real world/ never knew in the real world and really speaking my mind. As with anything though it is only a matter of time before the idiots get hold of it and throttle every last breath of life out of it until it becomes a meaningless cum stain on the tea towel of life.

These days twitter has been become simply part of my day, like getting out of bed or charging my phone. A mandatory part of the mundane cycle of daily activities. I've been trying to work out exactly why I don't enjoy twitter as much anymore and I've broke it down to these 10 reasons. Alone, none of them have the power to destroy something like twitter, but combined they have proved to be an unstoppable force. Hopefully you guys will agree with me on all if not most of them. If not, think about how you act and think if you are part of the problem.

*A note to the people I follow on twitter: Don't take anything I saw personally. If this post is like a guide of how to tweet like you, you must obviously tweet fun stuff, otherwise I simply wouldn't follow you. These are just my annoyances.


The beauty of twitter when it first became popular was how you could choose who you followed. I had a select list of close friends, acquaintances, public figures, news accounts, friends of friends and regular people I had never met who were 'good at twitter'. I kept a small team, nothing over 150 people and I genuinely enjoyed every single tweet. Every tweet either made me laugh, think, debate or learn.

This is long, long gone. Back in these days I had people I knew in real life who I followed who didn't follow me back and vice versa. It wasn't a problem. The point of twitter wasn't to subscribe to everyones thoughts and opinions, it was subscribe to those whose thoughts and opinions you cared for, and it worked wonderfully. These days, a follow might as well be a friend request. In the age of Facebooks status and grandeur how could you possibly acknowledge somebodies existence on a social media site and not instantly want to subscribe to their every thought? We've seen that went well on Facebook, so lets make a carbon copy under another URL. It has become rude not to follow back, and these days I meet new people and they decide to follow me on twitter instead of sending me a Facebook friend request. That to me, given what twitter once was is absolutely ludicrous.


This closely ties in with my last point. We all know a lot of people who are extremely popular on Facebook. They post statuses and people lap them up. Loads of likes! New profile pictures go down a storm! Their walls are a hive of activity. They have an astronomically large amount of friends. Anybody they ever encounter gets dug out and friend requested because they want to keep that number growing and let people know they are popular! Being one of these people must feel like being the captain of a sinking ship. Facebook is a write off isn't it? It was good, we let the idiots have it and now it's all event invites, baby photos and regurgitated inspirational quotes.

Naturally, twitter came along and caused a problem to these people; a fresh start. Think of these people and tell me if this was their twitter journey; They found out about it and made an account. Tweeted a couple of times. Decided twitter was shit (due to a low response) and announced it on Facebook, naturally a popular opinion amongst this kind of circle. That went down well on Facebook as they are, after all, popular. Facebook continues to die and become a useless shell and they all jumped ship to twitter together about a year and a half ago. Now it is important to remember that there is power in numbers. These are the people who turned the follow into a friend request and diluted the very formula of twitter. These facebook people will needlessly retweet their friends conversational replies to their tweets for all to see, or even worse, quote retweet a conversational tweet and reply to it, again for all to see. Clutter. meaningless clutter diluting a product.


I think I blame young/poor people for this. People who either don't have phone contracts, phone credit or their friends don't have phone contracts or credit. Or those kinds of people who keep friends who constantly change phone numbers. I'm sick to my back teeth of seeing people make plans on my timeline. Arranging times and places as if a public feed on a social media site is as good as a text message. It'll do. It's such poor practice, forcing every single person who follows you to see meaningless dogshit that has literally nothing to do with them. If you answer is to simply unfollow these people please read the second paragraph of point 1.


This is a very similar point to 3, but also very different. It might be a little hard to understand if you are not a twitter user, but stay with me. If the first character of your conversational tweet is @ someone, then only people who follow yourself and the person you are tweeting will see it. So for example, if Bradley tweets Frank (two people who I choose to follow) I'll see their convo. If Brad tweets his sister (who I choose not to follow) I will not see it. Happiness. A wonderful little system put in place by twitter to stop your feed being cluttered.

However, as with anything decided by intelligent people the idiots had a problem with this. People tweet with the @ at the end of a conversational tweet, so for all to see it. 'Hey, when are we going to go zizzis @Solomon234' (again, a text would have done the job.) I hate this behaviour. All it says to me is look who I am talking to. Everyone, look who I know. I DONT CARE THATS WHY I DONT FOLLOW THEM! You see the problem here? it's clutter again. Another creative way to annoy me using this point is the way people @ their friends at the end of a personal joke. Nobody will get the joke, but everybody will see the public display of affection disguised as a joke. This is the twitter equivalent of posting a photo on Instagram with the caption 'tired' which conveniently advertises your cleavage.


Favouriting a tweet to me personally (and a lot of my peers) used to mean more than a retweet. My favourited tweets used to be an all time hall of fame of hilarity. I'd favourite 1 tweet every three days or so that had me in tears of laughter or provoked a thought that I had never even come close to considering before. Likewise, they were harder to get. If you tweeted something and somebody favourited it, it was a little buzz, you had done well. These days favouriting a tweet has become almost the same as a 'like' on Facebook. throwaway. A mark of acknowledgement. A nod to an inside joke or mention of oneself. Worse still, these days with the mass of people on twitter and in so the dawn of people being scared to come across as who they really are, people favourite tweets that they agree with but are scared to let people know they agree with by retweeting them and sharing with their followers.


Let me break it down like this; You see a good tweet. You retweet it. Your followers in turn see the original tweet and retweet that. This tweet gets a bunch of retweets and the original tweeter might get a couple of new followers. New people saying, 'yeah, I care what you've got to say. Enhance my day, via twitter with your thoughts.' Everyone is happy. Kudos where it is most deserved!

Equally, If somebody tweets something and you want to tweet a response to it, twitter has a handy function where it copies the original tweet into your new tweet and you can reply to the person all in 140 characters. This way your followers can see your reply to this person, be it a valid point, a witty remark, whatever. This is called quote retweeting.

Now with this point people fall on one side of the fence or the other, it's that simple. This is a trait that has directly stemmed from black twitter (if you do not know what 'black twitter' is then google it) and the trait is to quote retweet someone's tweet without adding anything to it.

People care so much about twitter fame and having their name and face banded around twitter in a desperate attempt to try and become some sort of twitter celebrities they will use this shameless trick. Instead of hitting that retweet button and giving their peers the much deserve kudos for tweeting something fun, they will hijack the tweet and rob it for their own glory! People are out here quote retweeting tweets and not adding responses. So when they send this tweet out, it still contains the original tweet and tweeter, but the followers of that person are far more likely to just retweet that than to click the original tweeters name, scroll through their tweets, find it and give them the credit they deserve. (I'm sure this is all very confusing if you're not a twitter user haha!) I've confronted people about doing this before and asked their motives. One girl told me she did this so that in case the person deletes the original she still has a copy of it, thereby implying that she goes back through her own tweets like rereading some classic literature. A poor excuse for a thinly veiled attempt at a profile boost.


I'm not a millionaire suit in an office somewhere in America that knows what's best for a social media site. We are all far more important than that, as consumers. And from a consumers point of view, I am sick to death of twitter constantly changing a simple, beautiful formula. Between conversation feeds being bundled together with a big blue line and photo and video previews already showing in tweets on my timeline, there really isn't a lot of difference between Facebook and Twitter these days. I first started using Twitter because it was a different beast to facebook. And from a corporate point of view why would they not aspire to a likeness of their constantly pregnant cousin? After all, it is one of the biggest dot com companies since the dawn of the internet. But from a consumer point of view it is frustrating when an 'update' feels like it is setting you, and your experience on a social media platform back.


This is undoubtedly a tricky subject that I am somewhat torn on. I myself use twitter to shamelessly promote both my blog and my music. My defence is that a lot of my followers subscribe to me for updates on those two things, although undoubtedly a lot do not. I try my best to include those things in my tweets, but not bombard followers with them. I think if you follow an outright musician you're asking for updates on their music. I generally follow musicians for tour dates and album news and whatever and insights into their own life and thoughts are a bonus. But these days everybody is a DJ or an MC or a promoter. And since Facebook became stale, people use twitter as regularly if not more so than Facebook to promote their product. You can't tweet the word 'video' or 'rap' without some middle of the road underground rapper from Chicago finding your tweet and entering your mentions exclaiming in block capitials that you need to COP THE HOTTEST NEW MIXTAPE OUT!!!!

I've recently taken to musicians asking them if they seriously thing this is an effective way of promoting themselves. I take such an active interest in rap and hip hop culture and I've never once listened to a rapper who spends his time trying to sell his product to strangers on the other side of the globe one by one.


Correct me if I am wrong but I believe either @Tesco or @O2 were the first companies to take an informal approach to their customer service twitter accounts? Both companies have a really personal use of language, at times with funny results as a way of replying to customers. This in turn lead to a bunch of screencaps of funny replies and a boom in viral marketing for the companies, as if Tesco and O2 are in need of the help.

These days every single business seems to take this approach. It's so exhausted and the initial novelty has worn off. I think the companies are stuck between a guideline of what they are allowed to reply and a rather timid wit and the laughs have long since dried up. It's a great thing that these huge companies have twitter; I tweeted @Xbox with a query on the day of the launch of their newest console, their busiest day at the office in years and somebody got back to me in 20 minutes. That's a real harness of the power of the technological times we live in, but like @Xbox's reply, a formal one will do just fine for me.

10. HASHTAG 101

remember that thing I said earlier about strength in numbers? The way hashtags have evolved is a great case in point. The misuse of the hashtag is as ripe as it's ever been, and the numbers of people using them wrong are ruining it for us guys who actually enjoy them. It pains me to see whole sentences in hashtags, something the facebook people absolutely love. #HangingOutMyArse #GetTheBeersIn #OhMyGodWhatHappenedLastNight and so on. Infinitely worse than that is the way people will use one word hashtags wrong. A friend of mine put it fantastically the other day when he said 'a hashtag should almost be like a subject in an email.' That's the most simple way of looking at it.

So for example to say 'Liverpool have done well to keep that Uruguayan dickhead #Suarez #LFC #Football' is fine. Well done, you are using the product the way the people who invented the product intended for it to be used. I am at peace with this tweet. However to tweet '#Liverpool have done well to keep that #UruguayanDickhead #GladTheTransferDidntHappen' makes me wish twitter was a still born in the hospital of the internet. Can you imagine somebody who is interested in joining the debate about the Suarez transfer searching for the hashtag '#GladTheTransferDidntHappen'? no, me neither. Should you bother including this stupid filler in your tweets, no. It really is that simple.

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If you have made it this far I commend you, and thank you. I am concious this is one of my far wordier posts, but I've been receiving feedback recently that some of my posts have been a little word shy. I feel passionately about twitter and as a rife user I wanted to write down my annoyances. Like I said, I'm sure it's me caring too much about something as silly as a social media site but when myself and billions of others spends their lives these days with their eyes glues to their phones it would be nice of we could have a bit of etiquette.

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