The world is divided into camps. Its hard enough to justify social networking to a cynic. There’s plenty of people, leading desperately fulfilling lives, who can patronise for England by telling you that they’d love to use Social Media if they could find the time. There’s a whole other group, perhaps with some overlap, who envisage SM users as hermits – “why don’t they meet people face-to-face?”
Once that hurdle is overcome: you’ve apologised for your faux-pas – there’s the confrontation between the Facebookers and the Tweeters (thankfully bloggers, 4Squarers, and GetGluers seem to be ignored as a weird subspecies who are safely off the radar). Maybe I’m declaring my allegiance but it does seem that the hostility comes from the FBers. Twitterers just get on with it in an unapologetic way whereas many FBers seem apologetic – “I hardly ever go on”, “I only do it to share photographs”
I like to think of Twitter as like sitting in the corner of a bar or like sitting drinking coffee at a street cafe. You sit and observe the world around you and slowly build a picture of the world around you. Social Media is just that – a medium for Social Networking in the same way that meeting someone in the street is. We all happily bump into people and pass the time of day but thankfully without a Quality Umpire judging the quality of conversation.
I’m the first to admit that it’s not perfect but that’s life. My own pet hates with Twitter are:
1. Businesses who only pitch and share nothing about themselves. Worse still the ones who just retweet the same message
2. People who don’t give a proper location. I’m interested in things which are local to me. I need to know whether to follow you
3. Swearers. I’d think the same if I heard you in the street. Do you really want to speak like that in front of a crowd?
4. Too much personal replying. If you want a personal conversation use Instant Messaging. Otherwise explain the conversation for the crowd
But overall there are many answers to the question “why do I care what you had for breakfast” some of which are:
Are you scintillating whenever you just talk to someone in the street? If not relax
What if I had papaya, macadamia nuts and lime juice? Not even a little?
You don’t … haven’t you got something else to worry about?
Have you actually looked at Twitter?