For someone like me, with nothing I care to promote, Twitter is a waste of time. Mind you, I enjoy wasting time, which makes me wonder if I’m some sort of masochist? I get ignored…a lot. Yet I try to pop in every day and talk to myself. I’m noisy that way. A regular little chatterbox that can’t seem to reach 10,000 tweets and I’ve been a member since March of 2009.
There are times when I tweet something and someone will answer me. Usually it’s a blog bud from the site I post the rest of my drivel on, or another Tweeter who, like me, has nothing to promote but does enjoy the interaction. It is those communications that increase my tweet count rather than any shared signal on my part. It’s like I said, I talk to folks which makes me more noise than signal. When I do share anything of importance, and once in awhile I do, I find it’s usually ignored. However, if I check back in an hour, someone who is truly influential has racked up a hundred retweets by posting the same information from a different source. I guess breaking news isn’t breaking news unless shared by the right person, obviously I’m the wrong one.
Speaking of wrong, it has come to my attention that I do Twitter all wrong to start out with. I retweet a lot of different people. The problem is, I use the Twitter Retweet button. A web user will usually see those retweets. Someone using Tweetdeck, Hootsuite, or a phone app isn’t going to. That would matter to some people, but to me it doesn’t. I didn’t tweet the information that I’m sharing with others, I don’t believe I need to have my name on it. If I did the retweets the “right” way, my name would be on it and I might attact more attention. Maybe I should try that? Of course, I could always add “Please RT” to the end of my nonsense. However, someone would have to see it, which means I would have to have more followers than I do. On second thought, I already attract enough spam, I’ll pass.
Another thing I do wrong, is talk to people in public. In Twitter, that’s apparently close to being obnoxiously drunk in public. Most influential users want conversations banished to Direct Messages. I wonder if they’d feel the same way if they actually saw how often that feature was used to air grievances against them from people they believe are friends? I’m not given to harmful gossip, or to saying something I wouldn’t want everyone to see. Therefore, I don’t take my conversations into DM unless I’m sharing something about myself that I don’t want the world to know. I can’t really think of anything I might say that I wouldn’t want the world to know. That probably accounts for the emptiness of my DM box.
I’m a real person. When I see a tweet indicating that someone needs a kind thought sent their way, I send one. I don’t always get thanked because I’m a little cog in a very big wheel. I don’t mind about that, but last night I was worried about my cat. I knew something was wrong even though there weren’t any real symptoms to indicate what his problem was. He was eating enough, not vomiting, it was just a change in his energy level that was quite alarming. I tweeted about it and no one answered.
Turned out to be a bowel problem, which left untreated could have proved to be fatal. I learned something from it. For the price of an emergency call to the vet’s office I learned that cats actually can move their bowels when they’re obstructed and that tweeting about ones beloved sick cat is an epic Twitter Fail. That was made obvious when not one of my followers posting to my timeline at the time bothered to extend a kind word to me when I was worried.
The rather expensive emergency call is the price I paid for the lesson I learned. Sympathy in Twitter is only for the influential users who provide the signal. For those of us who make the noise, sympathy is a word one can find in the dictionary. Somewhere between shit and syphilis would be the best place to look. Other than the initial hurt feelings, it was a lesson worth learning. Without a response to my tweet, I couldn’t distract myself from the growing sense that something was seriously wrong. It made me shut down the computer and call the vet. I get to keep my kitty and he’s more precious to me than any Twitter follower ever will be.