Why I Quit Twitter (Again)
It was something I had been considering for a while. Should I stay with Twitter, or should I drop it? There were some aspects of Twitter I liked, but still a lot more that I did not like. In the end, after watching another person’s Twitter issues, I decided that I had enough and closed my account.
Technically, the first Twitter account I had been one I rarely used. I would occasionally post there every once in a while. But, besides the #wookieeleaks flurry, these posts were few and far between. I decided to close that account after it had gotten hacked and used for spamming people. I felt it was better to start over from scratch than to try to rebuild the reputation of a Twitter name that, really, I rarely used. Besides, @antisignificant sounded better than…. whatever it was I had before.
The @antisignificant account got used a bit more than the last one. This was mostly because I had tied in my WordPress blog so that whenever I made an update to this blog, it would post an update there. Besides from the occasional attempt at a witty blurb, updates represented the bulk of me Tweets.
Which, of course, would make me, in a sense, a spammer since I was technically sending out an automated message on my Twitter account to the people who were following me (all 60 of them). Granted, these updates were telling people to read my latest entry about the comic releases of the week, or what I thought about online dating services instead of sending off a link to a shopping site or a web cam site.
Even if I’m being too loose with the definition of “spammer,” it still shows that Twitter is primarily a promotional tool. Most every celebrity that you could possibly follow has used Twitter as a platform to promote either an event (“I’ll be at the Convention-Con in East Boondocks this weekend”) or show (“Tonight, watch a new Two and a Half Jersey Ghost Pickers at 9:12 and 23 seconds”) at some time on Twitter… often many times in the same day.
There is also the whole format of Twitter as well. It is common knowledge that Twitter allows for only 140 characters in a Tweet, twenty short of the 160 character limit on texts from cell phones. Since Twitter offered the ability to text messages to it from cell phones, this limit makes sense. And while there are some people who have managed to be able to create some gems in 140 characters or less, a lot of posts are innocuous, covering the tedium of everyday life (“Eating breakfast. Went with Fruity-O’s instead of Cocoa Puffs.”). Either that, or the Tweeters (Twitterers?) are posting some massive train of thought that requires not one but seventeen Tweets to convey the whole message. That’s real great if you are following one or two people, but if you are following 20, a quarter of which post like this, the entries get lost, garbled and confusing. Granted, you can always click on the poster’s name and follow the train of thought, but since Twitter lists the most recent Tweet first (which is common), it can get difficult to follow a full Tweet train of thought when you don’t know how far back the Tweet rant goes.
While the character limit dis make sense, does it really still apply? We are in an era of Android phones, iPhones and Blackberries, all of which can access the internet either through their own built-in browsers or through a number of apps available. The need to use your texting minutes (if you don’t have an unlimited texting plan) to send a text to Twitter are, for the most part over. Why do you really need to limit yourself to 140 characters when you can send a 10,000 character entry right to Facebook or Blogger or WordPress, other than carpal tunnel can start to set in after 300 characters?
It also did not help that Twitter still runs into issues with connectivity to its site. Anyone who had used Twitter undoubtedly is familiar with the “fail whale,” the cutesy graphic Twitter puts up when there are too many people trying to access Twitter all at once. Granted, I have to admit that fail whale sightings have been becoming as rare as sightings of white elk, but they still happen, often fueling frustration in users who want to let people know they are trying to decide between a hamburger or a cheeseburger at Sonic.
I took all of this into consideration, along with other factors. I had heard stories of people having issues with Twitter. I even knew one person who got suspended for a week for following too many people. I really could not figure out why that would be. Did Twitter think she was following all those people in an effort to spam them? It seemed doubtful that would be the case, since just because you follow someone does not mean that he or she is following you. And in the case of most celebrities, they are most certainly not following you because you followed them. Apparently Twitter had some sort of policy about how many people can be followed, one which the person in question did not know about, nor did many of the people who followed her.
At one time, I was following over 200 Twitterers. Most of these were celebrities, which means (as I mentioned before) the follows did not always represent followers. That was all to apparent considering that I had only about 60 followers. My followers would fluctuate, mostly as spammers and porn spammers would “follow” me in the hopes that I would follow them. I wouldn’t, and they would stop following me shortly after that (either they got reported or they just realized that I was not going to take the bait). Which meant that I had roughly 60 people, and the only thing I was providing were blog updates, occasional retweets, and mindless complaining about Twitter, Facebook, and Google+. It did not seem all too fair for me to just use the Twitter account as a blog ad (almost… spammy). Of course, with only 60 followers, it felt more like my Twitter account was not so much antisignificant, but insignificant.
Finally, given the fate of my first Twitter account, I was very wary of another hacker getting into my account and spamming everyone in it… again. It was an aggravation I really did not need. And then there was Facebook and Google+, both of which I’m on, and both of which I have used to promote my blog… with a lot more stuff along with it so it did not seem so much like spam.
And so, Twitter and I parted away… again. There is always the possibility that I may try Twitter again, but I don’t think it will be anytime soon.
Maybe in a couple of months.
- Five More Annoying Things People Do On Twitter [Opinion] (makeuseof.com)