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Why Are People Irrational About Twitter?

The Anti-Twitter Crowd Has Bizarre Reasons

     
7:54 pm on Aug 22, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Never in my life have I seen opinions swing to such wild extremes about a technology as I do about Twitter.

There are those like me that LOVE it and know how to use it. It's like a a modern CB radio, which I owned in the 80s, where you could chat with as many people as possible within a few miles, or using a HAM radio worldwide.

Twitter is literally the first technology to instantly connect masses of people together in real-time, in ways nobody could conceive of when the internet first came online as it wasn't this reliable.

When there's an earthquake and I want to know how big it is, or where it's felt, grab the phone and everyone is tweeting about it all over the place.

However, many of the naysayers have never really used Twitter or gave up after their first tweet. These people tend to say nothing but bad things, often irrational things, and I think it's because they feel excluded. These people don't get it and don't understand why everyone else is clamoring about it while they can't figure it out and then lash out against Twitter.

Seriously, how would you feel if the next big thing came out and you simply couldn't understand it. That would make you anxious, angry, upset and probably a little paranoid as you wonder what they're all doing behind your back. More than likely you're mad at yourself that you don't seem to understand why everyone else loves it and you can't connect the dots like they do so lashing out is just a defense mechanism.

People are generally joiners, which is the whole concept around twitter to build groups with followers. We re-tweet things we like which allows our followers to find other people to follow.

I've found a lot of people I like worldwide on twitter, so while I'm meeting new people those that rally against Twitter are missing out.

Hash tags and tweets are shown all over TV these days which further beats it into the anti-Twitters that something is going on that they aren't a part.

It's strange to me that the anti-Twitter crowd really wants to be a part of the party, but for whatever reasons sit on the side and refuse to even try.

I guess what I don't get is it's easy to sign up for Twitter.

You only see people in your Twitter stream that YOU SELECT so if you see a bunch of crap, then it was your crappy choices. Try following news sources, or top SEOs, or your favorite celebs, something that might be interesting.

What most people not using Twitter miss is mostly people Tweet links to web pages they find so following the right twitter account can be a treasure trove of information, things that can help you in your job and everyday life.

Better yet, when you learn to effectively communicate in 140 words or less, you might then possess the skills to tell 811 all they need to know before your cell phone battery dies some day.

It's an amazing technology, so why be so negative and irrational about it?

If you're unsure how to find people to follow, ask others, do a search in twitter, etc. and it'll start to make sense.

Try it for a month, it won't hurt you.

Honest!
8:05 pm on Aug 22, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Many of us who don't "do" twitter..also don't "do" parties..facebook, linked in etc ..or crowds..or public transport..

As Sartre said.."L'enfer, c'est les autres", usually translated as "Hell is other people." ;) ..

[edited by: Leosghost at 8:11 pm (utc) on Aug 22, 2014]

8:09 pm on Aug 22, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Meh. I didn't "get" twitter at first, signed up but didn't use it. Now I "get it" and use it multiple times per day, for useful stuff and useless stuff. It helps pass time when I'm bored standing in line somewhere like the DMV too LOL.
8:26 pm on Aug 22, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Where is this "Anti-Twitter Crowd" of which you speak?

Are they marching on Washington or Silicon Valley?

Presumably they are not tweeting their opposition.

And what are their "bizarre reasons"?

Some examples would have been useful.

You could cover them in fewer than 140 characters.

...
9:13 pm on Aug 22, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Where is this "Anti-Twitter Crowd" of which you speak?


They're everywhere. If you look at the account abandonment rate or the lamentable growth rate of its user base, you can see that many people just don't get Twitter. And they're missing out big time!

Try it for a month, it won't hurt you.

"Trying" is why so many people fail on Twitter and then they go and moan "no-one retweeted me, I'm leaving Twitter" or "no-one clicked on my stupid affiliate links"

There's got to be some commitment to make Twitter work for you. I guess it comes natural for people like you and me (the ones who LOVE Twitter)

Mainly due to its volatile nature, it's difficult to get your head around the fact that if you've got 1000 followers, it doesn't automatically mean 1000 people will read your s*** or that you'll get 1000 clicks per tweet or whatever.

[edited by: adder at 10:09 pm (utc) on Aug 22, 2014]

9:24 pm on Aug 22, 2014 (gmt 0)

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They're everywhere. If you look at the account abandonment rate or the lamentable growth rate of its user base, you can see that many people just don't get it Twitter. And they're missing out big time!

There is a significant difference between being "Anti-Twitter" and being uninterested or unimpressed by it.

And no "bizarre reasons" for the claimed opposition have been offered, sadly.

...
10:40 pm on Aug 22, 2014 (gmt 0)

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There is a significant difference between being "Anti-Twitter" and being uninterested or unimpressed by it.


Either way, they're left on the outside looking in while nearly every major media source it telling people to use it, send us tweets, get the latest updated, etc.

Twitter is obviously a cornerstone of instant media, love it or hate it.

Not using it at all is being left out in the cold.

FYI, I didn't want to give specific examples as I didn't want to out anyone. But the usual objection is that it's impossible to communicate in 140 chars or less which the masses using it disprove so it's ridiculous. The other silly reasons is that people tweet nonsense and I counter that's what happens when you follow nonsensical people.

Just like Facebook, forums, etc. Twitter is only as good as who you follow and what you put into it. If you don't spend a little line looking up quality twitter accounts to follow, then I'll admit it's worthless but it's only worthless because someone is too laxy to do the research to get the quality accounts to follow.
11:14 pm on Aug 22, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Just like Facebook, forums, etc. Twitter is only as good as who you follow and what you put into it. If you don't spend a little line looking up quality twitter accounts to follow, then I'll admit it's worthless but it's only worthless because someone is too laxy to do the research to get the quality accounts to follow.


If someone told me that there might be one or two small diamonds in a lake of liquid crap..I can think of many better and more productive ways of spending my time than in "researching" through the crap..;)

Life is too short..

The media (and particularly the advertising funded media, news programs etc ) tell me I should do / buy into / purchase / join many things..as someone who spent many years working in "the ad media and ad funded media" ( and as webmasters many of us still are working in what most would call "the media" )..I know that they are really telling me to put my eyeballs potentially in the way of their ads..

Not "anti" twitter..just not interested in twitter.. :)

Ps...Is twitter making a profit yet ?
2:52 am on Aug 23, 2014 (gmt 0)

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I have not heard much that is "anti-twitter", but many people, who would probably like it if they tried it, have not tried Twitter.

My problem with Twitter is that it is too interesting: it can very easily take up too much time I should be spending working. A bit like Webmaster World really...
1:43 pm on Aug 23, 2014 (gmt 0)

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I discovered twitter reluctantly(pushed into it), I learned it slowly,,,


Now its eating away hours I should spend doing other stuff !
1:58 pm on Aug 23, 2014 (gmt 0)

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CON
It's a broadcast medium. Thus it's suitable if you like being spoken at instead of with.

Social media appeals to the fame seeking impulse. Creates little broadcasters who are constantly linking to clickbait crap and living for the L-Dopa affirmation of likes and shares. McDonalds for the Mind.

I prefer to cultivate actual relationships than virtual ones.

PRO
Good source of useful information if you're following the right folks

Good source of levity if you're following the right folks. @TheTweetOfGod [twitter.com] is my favorite.

I prefer My Twitter followers to My real followers because in general they tend to kill less.
9:20 pm on Aug 23, 2014 (gmt 0)

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It's a broadcast medium

Indeed, and as such is a useful tool for a small subset of people.

Good source of useful information if you're following the right folks

Most people don't need to follow anyone, or even have a Twitter account.

They can just point a browser at the hashtag as and when they feel like it.

Nothing irrational, bizarre, or Anti-Twitter about that.

Not using it at all is being left out in the cold

The vast majority of people don't need instant updates about other people's activity.

They have lives of their own, and are not paranoid about "being left out".

...
6:39 am on Aug 24, 2014 (gmt 0)

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I thought religion was off topic for WW? Or are attacks on religion OK but not anything positive?

Twitter may be broadcast in terms of initial tweets, but you can engage in conversations - that is what really ends up being a time sink.
6:45 am on Aug 24, 2014 (gmt 0)

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@Samizdata, I do not follow people who talk about their activity: I follow people who talk about interesting news, ideas, etc.

It also does not have to be instant. I open Twitter once of twice a day and scroll through things: if I avoid distraction it takes less time than watching TV news would.
10:51 am on Aug 24, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Regardless of like or hate Twitter, we just had a 6.0 quake in Napa, rattled us right out of bed and shook the place pretty good 70mi away.

Sunday night so no local news WHATSOEVER, all infomercials running, but Twitter was all buzzing with news and locations.

Even the local TV stations were tweeting the information with maps and stuff.

We knew where it happened within minutes of the even in real-time.

Twitter Is the wave of the future when it comes to instance news and I sure needed it tonight!

Join now instead of during the middle of a disaster when it might be too overloaded to let you sigh up.

That's all I got to say about that.
12:12 pm on Aug 24, 2014 (gmt 0)

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@Samizdata, I do not follow people who talk about their activity

Nobody has suggested that there is anything wrong in doing so, or that anyone should stop.

This entire thread is based on the premise that there is an irrational Anti-Twitter Crowd out there with bizarre reasons for their opposition, but as far as I can see no such people actually exist.

...
12:48 pm on Aug 24, 2014 (gmt 0)

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I thought religion was off topic for WW?


It's satire, like The Onion. Satire is not meant to be taken literally. ;)
3:46 am on Aug 25, 2014 (gmt 0)

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If you want my opinion, follow me on twitter. Oops! I don't have a twitter account.

;)

Marshall
6:00 am on Aug 26, 2014 (gmt 0)

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@Samizdata, I agree with you on that - the point I wanted to make was that its not (for me) about people's activities, so much as news (which we have got instantly since radio was invented) ideas. I suspect you may agree with that and our discussion is more clarification.

@martinibuster, satire carries a message and is only funny if you think its assumptions are true.
5:09 am on Oct 14, 2014 (gmt 0)

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I am not anti-twitter, I do find it totally pointless most of the time though.

The times I do not find it pointless are when there is breaking news and even CNN/BBC etc cannot keep up, but even then it is getting harder and harder to separate fact from opinion and I mostly find myself going back to the trusted news sources that are less opinionated and (should) check their facts before publishing.

And more often than not, when I do find a good twitter account, I am only interested in 10% of whatever that person is tweeting, the rest seems to be garbage - a lot of self promotional garbage too.
11:41 pm on Oct 15, 2014 (gmt 0)

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I am only interested in 10% of whatever that person is tweeting, the rest seems to be garbage


The only thing I can suggest is you need a filter, or a personal assistant type app that reads your feed and only shows you tweets that meet criteria you define. I'm sure there's some Twitter client out there that aids in sorting the signal from the noise as there's way to much noise.

But to be fair, there's too much noise, based on personal interests only, in any newscast, newspaper, etc. and filtering is the only solution.

FWIW, I don't know why I singled out just Twitter in this post because some people have this irrational response to many sides, like my Mom and facebook.
[webmasterworld.com...]

I just don't get it.

Others even react this way to smart phones or cell phones in general which is why Mom's reaction bugs me. She'll drag around a cell phone that tracks here every more but shes afraid to give Facebook all her data, even after we explain you can simply LIE. She won't using online banking for equally as nutty reasons, but she'll click any crap her friends send in email. Unreal.

I know too many that have similar issues and I don't get it.

With Mom you could say it's age, but she's been on computers quite a long time thanks to be being on the bleeding edge in the late 70s so she's had more exposure to them than many her age.

But I know people of all ages that surprise me regarding Twitter, Facebook, etc. and why they refused to use it.

Maybe the bright side is they aren't on this in the first place ;)

Still people that have NEVER used it and have such big opinions about just baffle the heck out of me since those services can only learn about you what you permit them to learn.

Sigh.
4:23 am on Oct 16, 2014 (gmt 0)

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I hear ya, incrediBILL, sometimes, one can find info not yet reported on the news media sites. But, at the same time, I do think that the 140 character limit is somewhat irrational. Sometimes, you(anyone) can't express something that everyone will understand with a limit on how many letters you can fit into a confined space.
6:23 am on Oct 16, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Why is it irrational when it doesn't fit your preconceptions of how the world is (or rather, should be according to your prejudices)?

Many people who are younger than you don't use Facebook or Twitter because they're considered to be platforms for old people.

Many people of your age or older don't feel your need to be "instantly updated" or, as they might put it, distracted when they are doing something else of more value to them.

Personally speaking and with tongue firmly in cheek, I find it particularly suits the middle to old SEM guard who discovered, after ranting about Wordpress and blogging for a decade, that it all really demanded too much perspiration and inspiration.

(Handy that it still isn't allowed to link out here or else there might be a more than a few disused SEO blogs pulled out of my bookmarks!)

Far easier to knock off 140 characters every now and again or retweet others and call it cutting edge social media.
1:12 am on Nov 17, 2014 (gmt 0)

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I have been personally using twitter for years now, both personally and for my business. It does help me create good relationships with people I cannot interact in person and helps my business grow through reaching out to my prospect clients. This is how Twitter has been very useful in my life.
7:09 am on Nov 17, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Why is it irrational when it doesn't fit your preconceptions of how the world is (or rather, should be according to your prejudices)?

+1

Oops. Wrong venue.

I don't have a cell phone either. Why the ### should I? Cold arithmetic points to a cost of approximately $50 per outgoing call.

Oh, and I've got assorted dot gov sites bookmarked. That's where I check when I feel an earthquake and need quick assurance that it was small and local rather than large and far away.
8:04 am on Nov 17, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Why is it irrational when it doesn't fit your preconceptions of how the world is (or rather, should be according to your prejudices)?


It's not my preconceptions as I don't have any really, I use it and enjoy it, and I don't mind others that don't like it, the world is made of people with differences. Not everyone likes everything, way of the world.

I don't even care if they don't like it or ever use it, but I do care when the reasons given make no sense.

It's irrational when some people totally freak out about technology when they have never tried it.

Once upon a time fire was really scary too.

I'm talking about people that read some conspiracy theory or other wacky stuff about how the government is using it to spy on what people say for instance. If that's your only reason you might want to unplug the computer from the web because they spy on everything, not just twitter, and to think otherwise is naive.

Lots of well documented cases of these big companies fighting secret subpoenas.

Let's suffice it to say some of the things I've heard people say about Twitter rank right up there with things like "the moon landing never happened" and other such things that have no basis of fact in reality.

I'd cite specific examples but I can't because some people I know might be reading this.

Heck, a good friend of mine, a bleeding edge software developer, has some strange issue with twitter that I plan to explore in depth tomorrow night at dinner. If there's anything I can repeat, I'll let you know ;)


I don't have a cell phone either. Why the ### should I?


This should be a thread of it's own:

I've had them since '91, I was on the bleeding edge, and I got one and gave one to my wife, mom and daughter, all for personal safety reasons as we've had them ever since.

You can't call 911 when you don't have one and trust me, I've had to do it more than once and without it people could've died, myself included.

I never step outside the house with it in case I have a heart attack in the parking lot it's possible I could push that big single dialing button for HOME or EMERGENCY on the way down.

Had cars break down in places it was impractical and unsafe to walk from, and now I couldn't even do the walk, and got roadside assistance without leaving the car.
4:44 pm on Nov 17, 2014 (gmt 0)

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See? You're not saying "X is good". You're saying "X is not a matter of taste, choice or preference. X is obligatory. Everyone should X. People who do not X have something wrong with them."
10:15 pm on Dec 4, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Not using it at all is being left out in the cold.


As you know Bill, I'm not against Twitter. I even use it on rare occasions ;-)

But I opt out of a lot of things. Broadcast television in all its variations (regular, cable and satellite) for one example. People tell me I'm being left out in the cold all the time.

Most Americans have opted out of books completely and print in general almost entirely. They are being left out in the cold.

My wife insists that I'm missing out on all sorts of good stuff on Instagram and keeps suggesting feeds to subscribe to, none of which have interested me yet.

One can't make good use of every available channel and one has to choose the few channels that best suit your needs and whims. I used Twitter regularly for a while to see what it was all about, but eventually just let it go, because it is not a good fit for me.

I'm not "against" Twitter. It just doesn't rise in importance to become front of mind for me.

Reasons?

The main reason is the one already mentioned - I find Twitter feeds to rarely be very focused. I have checked out feeds from people who I find consistently interesting on their blog or in their forum posts, only to find their Twitter feed 90% uninteresting to me.

Sure, I could figure out a method that would allow me to sift through that.... but there are so many books I would like to read and movies to watch and world to experience directly instead of through media that it just doesn't make sense for me to put that effort into Twitter or a zillion other things I prefer not to spend my time on it.

I'm not missing out. I'm deciding how to spend my time.
10:19 pm on Dec 4, 2014 (gmt 0)

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PS...

Once upon a time fire was really scary too.


When you live where I do, it still is. We spend about four months of year living in great fear of the fire gods and offering oblations in hopes that they will spare us yet again.
11:56 pm on Feb 8, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Seems to be more useful if you are running a business or need to be in touch with people all the time.

I have not linked my Facebook and Twitter accounts as I like to post different things on each. My twitter is more friends and family while Twitter seems to be more media-focussed.

Twitter is good for keeping up with people's reactions to current events but should not be trusted as a news source.
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