I’ve been tweeting for a year and a half now, and I’d like to say I’ve enjoyed every moment.
Recently, though, I’ve had less fun. It has a little to do with the people I follow (all of whom I enjoy reading, otherwise what’s the point in following them?), but it’s mostly people I don’t follow intruding into my feed, how twitter is being used by some people and the changes Twitter is making that have tarnished my tweetlife.
Let’s go back a bit, though. Why did I like Twitter in the first place? When I first logged on in January 2009 it struck me that Twitter was almost like a beautiful co-operative society. Paradise with dividends. People talked with each other, shared tips and links, and recommended others to follow. There was no hierarchy that I could see, which was really attractive.
(Admittedly I came to Twitter through a “celeb” in the shape of Graham Linehan. I was a frequent visitor to his “Why, That’s Delightful” site, and enjoyed the Friday conversations he’d have. When he packed up and moved to Twitter, I followed.)
I liked the fact that @soandso of wherever had the same platform to amuse, inform and opine as @celebrityfunnyman. I liked that I could find out about music, books, politics, stories etc that I had no inkling of beforehand, and discuss these with people who did.
I liked that I could connect with anyone on there, regardless of nationality, gender, sexuality, age or political persuasion. I obviously didn’t follow those I vehemently disagreed with for too long. Anyone who described themselves as being part of the “twitterati” got short shrift. Indeed, anyone who used that term was quickly blocked. There were no kings or queens, emperors or empresses.
And it was fun. I laughed at jokes, discovered new music, made friends, got angry at Jan Moir and made some people laugh at things I tweeted.
And here we are today. I’ve stopped appreciating the good things about Twitter. It may be because the 18 month honeymoon is over. It may be because I have melancholic bouts of over-analysing EVERYTHING. All I know is Twitter isn’t as shiny and lovely as it once was.
I’m not leaving, though. There are still enough really smashing folk on here for me to stay.
No, I’m going to follow in the #wrongtwitter footsteps of @IanMartin. For those not in the know, Ian decided to unfollow everyone on his list for a month and instead just followed nasty types. These included right wing extremists, religious idiots and a combination of both. The updates were fascinatingly scary, anger-inducing pieces of reportage, albeit from the relative safety of a twitter feed.
From August 3rd, I will do the same for a month. This will purely be an exercise in learning to love once again, appreciating what I have, who I follow and those who like following me. It’s not radical, it’s no longer innovative, but it could very well save my tweetlife, as well as Twitter itself. Yes, I’m going to save Twitter. It’s my calling.
I’ll be un-following people over the next day or two, but will re-follow again at the beginning of next month. If you want to un-follow me, that’s fine.
I’ll post updates on here, and use my feed and the #wrongtwitter hash to notify updates.
Finally, I’d be grateful for any accounts you feel I may want to look at for #wrongtwitter