Plenty people have suggested to me that I join Twitter, the micro-blogging site where you can say what’s happening wherever you are and whatever you’re doing, in words of 140 or less.
I was sceptical – I’d tried Facebook and found it to be a platform for stalkers and egotists, and expected Twitter to be much the same; despite the fact it is used by a slightly older and more professional audience. Many people have found it a valuable marketing tool, many celebrities famously tweet, and it seems to have overtaken Facebook as a “cool” place to network (as I predicted something else would do eventually). It seemed to be yet another social networking tool.
Despite that, something of what folk told me about it appealed – the opportunity to talk about particular instances, such as a funny occurrence or a random thought, and share it with the world instantly without needing to blog. So I gave it a trial run.
I intentionally didn’t publicise the fact, because I wanted to see how I found it first. I considered following some other Twitterers, but nobody was interesting enough to follow, even people I admire or am good friends with. No offence to anyone, but there’s nobody on earth whose everyday minutiae is always constantly of interest to me. I don’t even find myself that interesting, most of the time (and would be surprised if anyone else does).
I wrote a few tweets last week while travelling, and reflected on them this week. They were deeply dull, so I deleted the account.
The reason I blog, I reasoned with myself, that you can compose your thoughts carefully and over time, you can mull ideas over, edit them, come back to them later, chuck in photos, and not worry about a word limit. Even if I want to say something instantly, I can still do that, thanks to the iPhone’s WordPress application.
But then, after I thought about it more and talked about it with a couple of folk, I realised I’d really only tried out half of Twitter: writing my own tweets. I hadn’t tried the other half of it: interacting with others through following and being followed. It was, I had to concede, a bit like driving a car around an empty car park and claiming I can drive, without actually heading to some public roads to interact with other drivers.
So, after some humming and hawing, I am going to give it a proper go. You can follow me on simon_varwell.
I have no idea if I will like it or not, or if anyone else will want to follow me, but it will be worth a wee bit of an experiment to see what happens.