I noticed the other day that it’s nearly 2 years since I started my Twitter account. Back then, there were not so many of us on Twitter and it was a small(er) group of people to follow, trade quips, share insights and banter with.
It was a bit like when you arrive at a party to help set up – there’s a small group, you are all busy but you chat to each other as you do your thing. Then a whole gigantic busload containing a couple of hundred million of people turn up and its starts feeling quite crowded. You start chatting to other people and before you know it the room is packed and you’ve got your circle of mates that you are hanging with for the evening. The ones you talked to when you first arrived might pass by, but they’ve got their own friends they are having a drink with. And just like a real life party, during the course of the evening you meet some new people, bump into a few weird characters and avoid that guy who you are currently not talking to.
So when I was reflecting on my 2 years on Twitter, I realised that a number of the people I used to chat to regularly have changed and moved on. Not completely disappeared (although some have) but we’ve moved onto different groups of friends for now.
However, because there are so many more people on Twitter, your stream gets quite noisy and crowded, meaning the actual chance of someone seeing your tweet before it scrolls off the screen becomes more and more remote. There is talk of Twitter removing Twitter lists which would mean that your Twitter stream would become a raging river over which you have virtually no control. It will be more like white water rafting without an oar.
This week I was all ready to break up with Twitter. Things just weren’t working out. I found myself getting very irritated by some of the people I was following and the Unfollow button was getting a pounding. There are so many more people all talking – very loudly- that being able to talk to the people I wanted to was beginning to feel like shouting into the wind. I was starting to feel quite disillusioned with Twitter and thoughts of abandoning it entirely lingered in the back of my mind.
But my faith was restored one evening this week when I asked Twitter with some help with a presentation I was working on. To my surprise, within minutes I was connected to people across the world and within NZ who had expertise on the subject. I had floods of tweets, DMs and emails with all sorts of information that I would not have been able to locate otherwise that was useful, insightful and helpful.
So…. thanks Twitter. Things have changed and we’ve all moved on but its good to know you are still there when it counts.