I have two different people in mind, each with their own unique methods of tweeting. When I first joined Twitter, I did so for a class, and not for personal use. I did not see an immediate need for Twitter, and I did not get tweeting. I was mostly a Facebook poster, and the only difference I saw between the two was Twitter's character limit. I was dissuaded. After taking some classes on digital literacy and blogging, I began to come around. I gave Twitter a chance, and I was relieved that people were actually writing something other than irrelevant facts about how emotional they're feeling through song lyrics. I had not anticipated, however, what tweet abuse would look like until I decided to follow two specific people.
In the beginning
I was under the impression the two people I would be following would share good information. One is a creative writing student, and the other is a credible educator whose articles and books we've discussed in a few of my classes. Both figures are knowledgeable in the field of emerging media, and both have had Twitter accounts for some time. As time passed, I would see links to creative writing across the web, and academic discussions on various forms of rhetoric. Like many of the people I was following, I had potential for learning through their shared information and insight. Though it may be a small issue, I soon realized these individuals were also exploiting Twitter to their own self indulgence.
And @God said, "Let there be tweets!"
This article on Twitter's beginnings explains how the creators ran into a similar problem being solely a status-like posting application. First off, their idea was "to make it [update via phone] so simple that you don’t even think about what you’re doing," which has pretty much stuck; relevant updating was the problem area. "Who cares what I'm doing," was the general concern of the crew. Prior to the character limit, the average tweet was around 160 characters, thus making sense when considering a limit in the first place. People, however, find loop-holes. Though the character limit was a success, it was apparently not enough for some "tweeters."
Not on a train! Not in a tree! Not in a car! Sam! Let me be!
The two people I have in mind, for whatever reason, tweet a lot, sometimes too much, about things where one would have to ask the question, "Do I care?" I know I overwrite at times, everyone does, and I would expect the creative writing student to do so as well, but not over Twitter. I'll see a stream of sometimes ten consecutive tweets discussing famous author quotes to a tweet that "insults your mother." Though he may just be exercising his creative brain muscles, I'm not sure how informative that all is. Irrelevant creative non-fiction tweeting is the expertise of the credible educator. Despite what I may think of his voice through reading his articles and ideologies, I don't find tweeting about the specific details of the people around you while riding the train to and from work, or moments of dialogue between those people to be particularly tweet worthy. If you want to do that, try writing a book.
I thought Twitter was successful because they have length restrictions, but when I see tweet feeds that last for +10 posts, well it all seems a bit hypocritical. Twitter does have some information regarding how often you can post, but it still could use some revision. I understood Twitter to be what Facebook is not, and when I see posts where it becomes difficult to differentiate the two, then one service is not achieving their goal. I would like to see Twitter as an information network over a social network in any case. I think Facebook has the social networking thing down pretty good, but it lacks intellectualism. I still enjoy Twitter posts compared to Facebook posts, and I think Twitter has made tremendous progress away from a Facebook-like service, but it's like a personal soap-box in some aspects, which can often prompt the question, "Why do I care?"