Chris loves it, Jen never shuts up about it, Dennis uses it "for work purposes", and even my editor-in-chief uses it. So why can't I get my head around it? Why have I tried to use it on three separate occasions and still can't stand using it? Why is Twitter only there for the obvious idiot or the social networking junkie?
1. @people: yes, this is a practical way to get in touch with people, but it's now spread to emails. Some of my colleagues, extended and otherwise, use @zackwhittaker to get in touch with me, when it just drives me mad. You've carbon copied me on the email, you would have thought that would make more sense. I have a BlackBerry now; I can see emails wherever I am in the world. Feel free to cc me in on an email, but use my name rather than @zackwhittaker, because it just pisses me off.
2. Copycat websites: without Twitter, we wouldn't have the major updates on Facebook which have infuriated over a million people as a result. Without Twitter, we wouldn't have other copycat websites such as Friendfeed. I'm sure they all have a very important part to play, but I don't particularly want my social networks to collide in the middle. Copycat "Twitter-like" websites just use up valuable space on the web, and infuriate me more.
3. Constantly connected: the fact of the matter when it comes to Twitter is that you have to be constantly on the site to make sure you are keeping up to date with conversations and suchlike. If you go for breakfast and are without your Twitter application on your phone, you might have a fit when you realise your wife is leaving you over Twitter because you failed to respond to her "tweets", or something like that. Who the hell in their right mind would need to update their status three times an hour from "giggly" to "cautious"?
4. Non-threaded conversations: threads are important in conversation as it helps you keep track of what has been said. With Facebook, you have that magic Wall-to-Wall button so you can see a threaded conversation between two people, but you can't on Twitter. The most annoying thing about this? The fact you can't spy on other people and tweet-stalk them.
5. Tweetdecks: applications which run locally on your computer allow you to keep more up to date with Twitter. What I want to know is how people actually get work done, or get laid for that matter. "zackwhittaker is surging (23:45)", and "zackwhittaker is spent (23:47)". If anything, it just shows how sad we are as an international entity, spending our entire time on Twitter. Aliens invading would be disappointed.
6. Shortcut links: what drives me to insanity, and on one occasion, smashing the crap out of my computer, was a shortcut link which appeared perfectly innocent, but linked to a website of two girls and one cup. Such links as http://tinyurl.com/dlwgv7 and http://is.gd/3Ncx; one is this blog, and the other is unsafe for work. Which is which? You can't tell because the shortcut links are pure evil and some of my friends are now refusing to even click on them. They're a waste of time and designed for Twitter; a hating-double-whammy.
7. Retweeting: what is the point in retweeting something? Essentially, retweeting is the practice of posting the same thing of which someone else has posted, again, and again, and again. Nobody benefits from this unless it's some viral campaign or a really important or interesting blog post; fair enough, but it just plain irritates the hell out of me. "Oh yeah, I'm retweeting this from somebody else to show my individuality to the world"; shut up, you are clearly an idiot.
8. Weird backgrounds: you can easily change your background on Twitter to express your individualism and unique ability in a certain area. This is a good thing. But when people treat Twitter as if it is MySpace a few years ago, by having ridiculously colourful and difficult to focus backgrounds, this is wrong and should be criminalised by law. I don't particularly want to have a fit first thing in the morning by looking at some quirky background which screws with my eyes. I find it difficult enough to get out of bed in the morning, without resorting to spending the rest of the day in a hospital one. Jason Perlow, consider yourself a bit of an idiot. I still love you to bits, you big, cuddly man.
9. Twitter whoring: this is something I do now because I can think of no other way of communicating with "my people", by simply whoring myself and this blog on there. This still annoys the hell out of me because it's like other blogs out there, which just reproduce links and stories from other places; aggregator blogs. Eurgh.
10. 140 characters: it's not enough to write anything, and it's the same amount of space you get in a text message. This is why you'll find my text message balance is currently 600 out of 600 this month, because texting people (the modern day equivalent of Twitter private messaging) isn't enough to get anything across. Either way, a phone call or an email makes a lot more sense, so bloody well use it.