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“Twitter is rubbish…”

28 April, 2015

The sentiment in the title of this post is one I frequently hear – not only from those who consider themselves “Luddite technophobes” – but (surprisingly) also from those who are computer literate, I.T. savvy and “well informed”!

When people rubbish Twitter as being “not for them” … it immediately tells me something about their personality – and their attitude to life! Inevitably, I always end up feeling sorry for them! I feel they must either be narrow-minded, intolerant and ignorant – or equally as bad – simply “can’t be bothered” to make an effort to discover the potential of something “new”!

Of course Twitter has been around since 2006 so is not “new”. Since its inception its usage has changed dramatically – yet I am still amazed at the people who dismiss it as a platform for sharing “trivial information”, thereby ignoring it’s tremendous power as an information resource and business tool. I find it hard to believe there are people who are either self-employed or who work in large corporations who do not understand it’s enormous potential. Some people just don’t “get it” (largely because they have the wrong idea of what it is) so in fact they don’t even want to “get it”!

Of course … I do appreciate it won’t appeal to everyone, and if you fall into one of these categories then I have to agree – Twitter is not for you! For example: I am not talking about those people who have no interests in life, are unemployed or have no need to earn a living, have no desire to be well informed about the world they live in, have no curiosity, are afraid of learning and new ideas, have no hobbies or pastimes,  have no opinions on anything and no interest in anyone’s else’s opinions (even of people they admire), have no interest in current affairs, culture or sport, dislike hearing opinions that are different to theirs, have no sense of humour and who “take offence” easily.  If any of the above apply to you – then I have to agree – Twitter is not for you!

Usually however … I always like to give the anti-twitter brigade the benefit of the doubt, and attribute their dislike of Twitter as being down to a misconception of what it is for, and how to use it productively. “I don’t have time” or “it’s full of idle chit-chat” are common complaints – and these are usually from those who have never even tried it!

Here’s a series of emails with a friend that I consider highly intelligent – with many interests and with whom I have lots of conversations about humanism, philosophy, logic and rational thinking!

From: John Simonett
To: Dave
Subject: Dislike of Twitter

Dave –  I am sure you are not someone who has given up thinking and being interested in the world about you! Nor are you getting “old” – your body might be but not your brain! The problem is people hear about the bad stuff – and condemn it without realising it’s huge potential – once you learn to avoid the bad stuff.

Do you mean it is not for you – or do you mean it is a bad idea overall?     John

From: Dave
John Simonett
Subject: Dislike of Twitter

Difficult to give a very definite answer. I am all for more communication between ALL people but some of it is so mundane; let’s not mince words, it’s drivel. And it’s so easy to use it for hateful purposes. I don’t mean insults and verbal abuse, I think people should be able to deal with that. I mean when it is used to induce people to riot or perform acts of violence or terrorism.

So is it worth you having it easier to follow your interests and in doing so providing a dangerous “vehicle” for stupid, ignorant and anti-social bigots not to mention psychopaths and terrorists? Probably not. I think it should be shut down. It doesn’t make the world a nicer place.   Dave.

From: John Simonett
To: Dave
Subject: Dislike of Twitter

Dave: I wish you wouldn’t beat about the bush so!

I used to think it was not for me – til I worked out how to use it (to avoid the “rubbish”). Since then I have become a Twitter evangelist!

Firstly, I use it mainly as a business tool that allows me to market my services and manage my online presence. Every speaker I know is on twitter…. so I can also see who’s doing what – and keep up to date on current thinking.

Secondly, Twitter connects you to “your” world and no-one else’s! You don’t need to see tweets from people you don’t like! I only follow people who post interesting tweets – links to blogs, articles and stuff I am interested in. Most people think it is about idle chit chat, gossip and banal comments about breakfast! Not so. If people tweet like that – I just click “unfollow” and they’re gone! I only see tweets that interest me.

I find it a fascinating link to the world I am involved in – business, psychology, speaking, entertainment, news, politics, rugby, cricket, and all manner of other things that I like to keep up with current thinking on!

Finally – you don’t have to “tweet” if you have nothing to say – just use it to look in at “your world”.   Please try it – I think you might be surprised!

Frankly, I’m not holding my breath!

So – to anyone reading this – are you a Twitter fan – or not?  What have I not considered – from either camp!  (and what more can I say to Dave to convince him of Twitter’s benefits?!!). Post your comments in the box below!

In my next post I will look at some of the business benefits of Twitter – as I see them. You can read it here.

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