A long tweet about Twitter

I paid one of my occasional visits to Twitter today. I was mainly inspired by receiving lots of e mails, telling me that I had been mentioned in tweets. Whilst not quite as exciting perhaps, as being ‘Mentioned In Despatches’, it does lend itself to a frisson of interest about who, why, and where.

I should start by saying, that as far as Twitter goes, I am small fry. Well, not even fry really, more like a fish egg. No, that’s still too large. Let’s decide that I am one of the atoms that make up Twitter’s whole. As such, I generally go unnoticed, and as I only look at it about once every two weeks, I suppose I only have myself to blame. I have sent 875 tweets. As this includes promoting hundreds of posts from my blog, I would agree that a realistic number of actual tweets, is probably below 300. From what I can judge, some people are tweeting (or re-tweeting, or favouriting) that many in an hour. I have a welcome clan of 36 followers, and I follow 52 other people on Twitter. Many fairly ordinary people have tens of thousands of followers. Stars and celebrities have millions, which I suppose is to be expected.

The problem is, I just don’t really get it. I can’t keep up with it either. Since I started writing this, I have had 9 new notifications already. Imagine how many those with a massive following must receive. It doesn’t bear thinking about. There are lots of news items, hundreds of photos, and many opinions on what is going on in the world. But it’s all too short, too bite-sized, undeveloped, and sketchy. You have to clink links to read more, and before you realise it, you have ten windows tabs open. Then you click back on Home, and you have another 20 tweets to catch up with, before you have even read the first link! I also get notified about tweets where my name is on a list along with many others. I confess that I am at a loss what to do, as there seems to be no link to follow. Then there are the kind people who re-tweet something I have written to thousands, literally thousands, of their followers. You are very kind, and I apologise profusely for not reciprocating.

It is as much as I can do to manage my blog, answer all the comments, comment on the posts on other blogs, and still have time to walk the dog, and cook dinner. I just don’t know how you all manage it, though I am guessing that smartphones, and quick fingers, play a big part. So, a message to everyone who sends me a tweet, or mentions me in one. Sorry, I am not really with it. Maybe it’s an age thing, or there are just not enough hours in the day. A very big Thank You to everyone who has ever re-tweeted anything from my blog, or a tweet that I have sent. It is appreciated very much indeed. Pete.


22 thoughts on “A long tweet about Twitter

    1. I have been learning a lot about Twitter this week Sarah. Nicholas steered me to some valuable information too. It all looks a lot like work to me though, but no doubt essential when you are marketing goods, or promoting books.
      Thanks for the extra info, I will investigate. x


  1. I am one of those Luddites who doesn’t have a smart phone, a twitter or Facebook account – I just don’t see the point! Although I AM a big fan of blogging and that takes up enough of my time! I sometimes think technology has gone just a bit too far and we are rapidly losing the art of actually carrying out face-to-face communication. When I say ‘we’ I don’t mean ‘us’ 🙂


    1. That’s OK, I know what you mean. I sometimes wonder how far it will go. Will everything only be available online one day, with shops a distant memory? It could happen. As for personal communication, some argue that it’s never been better, with the use of ‘social media’ but I think it has been devalued personally. x


    1. I never worked out why so few characters are allowed. Does anyone know? In most similar forums, people tend to keep it short- but not that short! Thanks for making me feel less lonely! Pete.


      1. Some people probably prefer that as you can see quickly how interesting or relevant each tweet is – I think it’s meant to be similar in length to a text, although it’s slightly shorter. I always seem to click on photos, or links to articles, that are utter tripe. The only time we look at it for any length of time is when Mr Crimeworm wants to follow a Celtic match that isn’t on any of our channels…that’s when it’s been useful!


        1. That explains it CW. I don’t follow football. Perhaps I should, then I might get Twitter! I agree that many of the links seem meaningless. I thought it was just me, so thanks for saving me from that…
          Thanks for your input, is is very much appreciated. Pete.


  2. Pete, wonderful post about twitter. I too have been on it for years and still not sure what all the hype is all about. I suppose I am too long winded to really be able to join in. Have a wonderful day/evening….

    Take care and happy blogging (tweeting) to ya… wink


  3. There simply aren’t enough hours in the day. The only way I can keep up with reciprocating is by using @roundteam – they have a free service as well as a couple of paid-for ones, and they RT for you so that everyone gets a fair chance of being retweeted. It’s worth investigating.


  4. I hear you Pete! I’ve been on Twitter for I don’t know how many years now but I don’t follow that much number of celebrities/personalities on the web except for a few authors, local media, Catholic websites etc. Once, my account was hacked so I have to make a longer password with all the numbers and quotation marks…hehehe. I always have to see my list written on my journal to access the site because I could never memorize that long password 🙂 Twitter has limitations but it is one of the best platforms to follow people that you won’t normally hear about online.


  5. Pete, I initially signed up for Twitter last year in order to primarily promote my writing, and have succeeded in expanding my base of followers (currently at around 225) mainly by commenting on other people’s tweets. Twitter does seem to be a marketplace for people who have something to sell, but it’s also a marketplace of ideas, a way to pass along information that might otherwise prove elusive, and a medium by which to share photographs taken around the world. It’s also a way to share big and small moments in one’s personal life with friends and strangers. I used to ridicule Twitter, but no more. I still freely admit that Twitter has great limitations, and it can monopolize one’s time if allowed to do so, but I think that overall it’s a good forum for social exchange.


    1. I agree with all that you say David, and I am not criticising Twitter at all. It has brought new followers to my blog, and expanded my contacts to some degree. I just find it hard to get to grips with on a personal level. It is fast, constantly updating and changing, and leaves me feeling inadequate, as far as this branch of burgeoning social media at least.
      Thanks for your efforts on Twitter on my behalf by the way. One of these days, I might get my head around it.
      Very best wishes, Pete.


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