Twitter is designed to be a simple way for friends to keep in touch when they are too busy to call, email, text, write or communicate in any other lengthy way, from anywhere in the world.
Instead, Twitter has become this big business machine full of links to blogs, articles and stories. Not a bad thing as it’s a hugely effective information tool and I follow and converse with interesting people, but they are mostly strangers.
My various requests for my friends to follow have resulted in an arctic stillness. Clearly, all these years of me talking about what I have been up to has been of no interest and they were just being polite.
However, I would love it if say my closest dozen or so friends, both sides of the Atlantic popped a 30 second note on 2-3 times a day to let me know what they’re up to. They don’t have to call or email me every day, or even text. Just type a message up to 140 characters in the little box at the top so I know what’s going on in their lives. They can hide their messages so only I and anyone else they choose can read them and unlike phone calls, I can read them whenever suits me, be it on the train, in the line for the cashier or in the comfort of my own bed.
It will be great to know how they enjoyed their first Japanese meal or that they saw a fantastic play or they’re excited about their upcoming trip. Even more interesting will be to follow their search for a new job or new house or, as in the case of one of my friends who has just had a baby, Twitter would have meant one message to the world, rather than us all wondering if she’d had the baby three weeks after the due date, when we finally got the obligatory email with photos. We could even have had pictures straight away and there’s no need to keep a record of everyone’s email address either, you just jump on any computer or log on through your Blackberry or iPhone.
If they want to throw on a link to a fantastic website they think I’d be interested in or a book review, or a photo of themselves in Mexico, even better. If they want to let me know exactly which coffee shop they are about to go to for a touch of mutual reminiscence of our time there, that’s great too.
It’s what we would talk about anyway but we can’t get together today. Or next week. Or in the next year. So let me know what’s going on. I’m interested. It takes seconds to keep in touch.
I’ve made some great new contacts on Twitter and expanded my friendship with people I already knew. I’ve learned loads, picked up on new tips and kept up with what’s going on around the world and it’s taken a lot less time than reading a newspaper or magazine or even an emailed newsletter each day.
Let’s face it, if they can teach this old timer new tricks, anyone can do it.
So, these are two reasons why I think people don’t tweet:
• They don’t understand how it works and that you can stay private if you wish and choose who reads your news.
• They can’t be bothered and don’t realise how effortless it is as you have a maximum of 140 characters for your message. (less than this sentence)
At the very least, Tweeting will stop the all too infrequent emails starting with, ‘Long time no hear, what you been up to?’
I’ve been tweeting you!
Come on people, get tweeting!
Step One: Follow this link Twitter
Step Two: Decide on the user name that people will see, ideally your real or nick name
Step Three: Type your first message and press ‘update’.
See you in Twitterville. Come and say hi to me here @Rickiewrites