Technology is a wonderful thing for those who either have a natural capacity to absorb it or the time to invest in figuring it out. I'm 46, which puts me old enough to be in the work force pre-Microsoft Windows, fax machines, e-mail, and believe it or not - the cell phone. While I would not trade these conveniences for anything, I also believe that you can cross over into the absurd.
For me, Twitter borders on the absurd. But, much like an accident on the interstate, you just have to slow down and watch.
My fascination with Twitter was because I kept hearing the word on the lips of broadcasters and celebrities - and seeing it in print. I wondered what the "deal" was...and figured that I'd just sign up and see for myself.
I started out with "suggested" friends including "peeps" (shorthand for "people" on Twitter)such as Shaquille O'Neal and Rush Limbaugh. I was to "follow" them as opposed to being their "friend" - like in Facebook.
I started out by inviting my friends to go online...and two actually did. Another two found me through other means.
My second "follow" was to the band Collective Soul...my favorite band of all time...and they follow back...so I'm proud to say that they are followers of ktmixon315! I've received two tweets from them, although I've tweeted something to them or about them nearly every day.
Of course, after getting about 10 followers, I started wondering about something called TweetDeck. It is like Twitter on crack. I mean, you have four columns of tweets going on simultaneously...a general tweet feed, a replies (where people have responded to me via @ktmixon315), direct messages (like e-mail...unseen by the general masses) and my Facebook feed so I am not hopping back and forth unless I want to. Normally, I want to.
The reason that I've enjoyed Twitter is that it is short...and it is unique. I mean, you have to put the whole message in 140 characters including spaces. Harder than it looks...especially for a word junkie like myself. You can tweet what you are doing...such as "Enjoying coffee on the new deck and watching the sun come up...gorgeous." Or, you may include a link to an article, photo, or webpage somewhere else on the web. They have a method to shorten the URL to a "tiny URL" that takes up less space...since the URL is part of your 140 characters.
Then, there's the RT - or retweet - where you want to put something funny, or pertinent, or clever out there that is a "direct quote" from someone else to your people who may have different people that they are following than you do and wouldn't see it otherwise. Anyway, people love to be retweeted...most of the time and will frequently thank you for that or for following them in the first place.
Some people are on there to sell you something. Some are selling something that is of the "adult only" variety. I find, though, that there are a lot of people out there who are just fun to touch base with on a daily or occasional basis. There really ARE no rules...BUT you CAN block the losers...and this is a good thing.
Currently, I follow Collective Soul, Bruce Baumgartner (Kevin from "The Office"), Jimmy Fallon, The Ellen Show, Rush Limbaugh, John McCain, and Shepard Smith (Fox News). These are the ones you may be familiar with...however...this is the minority of those I follow.
I follow two Canadians...one is a nice lady who is a very creative stamper. I also follow a guy in London who is just funny. He doesn't follow me back, but I've enjoyed the humor...and if I quit enjoying it, I'll just "unfollow" him. No biggie. Another one I follow is a teacher of gifted kids in South Alabama. I also follow a lady who has over 25,000 followers...and she is - by far - THE most active Twitter-er I've seen. She also seems to be a very nice person. Another guy in San Francisco is unemployed, but looking for opportunities...and is currently selling Avon. I also follow a DJ in Atlanta and his wife...and avid shopper. Most of these people were talking to people I was "following" and I just checked them out...and now I follow them as well.
I currently follow 33 people, and have 67 people following me.
The number would be higher, but I ruled out a number of people following me that I highly suspected were not interested at all in what I had to say...and I knew for certain that the feeling was mutual. Some of the time...the picture or the name just gives it away. I won't elaborate...and you'll just have to trust me.
So why am I on Twitter? I guess because I really do enjoy learning in short bursts. I have no history with the vast majority of my followers...or of those that I follow. It's just novel...and interesting. And when I get tired of it...I'll just drop out.
In fact, an article that came across Twitter today showed that most people only stay at it for about a month. Well, I'm a little ahead of that right now...but we'll see.
At least I'm - for once - with the program...at least until the newest and best comes out...even some of what is in the Twitterverse is already above my head. Like THAT'S hard. Later!