I joined Twitter in 2008 and have mostly enjoyed it because I don’t try to do things ‘a certain way’ there. But over the last year or so, when I check in on Twitter all I see are links to posts on how to do things better. “Nine ways to make the most out of every weekend.” “A guide on how not to upset your boss.” “Five things you should never do when using Twitter.” And everyone is sharing them because they come from credible sources. Hey, if Huffington Post says something, it must be true. No, serendipity and authenticity are dead there. Twitter has evolved into one big link engine. And the sad thing is that 95% of all links shared either contain regurgitated copy from somewhere else on the web, or, when it’s an attempt at original content, it’s so disorganized that you’re not sure what you’re reading. And so when you write and share something fresh – like poetry, or fiction, or a general rant that doesn’t follow a template – no one notices. It’s too dangerous.
I have a plan. And I have to keep Twitter alive because of the plan. But mostly it’s a dead channel to me in terms of a place to find cool new people to meet (like it used to be.) I just don’t have the patience for that anymore. Especially since most of these people are sharing the stuff mentioned above. But I keep it alive because of the plan. Not unlike how I still post to Linkedin because of the need to make a living. And how I use Google+ for its SEO juice. Which leaves Facebook and my 193 friends there as the place where I can still be myself and not feel silly about it. Sure, Facebook is still a data collection engine (they all are) that tries to make privacy settings confusing to the advantage of the advertisers, but the interactions I have there are sincere. None of my friends are trying to sell me anything or tell me how to live my life better. Ok, maybe there are a few people trying to do that there – Facebook’s not Xanadu, after all.