Antisocial networking

Every now and then, I will see someone mention some conversation on Twitter and I wonder whether I should rethink my decision to abandon that service. It was a year ago that my dissatisfaction with the service was brought to a head by Twitter’s announcement that the people who had developed the applications that gave Twitter the flexibility that made it popular could all go and take a running jump.

I am grateful, therefore, to The Digital Prism for reminding me why I was finding Twitter increasingly frustrating to use.

I know there are a lot of people on Twitter, and I know it’s where all the cool kids hang out. But I did find that Twitter conversations tended to be less about people talking to each other and more about people shouting past each other. Every time I saw someone saying “please retweet” my irritation with the service rose, slightly but perceptibly. It’s not that I object to people using social media to promote themselves, but if the only thing someone can think of to say is “Follow Me” or “Buy My Product” then I am not interested.

When it comes to social networks, the clue is in the name. We are talking about social networks, not marketing networks or self-promotion networks, and the moment the users of a network lose sight of that is the moment that network starts to die.

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