In the week that the social network Twitter reached the ripe old age of seven, I decided to turn my back on it. Not permanently of course, more of a sabbatical, predominantly because after a moment of reflection I questioned my presence & why people followed me. Was it because I was the obnoxious Northerner who dared to question the establishment, or was it just because I was no-holds barred & brutal in my approach?
The more that you use Twitter as a tool, the more people’s agendas become apparent, and if you’re doing something a little different; a bit on the edge, then you’re not going to fit in. I left one such website for this & other reasons, & started ChefHermes.com. Everything that you see me tweet or even post on here & twitter would have appeared on that website. And as I’ve said on more than one occasion, it’s content I would like to read myself; that’s the general rule for the blog. When I started out solo I was persecuted by former forum dwellers, ‘How dare he leave?’, but they failed to see the bigger picture & jealousy ensued.
People on Twitter talk about Trolling; because somebody has a difference of opinion to you & likes to passionately discuss it doesn’t make them a Troll. Personal experience? Yep, after the first two you know what the routine is to get them shut down, you become more efficient at it & what they say just rolls away.
The more and more people perceive that I have influence the harder it becomes to like Twitter, I’ve re-tweeted job vacancies, links to charity pages and so the list goes on. I’d like to think that as my followers grew in number that it was giving back in some small way. But then come the hidden agendas: some I agreed with; some I don’t and some which, in my opinion where just sloppy & lazy journalism, out to protect vested interests. And this is where Twitter can come into its own, you can approach these people directly, question their motives and probe their techniques. Rarely is there anywhere to hide, and that has been my problem. I’ve pushed & pushed, determined to get answers, believing that I was right, maybe becoming blinded by self-importance. Then the eureka moment arrived, whilst slotting a journalist back in her place during a passionate discussion over the merits of James Martin being a judge for the Roux Scholarship:
@JanetHarmer dont really say there can be any winners or losers, just differing opinions – all of which are valid.
Funny, she didn’t reply; and that’s the point. Twitter is rarely black & white, it’s all a bit grey.
As a final note, if you’re reading this and thinking ‘cor, don’t think I’ll bother with Twitter’; please do, try it. I’ve had conversations, opportunities & encountered some wonderful people; witty, charming, helpful, funny, passionate and so the list goes on; with over 200 million users there is bound to be a bunch of people out there for you.
As for me? I’ll re-evaluate the situation after a period of time, have a cull of the people I follow and utilise the myriad of information flowing through my timeline to help me move forward and return a better tweeter.