Saturday, December 1, 2012

Novice vs Twitter—Round 2: Maladjustment

So, I had created my Twitter account and started browsing for who/which organization to follow.

Having overcome the initial hurdles of learning how Twitter actually works to finally setting up a functional account with basic profile, I had yet another unsavory task of searching for personalities, organizations and/or causes for me to follow.

Why “unsavory” you might ask – well for one, I AM a novice at Social Media, probably a laggard or in the late majority, especially in the context of “joining the Twitter wagon”. For somebody who has never fully recognized or acknowledge the “benefits” of Twitter, ANYTHING associated with using Twitter would not be “nice”.

The bulk of my frustrations during my initial few weeks using Twitter can be summarized in the two points below:

1.       Information overload
There was just too much to learn and absorb, much less to mention use! Whether it was Twitter terminology “RT”, “MT”, “avatar”, “hashtags”, “twitter handle”, abbreviations due to the 140-character restrictions, the sea of personalities, celebrities, politicians, artists and various interest groups and organizations… the list just never ends! How could anyone possibly navigate through all this information and filter anything meaningful from it, if that kind of information even exists? Moreover, the content of most tweets are awfully mundane, described as some to be “of the same level as spambots” and “drivel”.

It’s possible that this situation is supposed to eventually improve, but for newcomers like myself, rather dispiriting to say the least.

2.       Too fast too furious
Amidst all the Twitter mumble jumble, I find myself struggling to grapple with the pace and tone/extreme positions of tweets especially during the Election debates. Beginning with the national conventions and into the debates, almost every event saw record-breaking volume of tweets from the preceding one. There were multiple instances where I just stared at my feed running relentlessly as people were live-tweeting furiously during one of the presidential debates—I never got a single word off my feed that evening.

As one of our class speakers Zach Green once mentioned, the most active political users on Twitter are from the far left/right. There is almost no sense of moderation or restraint in the content which tend to perpetuate negative emotions and discourage further reading. Literally too fast, too furious.


I would have loved to have been able to expound on the numerous benefits others have so proclaimed from using Twitter (there are people who consider themselves addicted to Twitter). Unfortunately, I have to declare this round in favor of the Novice (aka me).

In phase two (first 5 weeks) of my Twitter experience, call it maladjustment, but I safely conclude that I consider Twitter a bane to my schedule (having to monitor and check it regularly, beyond my usual routine), mental and emotional well-being (a little extreme, but you get the idea!)

Nonetheless, I shall persevere for the next 5weeks before my final verdict. Till then.

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