I saw a post the other day by Julien Smith (I know, it's like I'm a one-track mind lately) about how hard it is to build a following on Twitter. For relative noobs like me this was great news. However, it released a Hulk-like amount of frustration that I've just been waiting to vent about Twitter. So here we go. My top 15 Twitter pet peeves.
1. Balance is not a rule on Twitter. If you look around, most of the people who have 500,000 followers are only following 1-2 people. Conan O'Brien is a great example of this - when the Twitter "follower" feed was hacked, it became noticeable when Conan seemed to actually be following people. So what is this about, Tweet prophets? I get why you can't follow everyone who follows you, but really? 1-2% of the people following you, if that, are worth you following?
2. I was under the impression that Twitter is a social network. I think this is slightly misleading. I have encountered people on Twitter that you could retweet, tweet, mention, or whatever else all day long and they still would not give a reply back. It is called SOCIAL media, right? Deodorant and teeth brushing aren't problems, so what gives?
3. People who #talk in #hashtags for no #good reason annoy the heck out of me. Talk English. I don't speak in pound symbols. And if your sentence doesn't really have to do with any of the 20 topics you just tagged, it's not going to help you either, right?
4. I find it both creepy and irritating when someone retweets your post because of a word you used rather than because of what you actually said. I retweeted an article about how Nancy Pelosi said that her policy is based on The Word. I got "mentioned" by JesusNews. Eh?
5. A person you are following can direct message you. When you go to reply, it won't work if they aren't following you. Do you know how frustrating it can be to try to send a direct message back only to find that you, well, can't, because you're not being followed? If you're going to send me a direct message, can't you follow me?
6. The self-promotion on Twitter is terrible. I'm guilty of this one to a degree because I drive traffic to this blog using my tweets. However, I never once have said, "Come see my brilliant post." I try to lure people in to this here sticky goo based on subject matter. I find it misleading when someone tweets, "Oh, a really interesting concept" and then it's their blog. I feel cheated!
7. 9 times out of 10, logging into Twitter does not work. 'Nuff said.
8. Twitter perpetually seems like a personal cocktail party that you are eavesdropping on. I do not want to be privy to what you and your friends are planning to do, or what you and your friends did, or what you and your friends thought about what you did. Even if you're famous. Well, maybe not that last part, but still...
9. Foursqure. Oh foursquare. You are the thorn in my side, the weight on my shoulders, the...well, you get the idea. People thought tweets were banal before. Now you can find out when your contacts are working out, when they're following that up by a trip to the bar, and when they have become mayor of a furniture store. Ay caramba.
10. Trending Topics. I read an article the other day about whether Twitter had the right to remove Justin Bieber from trending topics and whether trending topics are worthwhile anyway. Short answer: no, no they're not. Right now, at this minute, four of the trending topics have hearts in them. One of those also has the word Bieber. Another trending topic right now: Ghetto Spelling Bee. Really? I mean...really?
11. The quoters are just awful on Twitter. Now some people have done a good job with it. I know a lot of people who follow "Tiny Buddha," which is a good use of Twitter. But I followed a guy for awhile and ALL he did was alternate quotes by other people with links about ex-girlfriends. Creepy. And yet his handle indicated that he would be talking about useful info. I kept waiting...
12. If you are a grammarian, you should probably avoid Twitter. I can't tell you how many tweets I see that say, "Retweet if your single" or "Their the bad guys." Move away from the computer, drop the chalupa, and learn the difference between your and you're, their, they're, and their, and many other troublesome word sets. Duhrive. Me. Crazeh.
13. How does a person with 1 tweet get 100,000 followers? This would seem to argue against Smith's case that it's hard to get followers. I remain perplexed.
14. People pretending to be celebrities. This was a major problem with Myspace. For fun, once, I followed five accounts pretending to be one of my favorite actresses. I don't think any of them noticed. It was funny. But kind of creepy. People need to get lives.
15. People who post the same thought over and over again in different ways also annoy me. Yes, I notice. I'm not living in the movie Memento. Yet. Move on to your next winning thought, please.
So there you have it. My 15 least favorite things about Twitter. What are yours?