One of the most putrid pastimes on the internet is moving away from being a place to share your life, your joys, your girls and your boys and toward a way of trying to thrust consumerism upon the unsuspecting masses. Twitter, dear readers, is fast becoming more about advertising and noise than about whatever the heck it used to be about. In fact, still to this day I can not get my mind around what the heck Twitter's purpose is.
What is the purpose of Twitter?
Even informational sites like Wikipedia can not formulate a straight answer to this question. While many people ask this question, few actually know. In fact, along with the location of the Arc of the Covenant and Aladdin's lost lamp, Twitter's purpose baffles many. Twitter, it could be said, is a purposeless waste of time.
Yet many have invested thousands upon thousands of hours Tweeting. When I tried Twitter I found that people were posting about a wide variety of subjects, such as products that they were selling, anger at the media, hate speech, and whatever Twitter deemed to be "trending" at the time. Twitter was a tool in which the poster could express themselves in a limited amount of characters, cross their fingers, and hope that the rest of the world was listening to what they had to say.
But, as time passes, less people are listening to each others Tweets. Twitter, like it's amalgamated step-cousin Facebook, is slowly declining. Why is that? Well, first of all, people are starting to wake up and realize that they do not want to literally sink their lives into such sites. Second, Twitter and Facebook are no longer novel and new. Third, (a)social media sites like Twitter are now just ways in which people are trying to sell you things. Much of what the user sees are products being peddled. Many people don't like that. They started using these sites to express themselves and be unique. Whether or not that purpose was actually achieved is up for debate. However, the reality is that the modern Twitter is a wasteland of, well, putrid waste. It's the sludge of the internet at its absolute finest. Twitter, like other (a)social media, has infiltrated the internet and the time is nigh for a clean up.
An Electronic Superfund Site?
The next time you log into Twitter, take a long look around. Have you noticed that much of the posts are trying to get you to buy something? How much of what you read on Twitter is just noise? Does being on Twitter really do anything for you? Think about it. Does the amount of time that you spend on Twitter pay for itself? Or are you just allowing your mind to grow more numb by the second?
I left Twitter because, like Facebook, I found that it did not belong in a healthy and meaningful life. If you are spending hours a day on these sites instead of actually living your life, you may want to reconsider your priorities.
Many people think that Twitter is an integral part of selling a product, whether it be something on their Etsy store or a book that they published and sell on the internet. The reality is that Twitter does very few people that much good. Here is why:
1. In order to make your product stand out, you have to also stand out yourself. This takes an inordinate amount of time and effort that may not be worth it. For example, ask yourself: Is it worth the time to create thousands upon thousands of Twitter connections, something that can take months of time, just to sell a few products?
2. If you try to friend too many people on Twitter, your account may be banned. At the very least, you will probably get a warning. Twitter wants people to add connections, but there is a double standard. You can not add too many people at once. This is a way in which Twitter gets you to have to spend days in order to slowly get a following. What a waste, huh?
3. The more people you follow, the more noise you hear. Many of your "connections" will be on Twitter merely to sell their own products. Many will not even be reading the tweets from the thousands of connections they already have. Your eyes will be sore.
4. After searching the internet, I found that Twitter has developed a reputation as being a place that is hard to sell on. In other words, good luck turning those obnoxious Tweets into sales conversions. However, that doesn't mean that MILLIONS of people are not trying to do that already.
5. You may find that many of your followers will eventually no longer be interested in following you or your product if you are pushing it too heavily. On the flip side, if you don't push it heavily, your posts will be lost in the sea of Twitter noise. Talk about being stuck between a rock and a hard place!
In short, unless you are somewhat masochistic, you may want to find other ways in which to advertise your product. (A)social media is an overrated method for selling. However, the sites would never tell you that. After all, that's how they make millions of dollars. Without users peddling products and paying for ads, these sites would buckle and fall into the abyss, along with the almost forgotten fads of the past.