Twitter is still one of the more brilliant components of a personal learning network. For example, the links to good stories and articles, websites about new innovative products and methods would be a 24×7 job to find if you’re doing it alone. This, plus the collective knowledge and memory of your followers still makes Twitter an invaluable asset. The closeness and supportiveness of some of the relationships within Twitter are very clear and obvious. Peer knowledge is unsurpassed as the way to stay ‘with-it’ and informed. Without doubt the talent and professionalism of many tweeps shines and inspires.
There is a sense of familiarity and take-for-granted creeping in. A bit like after the first half dozen dates – no more taking extra time to appear at your best, no changing outfit six times till one looks right, no more sucking in the gut when being photographed, no more finding flowers and small gifts to bring along. Some tweeps have started feeling comfortable. Too comfortable. When the useful is interspersed with absolute nonsensical rubbish about someone’s kid being toilet trained and woots when they don’t crap themselves and how someone has a headache so they are not the happiest little vegemites in the jar, the system has become an old dressing gown. I don’t get the value of being told that someone is now in a taxi. Unless it’s the first and only taxi ride you’ve ever had and you need to share, we all know about taxis – keep it to yourself. I don’t see the value of knowing that they ate wheeties for breakfast – and please don’t include that the reason is to keep you ‘regular’. I have no interest that you think your toothbrush needs replacing – you’re grown up, go buy one. I don’t care to share those sorts of details about life’s ablutions with any one. I even spare my beautiful everloving wife the finer details about how I neatly shaved my top lip this morning and remembered to put the toilet seat down.
Surely it is possible to be a close-nit supportive group with all the tremendous benefits that brings without resorting to mundane, inane, dull nonsense. If you haven’t anything constructive to say, don’t keep up your tweet numbers by tweeting the dull. Like my gran said, if you haven’t anything fruitful to say don’t say anything at all. Twitter isn’t a competition, there is no prize for having the most tweets, and trying to have the most tweets by being a twirp doesn’t make you worthy of a gold star on your forehead.
When face to face with your PLN members, you have good conversations, but I’d bet they never resort to “oh dear the hem on my second best dress has a slipped a stitch” – so why should Twitter do the same?
Just a thought…