Twitter: The Rise of the Personal Question That Isn’t


Recently I have noticed individuals tweeting as if they were people, asking questions and getting 120 or more comments. They ask a question like “What was your first OS” or “What is your current setup” or other questions. These are generic questions that everyone has an answer to, so everyone answers to them. Those answering think either that they will get a personal answer back, or that they will increase their visibility by answering to these questions where no one cares about the answer, except marketers.

These questions are simple, and brilliant in their deceptiveness. They give the illusion of a personal question, but require no timeline reading, no investment of time or attention. Just broadcast a generic question, and wait for answers.

When I see that a tweet has three hundred answers I usually don’t bother to answer. I look for one on one conversations that may expand to four or five people, but no more. I have no interest in listening to a crowd that does not listen back, and by listen I mean read tweets.

I come from the age of chatrooms and web forums, an age where we were part of communities where everyone knew our name. I come from the Cheers age of the web. “Hello everyone”, “Hey norm”. An age where presence and time meant visibility, rather than algorithm seduction.

The accounts that I start to see more and more, are just noise. They don’t give me a reason to spend hours on the web. They give me a desire to do something else.

This morning I did do something else. Clothes washing, looking at kindles and learning about what service workers can do, by a four year old course that seems out of date. It wasn’t part of learning path I would have dumped it and moved on. I find it hard to watch courses where I can’t get practical experience. I will find relevant information to put the theory I am learning, into practice.

And that’s it for today.


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