Sorry, I Can’t Hear You Through all the ‘Noise’

@twitter fail whale
(CC) flickr // michperu

This is a rant. I apologize for its length…

Does anyone remember when the big social networking Web sites came out? MySpace and Facebook were the elite two. I remember those days extremely clearly because I am part of the ‘Social Networking‘ generation.

I remember when Facebook first launched, yes, exclusively to colleges, pre-tagging of photos, etc. It was a great way to remember the people you met the night before, that you normally wouldn’t remember under certain circumstances. My generation coined the phrase ‘Facebook Me!”

My friends and I started the ‘I’m an Asshole’ group for SUNY Oswego and it has grown through the years, a very proud achievement of mine! As this group grew I realized then how this was going to be a big deal and somehow be the future of keeping in touch. As Social Chair of my Fraternity, I was in charge of planning all social events. I utilized Facebook for these and it became quite useful. Personal invites, seeing what people were doing, plus there was no paper trail of flyers, which was amazing. It was the future of party planning in college and we loved it. Facebook was a place to mess around with each other and fill up time during classes.

So lets fast forward to the work force, which I’m in now, and the emergence of ‘social media.’ I hate to boost anyone’s ego more than it already is, but someone came into my office to talk about social media.  He goes on and on about everything I already knew and then says one thing…

“Who here is on Twitter?” — No one says anything
“Why Not?”
Of course, I shout out, “TOO OLD!”
He says, “You would say that, you’re 22.”

Okay he does his twitter spiel. I’m like whatever, I’ll try it out, and well the rest is history.

So I have established myself pretty well on Twitter. It’s a nice place to escape, like Facebook, and such and I have made some AMAZING friends. As you all know you read my first post, you know I am what I am. I say what I want, when I want. So a few weeks ago I made one of my standard tweets about snot and was responded to with a comment that I am adding to the noise of “Social Media.”

Now this annoyed me. Why would something I tweeted be ‘Noise?’ I was confused so I asked what was this “noise” that this person had spoken of. I got a response boiled down to, ‘I’ve decided to add to the conversation, but you can do whatever you like.’  They also wanted to take it offline, to avoid adding more noise.

Now I understand taking it offline, president of their own company and all. Looking at their tweets this person doesn’t respond to a lot of people, so I should feel privileged. But I don’t understand how a simple tweet that I made is considered “Noise.”

Must I remind everyone what Twitter was made for? Does anyone remember the Twitter video that used to be on the homepage? (I can’t find it)

Now this person also mentioned that they chose to join the conversation.  Well that could have been accomplished with, “Want a tissue?” (which @tjdietderich would have said) and I would have probably peed a little with laughter and probably followed them. I don’t even follow this person…

So I ask you all this – Who created the rules of Twitter, Facebook, etc? NO ONE! There are no rules. It’s not like I was @starbucks tweeting “I served hot piss instead of hot cider today…”

Get the picture? You don’t like what someone talks about, simple solution. UNFOLLOW! I do it all the time.

May the force be with you…

CT

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  • If you're part of the social networking generation, your memory would start much earlier than Facebook–and even before MySpace was born. I refer to Friendster and Classmates.com. Or earlier still, to the late '90s and a site that started it all: SixDegrees.com. That was a fun one.

    Just saying. I agree with the rest of your rant.

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  • Thanks for mentioning that Ari. Seems like social media/networking is like sex — each generation thinks they've invented it and hold the secret :). Happy Friday.

  • I would not have offered you a tissue. I carry handkerchiefs like a gentleman.

    I think that in the center of your angry rant is a broader discussion of the follow/unfollow culture. You have a good point; if you don't like the way someone's using Twitter, then unfollowing is a simple way to process that. I mean, knowing you, an unfollow would be much easier than training you not to share TMI. (Not that I'd want you to; your bizarre tweets are very dear to me.)

    But there's also the question of rule-making in a new environment. You know how in a disaster movie, when everything's changed, someone always tries to establish the new rules of the land? Like Jack in season 1 of Lost. It's just a natural response to a new landscape, I guess.

  • Thanks for mentioning that Ari. Seems like social media/networking is like sex — each generation thinks they've invented it and hold the secret :). Happy Friday.

  • I would not have offered you a tissue. I carry handkerchiefs like a gentleman.

    I think that in the center of your angry rant is a broader discussion of the follow/unfollow culture. You have a good point; if you don't like the way someone's using Twitter, then unfollowing is a simple way to process that. I mean, knowing you, an unfollow would be much easier than training you not to share TMI. (Not that I'd want you to; your bizarre tweets are very dear to me.)

    But there's also the question of rule-making in a new environment. You know how in a disaster movie, when everything's changed, someone always tries to establish the new rules of the land? Like Jack in season 1 of Lost. It's just a natural response to a new landscape, I guess.