Twitter University Night Classes

Senior man sitting on a chair and using a laptop Model Release: Yes Property Release: NAEver notice how Twitter chats are a lot like night classes in college?  Night classes happen once a week and often begin with small talk.  We even show up early to catch each other up on the current events since last week.  Twitter chats are very similar.  We tune in once a week and make introductions detailing where we work, and perhaps a random fact just for fun.  For example, “Hey #chat, I’m Stina from NYC and work as a travel publicist.  Oh, and I’ve kissed Ricky Martin!”  Okay sure I may not use that fact (yes, it is true, take a look at my bio) but you get the point.  It’s meant to be fun.  Chats are meant to be informative and laid back.  But what happens when having fun simply becomes noise?

I’ve noticed in a lot of chats the witty banter, especially in the beginning, “Hey John, haven’t seen you in a while.  How ya been? How are the kids? #chat”.

Please explain to me why the chat hashtag is used?  Does this benefit anyone trying to participate in the chat?  I’m all for making small talk with the simple “How are you and glad you made it!”  but when you start asking about personal stuff or throwing in inside jokes and using the hashtag, it becomes noise.  Simply remove the hashtag and continue the conversation on Twitter without clogging up the stream.

My other pet peeve: cursing.  Now my family’s from NYC and I grew up around friends/family members that would fit right in at a party of drunken sailors or perhaps the Real House Wives of New Jersey.  That doesn’t mean I curse all the time.  There’s just a time and place for such language and a chat is not one of them.  It simply takes away from the point you’re trying to make.  If you’re trash talking about the upcoming football game, go right ahead and bring out your potty mouth! (Go Jets!)

So here’s my question, do you agree or disagree?  Am I just being nit-picky?  And to all my friends that do moderate chats, how do you make sure that chats are lighthearted and beneficial to all parties?  Are there rules that you set prior to beginning the chat?  Chats should be fun but sometimes having fun can just be noise.

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