I’ve been using Twitter for some time now, both for personal and professional purposes. When I was running my own business and operating as a freelancer, Twitter became an extension of my online identity and advertising; I used it to promote my business, show off work I’d done, and generally try to show myself to be a really clever bloke. My personal Twitter account was more for family and friends.
Now, just recently I’ve not been all that active on Twitter or Facebook. Life has just been too hectic, and having spent all day working at a computer actually the last thing on my mind when I get home is “right, I really need to sit in front of a computer for the rest of the evening”. I’ve also had very little to say for myself, so even when I do find myself sat at a computer in the evening, I can rarely think of anything worthwhile to say. The same goes for this blog, which hasn’t really been regularly updated in yonks.
A few days ago I was chatting to two of my best friends on Skype, catching up on stuff. It was wonderful to see them both, and it reminded me just how much I miss them, and how irritating it is that Colchester is just so far away. Whoever decided that 200 miles needed to be such a long distance clearly needs their head examined. In fact, it occurred to me that Anne-Marie and Sarah are still my closest friends (apart from Ellie of course), despite the distance and the shameful lack of regular conversation. We really ought to keep in touch more often.
And then it hit me – I’ve been doing Twitter all wrong.
For some time now I’ve been operating under the mantra that “no one wants to hear about what you had for breakfast”. It’s been drilled into me that Twitter is meant for sharing important and useful information, and that you have to offer something unique and intellectually valuable for people to follow you and retweet your ideas. Well, if the goal of your existence on Twitter is to attract clients and do business and generally be seen on Twitter as a minor celebrity, then yes, by all means, that’s exactly what you should do. But that’s not me any more. The only people interested in following me now are my friends and family. I’m not interested in anyone else. And I don’t have to prove my intelligence to my friends, they already know my foolishness, they don’t want to hear about the latest trends in website performance or PHP coding. My Twitter followers are like Anne-Marie and Sarah, who want to hear about those mundane everyday moments that often get missed even in a Skype video call. True, they may still not care what I had for breakfast, but there are other parts of my life that they will be interested in.
I’ve found my purpose again. And hopefully, with that newfound confidence in my own online existence, you should hear more from me in future. And if not, feel free to shout at me in the comments to tell me off.