I’ll state upfront, I love Twitter. I’ve actually had various twitter accounts over the years though never for interacting, just for keeping an eye open during natural disasters and the like. It wasn’t until we moved out onto property 2 years ago that I actually started to interact to counter-act the social isolation I was experiencing due to not being in town & having friends drop in all the time.
Over the past two years I have been fascinated by it. Often I will be watching something on TV and just quietly follow particular streams on Twitter during the ads, it can often be hilarious. The whole ‘popularity’ contest that goes on with many really cracks me up. My favourites are all the so-called Twitterari who make out like they don’t care about popularity, tweet often swarmy sarcastic tweets out into the twittersphere to no-one in particular so we can all bask in the glory of their intelligence or scythe like wit. On the rare occasion when they do actually interact it will of course be only with someone of their own Twitter calibre.
Following this stuff, truly cracks me up. A good example of this is the below from Crikey's Bernard Keane, which I can only assume was in relation to Van Badham’s Guardian piece “Joe Hockey's victory cigar blows his everyman image up in smoke”, (I could be wrong but that was the article being discussed by many at the time?)
Like any good fisherman, Mr Keane knew exactly what to toss out into the Twittersphere to get a ‘bite’. I don’t know the man obviously as I am just a lowly Tweep though do enjoy some of the points he often raises. The ensuing battlelines that followed were fun to watch though and unlike as is presented in mainstream media where Twitter is depicted as full of attacking trolls, it was actually other Twitterati that seemed to be having a go at Mr Keane, who of course enjoys retweeting the comments, just to stir the pot that little bit more.
I mean, seriously folks, is Van Badham the best you can do?— Bernard Keane (@BernardKeane) May 10, 2014
Let’s be honest with ourselves, there is nothing more enjoyable than watching a Twitterati fight, I am sure that is where the call of *popcorn* originated on Twitter LOL! What I don’t get is why so many people will follow some of the so-called Twitterati?
I mean, a case like Keane I can sort of understand, he often tweets pieces from Crikey & other news items of interest, so there is a value there. But for many others, they never interact, if you asked them a question they would never deign to answer it, they just tweet their ‘stunning intellectual or cool’ (well they think they are) tweets out into the world thinking others are just blinded by their brilliance?
In reality, most of these are not actually celebrities past the gates of the little blue bird. The average person out there in the real world would have no idea who they are, not even recognize their names. Yet, like back in School, they are the cool kids in Senior and even if you despised one of them you would never say boo or even utter a word against them in case it got out and then became the target of their belittling, as they do, to make themselves look good. Many of us look back on those years and wonder, how the hell you could have been intimidated by the ‘cool kids’ and have a bit of a karma laugh when you find out down the track they didn’t go on to rule the world. Yet for some reason, many are still caught in this fake popularity cycle.
This Twitterati phenomena doesn’t just happen in the Political Left/Right argy bargy. You will find it in all sorts of arena’s on Twitter, Technology, Feminism, Diversity, Racial, Sport, Indigious issues etc., Some of these Twitterati are worth following as their vast knowledge and experience expands your understanding of a particular issue – so I would prefer they actually had another term you could call them instead of Twitterati - though some are just really loud know-it-alls who seem to have become accidently ‘known’ and cow naysayers through brute force, ala the cool kids school example above and in my view, really don’t deserve the follower audience they seem to have accumulated?
I would love a good sociologist (hint hint Nick) to seriously look at this dynamic on Twitter?
Is it an age old human nature issue that many have an inbuilt need to ‘follow’ literally, personalities that seem stronger or have lives that the vast unwashed aspire to, so vicariously live through them? How else can you explain the rise of the Paris Hiltons or Kardashians who offer absolutely nothing of worth to the world? I understand the bystander enjoyment of watching these Twitterati try to outgun each other online, that is pretty much sport. What I don’t understand is why so many of them have thousands or in some cases tens of thousands of followers?
Personally, I think it is polite to follow back someone who has followed you. People complain about too much cluttering their stream, but you can always have ‘lists’ and cut down that stream to a closer focus if you wish, though often cruising a whole stream can be illuminating and you find all sorts of gems. One thing I have noticed with Twitterati is they rarely follow back anyone & the few they do follow are obviously those they feel they can share that rarefied Twitter air with. In fact, it almost seems like they are proud of the fact that so many follow them and yet they follow very few. I don’t know about you, but that seems pretty much like a tosser attitude to me?
Obviously I am not talking about dissemination Twitter accounts here, that is a fair call, they are just tweeting news links, sports scores etc, but for ‘people’ Twitter accounts, why do you bother following a Tweep that will never follow you back, in fact, would never actually acknowledge your existence except as a number in their growing follower count?
Personally, people like I have described above I just add to a list, as I will often be in the mood for some light entertainment so will cruise a particular list, but I won’t actually follow them. Seriously? If you do follow the sort of people I have described above, let me know why as I find that whole concept fascinating? Sure, I am just as up for a *popcorn* sitting of Chris Kenny vs Scott Ludlam as the next person, but I am not going to add to Mr Kenny’s follower count.
So what big fish in our little Twitter pond do you follow? Why do you follow them? Better question, why are some of them Twitterati in the first place when in the real world the local bloke giving the fishing report on a regional radio station would be more popular?
In the manner of those Twitter peeps more important than me “DISCUSS” ;-)
Disclaimer: Not actually dissing Bernard Keane or Van Badham above, that tweet just happened to kick off the train of thought in regard to popularity & Twitterati in general.
Spreading the word
- Please show your appreciation by following and supporting @lynlinking who works very hard to disseminate both blog posts & relevant media reports on a daily basis :)
Thinkyness came about from the charming @Perorationer who often tweets Jan & Noely in the morning with a random article he has found that would make you think, could be anything from Women in the 1800's to a potential world wide wine shortage which we would then discuss, obviously this led on to us tweeting each other #Thinkyness articles [...] more
All articles displayed on this website are the personal opinion of the writers and do not reflect the official position of any businesses or organisations any writers may be associated with.