When Twitter announced that its character limit would expand from 140 to 280, I was immediately surprised. It completely changes the way we use Twitter, but my instant reaction could definitely be described as “apathetic with a sarcastic twist.”
And then I realized – this is going to change the way we use Twitter. Of course! It will be less annoying! That must be a good thing…
But it could really be a disaster. Let me explain.
A common cause of irritation is this simple phrase:
“Annoying to talk here – send me a message.”
All this social subterfuge made me think of how I use different online social media in general. So here’s my basic outline of the day-to-day digital flirtations.
The original – but not necessarily better. I think Facebook is like those old clothes that you have guarded in the wardrobe… you know that you barely use it, but you can not get rid of it. Facebook was very cool back in the day. When it finally opened for us regular schmucks without an email address, school was quite the occasion. Now, however, Facebook is more about your circle of friends and wider acquaintances. About 30% of posts appear to be someone asking for a recommendation.
Personally I love Tumblr – it’s kind of an online blog packed with interesting stuff. I do not really like Pinterest – it’s really cool, though – because it seems like a lot more effort… If I’m collecting photos that I like, then I do not want to have to implement an elaborate filing system, thank you. Tumblr is quite “everything you’re looking for is here.” If there’s a song I’m playing on the same day or an amazing set of photos (or a text post), posting it on Tumblr is my online equivalent of picking up a blu-tack and putting it on my bedroom wall. It’s also a pretty secure way to communicate with a lot more people without having to give too many details – I love me a question box.
Instagram is fairly simple as far as I’m concerned. As humans, we’re usually pretty visual creatures – having gone from vintage status to Facebook or MSN, letting people know what we’re doing. Now we can just take a picture of it instead. Worth a thousand words – at least, that’s what they say. Basically, it just takes your life and makes it more beautiful. But remember that browsing someone’s Instagram feed tends to be a pink lens version of actual events.
Whatsapp is good for one thing – group messages. You can send photos and videos for free and see who has received and read what. Easy organization and kind of the phone equivalent of a non-structured game of shouting. Except loads quieter. And with a mute button for when everything gets too much.
Back to Twitter. Personally I use this a lot for news – of course there are trending topics for more pop culture stuff, but I follow some real news and I think it’s one of the easiest ways to keep up with at least a vague notion of what’s going on in the world. It’s also the best platform to get the word out for a lot of people, fast, so it’s a great way to help spread messages and awareness when something unpleasant hits the fan.
That’s just me. It would be interesting to know if I’m missing any trick with my use of social media. If you’ve crafted a social strategy to save us all, now that the good DM ship decided to allow trial texts, please send a tweet to @Fuzzable with your smart plans. I’ll compile a collection.