Sunday, October 26, 2014

Why You're Not My Favorite

I want to take a moment to explain a certain aspect of Twitter--specifically, my method of using it: the "Favorite".

I've always been aware of a HUGE discrepancy between the amount of Favorites my tweets receive and the amount I give out. This is not in any way meant to be a brag, humble or otherwise. I don't mean to say that I get a ton of favorites, but I give out almost none. Seriously, in the six and a half years I've been using Twitter I've marked 83 tweets as Favorites.

I use the Favorite star mainly as a bookmarking function. Maybe it's something somebody linked to, and I want to look at it in more depth later. Or the link is something I want to be able to keep and quickly find as a valuable reference.

Occasionally--very occasionally--I will use the Favorite as a way of marking something that was extremely funny or profound or touched some part of my awareness in a particularly strong way.

None of this is meant to criticize the way other people use Favorites. It seems the Twitter Favorite has become the Facebook Like: a way of saying "I agree with this" or "Good one!" or "LOL" or even "I have read this." I probably don't treat it this way because I'm not Facebook-compatible.

When I first joined Facebook it was primarily as a way to stay in touch with my family, since they don't use any other social media or even e-mail--except for a few occasions a year. There were certain aspects of Facebook that seemed counter-intuitive to me, a computer programmer and fairly regular web site user. Over the years, in my opinion, they have not made it better by any stretch. In fact, I think they keep making it worse with every change they incorporate. It got to the point where I found Facebook SO counter-intuitive--even clunky--that I just couldn't use it anymore. I've since deactivated my Facebook account, which is one step away from deleting the account. (I may return at some point, but not for now.)

Anyway, any time I tried to use Twitter Favorites as a Like, it felt so forced and artificial on my part. I just couldn't do it. Since social media is a tool that everyone uses differently according to their interests and desires, I decided I wasn't going to try to force it.

However, this doesn't mean I don't want to interact with people or give kudos where appropriate. If I can think of a way to latch onto a joke to keep it going, I might reply with such. If I can't, I usually try to at least make some comment to indicate "interesting take" or even as the kids say, "laughing loudly out loud" or however that goes. If it really tickles me and I think other people might enjoy something, I'll retweet it (as long as it hasn't already been RTed a million times.)

Don't make the mistake of thinking this means I think I'm better than those that simply click the star. This just fits better into how I do things. I do enjoy seeing when people Favorite something I've tweeted, because I take that to mean that it resonated with them in some way. And often the things you write will resonate with me; I just have a different way of trying to let you know that.

I realize I'm probably putting way more thought into this than anyone who reads my Twitter feed. But now it's out there for anyone to read and discover why I might--mistakenly, I hope--appear to not give the same Twitter love I receive.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Feel Free to Stop at Any Time

Dear planet Earth,

Here is an off-the-cuff list of things I am tired of seeing in the news. It's not that I want the news to stop informing us of occurrences of these items, I want these items to not occur.

  • accidental shooting of self or family members due to improper handling of a firearm
  • missing females between the ages of 13 and 35
  • crap cops (a sensational minority) fomenting mistrust of good cops (a vast majority)
  • ISIS beheadings
  • ebola
  • ISIS anything
  • race-based violence
  • sexual orientation-based violence
  • perv teachers
  • Secret Service screw-ups