By writing this post, I realise that I am risking going against the grain but my blog is all about the conversation and for me, it’s very much a two way thing. I hand on heart love hearing what you think and of course, that is whether you agree with me or not. In fact, hearing opposing views can only ever make for a more interesting conversation, surely? And sometimes, 140 characters are just not enough.
Oh dear, where do I start?
I suppose I should really start by saying that I would loathe to be one of those people that tells others how they should or shouldn’t use Twitter *cringe* but I just feel like I need to get this off my chest.
So basically a Twitter ‘party’ is when a person or organisation arranges for lots of their followers to all come together at a set time to tweet away using an assigned hashtag for a good hour or so. In the days of old (I am a Twitter dinosaur after all) they were mostly used to help to promote charity campaigns and I even think I might have joined in myself now and then way back when. Using social media for good and all that jazz – spreading the word, raising awareness, just a bit of fun once in a very blue moon. But more and more, these Twitter parties seem to have been turned into a bit of a cash cow. Well, I say that but of course I can only presume that the people organising these mass tweeting sessions must be paid quite handsomely for them to bother doing it? They sit back while their party ‘guests’ tweet away with their hints and tips related to whatever they happen to be flogging while they retweet away. Sometimes there are prizes up for grabs or sometimes people just join in for the fun of it.
Part of me thinks, do you know what? Good on them. It’s money for old rope when the host’s followers, many of whom are indeed seen as social media influencers, are happy to promote their client for free and do all the tweeting for them. But man alive does it make for a boring old Twitter feed. When they used to take place just every now and then for what could be deemed a good cause, they were very easy to ignore but it feels like there is a ‘party’ every other day at the minute and it bores the pants off me. Suddenly, social media seems well, very anti-social.
While we’re at it, can I just say that ‘party’ is a great misnomer? Swapping hints and tips about something completely tedious, I don’t know – off the top of my head let’s say turkey, does not make it any more interesting. Honestly, I’ve been to some spectacularly awful parties in my time but they’d still beat this hands down. Sausage on a stick anyone? Bombarding your followers with tweet after tweet isn’t actually all that sociable really. And parties tend to be well, quite sociable occasions in my experience. Maybe they need to be given a new name? Just a thought.
With so many of the people I follow in the same circles, it’s fair to say that the vast majority of them tweet along. Whilst I know that I’m definitely not alone in hating these parties, it’s fair to say that I am in the minority. My timeline is testament to that by the very fact that my timeline becomes flooded by the things. Tweet after tweet after tweet. But it has to be said though, it is actually the relentless retweeting of what feels like every single one of those tweets by the hosts that is the most annoying bit. When your timeline is so saturated it means that ‘real’ tweets get lost along the way and besides which, when the majority of the people that you usually converse with are busy with their ‘party’ they probably don’t want to be interrupted by your anecdote about the window cleaner. Such is my glamorous life *cough*
Of course, Twitter is what you make it. It can only ever be as good as the people that you follow. Yes, I have the option to unfollow everyone taking part (but that would be a huge shame as I’m clearly following them because I enjoy their usual ramblings) Or I could of course *gasp* step away from Twitter for the hour (fair enough but actually I quite like dipping in and out whenever I choose and not around scheduled Twitter parties) There is also the option of me using another platform that allows me to apply filters to mute either the people tweeting along or the hashtag being used (but I actually love the Twitter app on my phone and don’t want to have to move over to Tweetdeck or the like because I can’t use a muting filter for an hour a day)
So after blabbering on and on (are you still awake at the back..?) I think I have come to the unfortunate conclusion that it’s a case of put up and shut up. While ever somebody can make a living from hosting these ‘parties’ I guess they won’t be stopping any time soon, despite the fact that they will inevitably alienate some. Hey ho. Such is the interwebz. And such is life.