Dangerous Territory

MiMi
I was asleep

I know I’m stepping into dangerous territory, as many of my regular readers aren’t interested in Twitter. If you’re in that group, you can feel free to skip to the gallery and see some of the pictures I took after our first snowstorm. For those of you who remain interested: I think Twitter may have ruined the Twitter experience.

OK, maybe it’s not totally ruined, but ruined enough. It’s like they dropped the set of six wine glasses you liked, and four of them broke into painful shards. They’re still good glasses, but you can’t use them as often.

It’s not Twitter’s fault, although it clearly is. I understand, Twitter is trying to be relevant, i.e. more Facebooky, but, in most cases, this isn’t working for me.

If you’re one of the non-Twitter folks who have hung in with me – thank you – and let me explain. About a month ago, Twitter doubled its 140-character limit to 280-characters. We’re still talking characters, not words – 280 words was more than enough for President Lincoln to give a homework assignment to every 8th-grader ever. But, 280 characters seems earth-shattering. It seems like, instead of carefully crafted thoughts, I’m reading sloppy, rambling manifestos. I think the Unibomber could have used Twitter in its present state.

The reason I say Twitter didn’t totally ruin Twitter, is because there are a couple of scenarios where the 140 character limit was troubling. The most troubling for me was sharing other peoples’ blogs via Twitter. That was especially true when the blog titles and/or the author’s name were long. Now I can say why I liked @Norm_Frampton ‘s #ThursdayDoors post. That’s nice.

However, for every Norm Frampton, there are a ton of short-name jackasses who want to blather about Donald, this-or-that cause, this-or-that-thing-for-sale or some barely-hanging-on-the-fringe opinion supported by dubious facts. I’m now seeing tweets with 10 or more hashtags. A tweet should have one hashtag, maybe two, but if I see three, I think “spam” or “SAIP” – if you’re not familiar with that acronym, my best friend and I coined that to tag self-appointed-important-people. You know the ones, the people who speak with authority, but they carry their authority with them.

The absolute worst use of Twitter that was exacerbated by the doubling of characters was #GivingTuesday.

Who started that? #BlackFriday was bad enough when it happened on the Friday after Thanksgiving. BlackFriday now starts on the last weekend in October, according to my inbox. Then they added #CyberMonday, which is stupid since most of the people shopping on Friday were shopping on-line. Then, #GivingTuesday entered the mix, but as far as I can tell it isn’t about giving at all. It’s more like #TakingTuesday, or #GiveMeMoneyTuesday.

Twitter became painful on #GivingTuesday. Almost every tweet I saw was from someone asking me to give to them or their personal cause. PBS radio and TV stations, the universities I attended, the university our daughter attended, and umpteen GoFundMe pages.

It wouldn’t be in keeping with the public service nature of this blog, if I didn’t offer a solution. You know, the old “if you aren’t part of the solution, you’re part of the problem” thing.

By the way, I never subscribed to the limited thinking behind that sentiment. I’m not the reason highway bridges are rusty, trains are late, airlines are giving us less legroom, or microwave popcorn smells better than it tastes.

I digress. Twitter, now that you #failed, here’s how you could #fixIt:

Allow the extra characters when tweeting about articles on websites, blog posts, or newspapers.

Allow extra characters inherently by never counting the characters in a URL.

Allow extra characters by not counting Twitter handles or the first hashtag.

Count the characters in the second hashtag twice, the third hashtag three times, and so on and so forth.

End of rant. I’m still using Twitter, but if you’re one of the folks that I follow, keep in mind that I often skip longer tweets. Put that stuff on Facebook.


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103 thoughts on “Dangerous Territory

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  1. I have a Twitter account but can’t remember the last time I checked it. And, I’ll do everyone a favor this Monday morning and not voice any of my opinions about various social media sites. That’s my gift to you this week. :-) Great photos, and you must have been cheering loud and proud last night when your Steelers won.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks Judy, not for not voicing your opinion, but for dropping by and taking the time to comment. I send your posts out on twitter on occasion, if I’m reading at a laptop. That action is harder on my phone.

      Last night’s game was a heart attack in progress, as is often the case when we play the Ravens. I hope we don’t see them again in the playoffs. It’s bad enough worrying about NE. That’s next for us, so I might not be speaking to you in a week ;-)

      How did you guys make out with the snow? It looked like it was heavier to the east.

      Like

  2. I’m not a Twitter person, but I can understand. When I’m trying to read a number of posts in a limited time frame, posts that go on page after page or the person puts in 10-20 posts a day – I have to skip around so I can get to as many people as I can.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Total agreement GP. I read one post by each person, before I consider reading posts 2 through umpteen. I don’t worry about word count, but I try to keep my posts shorter if I can. It’s a valuable exercise to try to send the message without too many words.

      Liked by 1 person

          1. In the beginning I started t, but Pierre told me to tone it down and things got better after that, so I try to stay within 400-700 words. If I have more to say about it, I make an additional post, that’s why it is taking so long for me to get into January 1945!!!

            Liked by 1 person

  3. I fully endorse your suggested method of counting characters on twitter. It is what I would describe as a good engineering solution :-)
    Oh, and I am stealing your “SAIP” acronym – “…the people who speak with authority, but they carry their authority with them” brilliantly put!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Beautiful photos Dan, i wondered why suddenly I could complete a short sentence when I shared a link to someon’s blog post. I don’t tweet much except to share posts. The most frivolous thing I’ve ever done was live tweet during the last episode of Grimm! I’m SO out of all the loops.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Pretty snowfall, Dan. Yours looks like a much wetter snow than what we had here. #itscoldinwisconsin #winter #snowfall

    I hope I didn’t break any of your rules…I mean, suggestions…on Twitter. #DansRules #Keepitsimplepeople #Ithinkijustwentovermylimit #checkmeoutonfacebook

    Liked by 2 people

    1. See, this is why I stay connected with you – just the right amount of snark :)

      The snow was dry, but the storm changed to freezing rain at the end which packed everything down.

      Looks like we both pulled out an unlikely win yesterday. You guys get AR back next week, maybe the dream is still alive. #seeYouInFebruary ?

      Like

        1. I know all about that. 4 out of 5 games where we’re kicking a FG in the last seconds is getting old. We can’t let NE get up on us. There’s no coming back against that team. Our D is hurting without Shazier, but we have to work through that. Pray for him and make the tackle.

          Like

  6. For reasons I don’t understand, WP has escalated its offensive on me. Not only can I no longer create posts in the ‘new’ editor, now I can no longer *like* other people’s posts. Hopefully I can still comment.

    I’m not a Twitter user. I tried for a while and decided there was just too much “noise” out there and none of it appealed to me … just a lot of people talking at each other but not saying anything.

    I like your acronym SAIP. It ties in nicely with my “Centre of the Universe Syndrome” … ie people who behave like the universe revolves around them.
    And I also like your photos. We marvelled this past weekend that it was colder to the south of us than we had. Your snow photos are really pretty – especially the 1st one with the tree-lined street and the sunlight shining through the trees … but I’m particularly glad it’s YOUR snow. This morning I woke up to a gentle dusting on the ground. Now that’s MY kind of snow 😉

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Joanne. I was about to exit Twitter until they added lists. I follow a “Daily” list of people who I can rely on to share content I like to read. I have to tweak that list now, to get rid of the SAIPs and people suffering from CoUS (I like that). 280 characters seems to be just too tempting to them.

      I like our snow, but I particularly like that it fell on a Saturday.

      WP has been cranky lately. Yesterday, it stopped letting me like posts. I could leave comments, but I couldn’t like them unless I pushed “Like” in the email. That meant two trips, because I don’t like things I haven’t read, ‘cuz you never know if someone goes off the deep end ;)

      Like

  7. hahaha #LovetheRant! Ok, I have a twitter account and I have followers but I am Twitter Ignorant and I like it that way. Too many people with too few brain cells seem to live there. It’s sometimes hard to find the intelligent ones.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. I am so behind the curve #idontdotwtterorfacebook. :) Pictures are beautiful. We had snow and now frost on everything–which is worse than snow. At least the snow melts fast. The frost requires scraping. My VISA card can only scrape so much….. who owns a scraper down here?!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Ruth. You can (and I do) configure Twitter in a reader so you only see the stuff that usually is good. I just wasn’t aware of how some of the folks I follow were going to go ape over those extra characters.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Has Donald Trump realised yet he can double his daily dose of diatribe? It was bad enough before… not really the most professional way for a President to run a country, in my humble opinion…

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks. If you start with Twitter, get something like Tweetdeck or Hootsuite so you can create and view Lists. You can create lists in Twitter of selected followers or people that you follow. Then you can narrow the stream to a vetted group. I have a list called “Daily” that I move people in and out of, as they go through phases. That list is much smaller than the complete list of people that I follow. It makes Twitter much simpler.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Huh?! Hey, what did I do???
    I appreciated the skill and imagination it took to be clever, funny, interesting, or relevant with only 140 characters. Whether doubling that limit is a good or a bad thing? Well for me the jury is still out on that.
    Lovely pics Dan :-)

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You hold the record among the people I follow for Twitter-handle-Hashtag combined length – but I always managed to make it work. And, since you’re one of my very favorites, I got no complaints. Thanks for dropping by, Norm.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Love the photos, Dan, and glad you’re not being overwhelmed by snow. Still waiting for a good bunch here, but it doesn’t look like any time soon. I’m not on Twitter and have no interest, but I can see that adding more characters takes away the positives of brevity. That being said, the only Twitter I’m interested in is that of the avian Starbucks in our bush outside and I’m good with that. I have enough keeping up today with email, Facebook, and blogging, to say nothing of encounters of the actual human kind.

    Happy Monday!

    janet

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Dan, that first photo is gorgeous. They’re all great, but that one could be on a Hallmark card.

    I was in my 70’s when my s-in-l gave me his old iPad. I’m thrilled to have found blogs and could follow directions to follow some! I don’t do Twitter or Facebook. I know, I’m such a dinosaur.

    I get such a kick out of your posts. And I got to meet Maddie and MiMi and MuMu, and of course, Sammy and Sally. Who needs hashtags?!!

    Thanks for the fun read. —-Ginger—-

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Ginger. I’m glad you liked the pictures. I took so many on that road, but the sunlight kept changing and I was “ooh that’s a nice shot” – I use Twitter and Facebook, but they each have their purpose, and it seems I connect with different people in each service. Some are in all, but it’s a mix. If I could only be in one place, this community would suit me fine.

      Like

  12. Beautiful pictures of the snowfall. ALMOST makes me wish it snowed here.

    I’m not on Twitter (I think I have an account and a single post dated back in 2014). I do enjoy the funny tweets (at 140 characters) that are shared on facebook sometimes… some people are really clever. Now I feel bad about writing a positive post about Giving Tuesday. I thought it was a great idea, but I admit, I felt a bit overwhelmed with all the asks that day (it wasn’t that way last year).

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m glad you liked the pictures of the snow. I’ll have a few more tomorrow, from a different vantage point. Those may make you want to underline the ‘ALMOST’ part.

      Don’t feel bad about your Giving Tuesday post. I think it did change a lot. I don’t remember getting so many direct requests last year. One college I attended sent an email saying “We’d like to encourage our alumni to give today” – which sounded nice, until I clicked on the link and they were encouraging me to give to them. I was expecting something like “here’s 10 charities we think you should know about” but no, “give us money.”

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Kirt. Your posts are a good example of when I like the extra characters. 140 is enough to say what I want, but sometimes it was a squeeze after the title, URL and your handle. Still, I liked the challenge :)

      Liked by 1 person

  13. I used to be on Twitter but couldn’t stick to 140 characters as I’m too verbose, and I don’t suppose double that would make much difference. But I know what you mean about posts taken up almost entirely by hashtags as it’s started to happen in Facebook too.

    Love the photos… could have looked at more. :)

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Val. You’re talking to a guy that usually writes several hundred words on his way to One-Liner Wednesday, so I understand. Still, I think the short message form made a difference. Quick and easy to read, short succinct message. I liked it.

      There will be a few more snow pics tomorrow for 1LinerWeds.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. I love Twitter. But in moderation, cause it’s mostly junk food for my brain :P
    I stay more with the weirdos and the funnies, so I don’t see a lot of spammy stuff. Like anything else, if I’m not intrigued by the first few words, I don’t read on.
    Luffly snow photos, Dan.
    And you’re so right about “microwave popcorn smells better than it tastes”!

    Liked by 2 people

  15. I have both a Twitter and Facebook account. I like Twitter better mostly because the members have much better manners. I didn’t realize they had upped the number of characters. 140 character is a little too slim for me sometimes but Doubling it is a little extreme. I like your idea of not count URLs

    Liked by 2 people

  16. On Twitter I’m finding the same thing with the overuse of hashtags. I’m not a fan of them to begin with. I only use them judiciously, so seeing so many of them on a tweet does not please me. I’ve always liked Twitter, but this new expanded character count has turned it into something rambling, instead of succinct– which is what made it unique. Now Twitter is just kind of another social media… ho hum.

    Liked by 2 people

  17. Some great points again, Dan. Sounds like #GivingTuesday gave out. I agree with you about the 280 character limit with a comment in a blog retweet, for example. It had been a challenge for me as well. Love the photos.

    Liked by 2 people

  18. I have mixed feelings about the 280-character limit, Dan. I agree that many people will use it to ramble, but I have to admit, it’s a godsend for my page. I have spent years making some very painstaking edits to quotes by Serling and others, and having some extra space really helps me. Very much looking forward to it during the upcoming TZ marathon!

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Great winter photographs, Dan. I’m not into twitter, never have been and, I’m quite sur, never will be. I’ve even quit posting occasionally on FB, except for my blog. I can’t say why for sure, except that there are too many books I want to read, walks I want to take and batches of cookies I want to make to be interacting with social media all the time. Yikes, I’m sounding like my grumpy grandfather.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Ha ha – I think you sound good. Those are very good goals. My wife does nothing on social media other than edit my posts. I do less on Facebook than I was. I still like Twitter but I’m adjusting whom I follow

      Like

  20. I’m not a Twitter person, mostly because of the limited word-count :)
    My blog posts tend to be long :)
    Now that the word-count police allows us to more…
    LOVE your snow gallery. No amount of words can match the beauty of fresh snow.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. I also liked the shorter tweets better. Before I couldn’t figure out what Trump was saying because of the limited space for words. Now I can read his tweets. And that isn’t good at all. Clarity and Trump don’t go hand in hand.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. I love the new 280-limit….. for myself and pretty much no one else. ;P

    All the people who abused the 140 characters are now twice as obnoxious, yes. I HATE tweets that #are #made #almost #entirely #of #hashtags. Not just because it’s pointless, but also because it looks bad. I actually take great care to make sure my tweets LOOK good too. And yes, for the people who want to do nothing more than belly ache and ramble on with negativity, the 280 characters is horrible.

    But, well, I have to admit, I’m loving it myself. Especially on my art page where I can now note the relevant date, AND properly attribute each painting with artist, title and date, AND often times add some sort of biographical (or at least relevant) bit of information. That makes me happy. In fact, at the risk of getting a dirty look from you, Dan….. even with the extra characters, I sometimes find myself having to edit the tweet because it won’t quite fit! O_O

    But I do hear ya. Like so many things in life, there are always going to be people who abuse something good, and ruin it for the rest of us. :-/

    Liked by 1 person

    1. No dirty looks, Wendy.

      Yours is a valid use of the extra characters. As long as it isn’t #art #oilPaint #canvas #frame #landscape etc.

      I guess we’re going to have problem people no matter what. As much as I don’t like encouraging them, if I can enjoy your tweets more, it’s worth it

      Liked by 1 person

  23. Lovely images. I thought my Twitter was broken because it didn’t stop me from adding more characters as before. Actually I was thinking this until right now. I’m so little over there that I didn’t notice the extension. I was sure 140 was for ever. A defeat of purpose for sure.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Twitter has also followed Facebook in its abuse of its followers. I’ve been to Facebook jail a few times, only because I posted or shared my post too quickly. But now, Twitter has been shadow banning people. Not me yet. When someone is shadow banned, their posts become invisible. They can share other people’s posts but not their own. The writing on the wall is clear to me. I will be next. No one likes the indie author. Not even Google. That story is for another time.

    Liked by 1 person

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