Social Question

wundayatta's avatar

How much do you care about what other people are paying attention to?

Asked by wundayatta (58321 points ) September 17th, 2012

I am thinking about Twitter. What makes Twitter work, as far as I can tell (I don’t use it), is the notion that people can point out things they think are important, and make quips about same. It has turned into a way to take the temperature of the Zeitgeist, as you track “trending” items; items that a lot of people are tweeting about.

Clearly Twitter works. Lots of people tweet. They follow stuff. They follow others. It’s marketing. It’s news.

I generally don’t care what other people follow because most of it seems so trivial. But I’m worse than that. I don’t care what my friends follow. What I’m saying is I don’t care what they follow just because they are friends. I only care if they give me a reason to follow something.

Yet Twitter depends on people following something just because someone they know follows it. It’s like a flock of birds, and the bird at the front changes direction, and all the other birds do, too.

I’m not saying I’m immune to social pressure, but that I can’t do it instinctually. What about you?

Do you check out things your friends tell you about? It could be via tweet, or Facebook, or Pinterest or reblogging or some other similar site. Do you ignore most of it? All of it? Do you deliberately ignore everything your friends follow? Or do you check out most of it or all of it? Do you check out things that people you don’t know mention?

Furthermore, do you consider yourself to be on top of the trends? Is it important to you to know what is going on?

I am not on top of the trends, although I am inordinately proud of myself when I know about something before others do, and fluther often seems to give me that information. It is, however, important for me to know what is going on. The important stuff. And somehow—maybe it is just my prejudice—it seems like fluther handles more weighty matters, in general, than the blogosphere or Twitterverse do.

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10 Answers

wonderingwhy's avatar

I can’t find it in myself to be bothered with Twitter (or any similar social media for that matter), I just don’t care. While I’m plenty guilty of smart-ass remarks and one-off replies, I generally prefer my social interactions to have some significant degree of depth. If you need my attention, call me, text me, email me, knock on my door, that is to say engage me. Otherwise, I’m too busy living my life to be following yours.

Shippy's avatar

I think trends are important, they signify where society is at, on loads of levels. I just have this feeling that somehow face book, twitter all that will phase out. Because most of the followers will die of boredom (Joking). Well partially joking, I feel it will vanish in a flood just as it came in a flood. I remember the days of CB Radio. I was here in South Africa at the time, so we were a bit backward, and I am battling to remember how they worked exactly.

But it was a radio that most truckers had in their vehicles, some households aquired them, then other random people installed them in their cars. There we were all chatting to each other on CB Radio, with complete strangers (much like the net today). That died a sure death, and nobody even recalls that time.

It does say something though, its is as if society is calling out, to connect, to share, to belong, to be a part of something bigger. Have our networks grown so small that we have this need? Are we so alienated, because I do see it as alienation, ironically I do not see it as social, of which it is presenting to be.

TheProfoundPorcupine's avatar

When it comes to Twitter I can see how famous people use it to keep in touch with their fans as it gives that kind of personal touch so I can see it lasting but in a scaled down version.

A couple of years ago in the UK Bebo was the big social network thing but I never bothered with it and would get strange looks from people at the fact I didn’t have a profile and now I have no interest in linking my phone up to Facebook so I can get instant updates on what people like or how they are happy about finishing work for the day.

When it comes to trends I am interested in what is seen to be a trend but often find myself wondering exactly how something has gone viral but I am more of a looking in from the outside person than a taking part as I feel I have other things that are far more important to me to focus on instead.

zenvelo's avatar

I follow Twitter at work for specialized news, and at the same time some amusing things that pop up during the day. For instance, I like following Penguin Books because they have short contests for free books.

But Twitter is ephemeral. The half life of something on Twitter is about 30 seconds tops. After that it scrolls on and nobody looks to see what the previous tweet was. Twitter is terrible for connecting friends or social interaction. That idea that everyone is standing around waiting for a friend to tweet that they are at such and such a bar or club is bogus.

YARNLADY's avatar

I have yet to see/read my first tweet. I have absolutely zero interest in it. I have occasionally seen a twit quoted in a news article, but that’s the extent of my exposure.

lookingglassx3's avatar

Whenever I go on Twitter, I see Top Tweets about One Direction, Justin Bieber, Lady Gaga and Selena Gomez, etc, etc. I have no interest in ANY of these topics, especially not Selena or One Direction. Twitter’s choice of Top Tweet constantly irritates me.

Yep, just checked Twitter and everybody’s tweeting about how Selena Gomez is fat. Closed tab immediately.

wundayatta's avatar

Oh dear. It’s worse than I feared.

JLeslie's avatar

I have a Twitter account, but I don’t use it. I log on maybe twice a year. I have very little interest in what others are into at any given moment. Especially celebrity stuff. People magazine and Entertainment Tonight type shows have to be the most boring pieces of journalism (if we dare use that word in this context) ever created.

rooeytoo's avatar

I like twitter for certain things. Often the games of a rugby team I follow are not televised and I can keep track of the score via twitter. Same is true of other sports. I am a fan of Apple so I follow a couple of apple tweeters. I have very little interaction with anyone I follow, I don’t even know most of them, they simply have subjects that intrigue me.

I enjoy being aware of the trends of the day but I don’t follow them all. I am selective. Remember though, you snooze, you lose!!!

Bellatrix's avatar

I use it to keep track of news events and what is happening politically. Many journalists, including those in the press gallery, tweet. So I often get tweets about political events/activities before they hit even the online news. I have found links to many great resources for students. I use it in some of our courses to connect with students. I will often search twitter for more info if I hear something has happened but haven’t seen it in the news. I follow politicians. I follow activists. I follow NGOs. How Twitter works for you is dictated by who you follow. If you follow mostly celebrities you will get that type of content. If you follow mostly politicians, you will get a different type of experience.

I don’t tweet a lot. I tweet if I have a question or I might retweet something I think it interesting or important.

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