I’ve used Twitter for over a year now. It has been a very enjoyable experience. I have been able to read the ideas of people from all over the world. I have enjoyed watching people hit their goals, overcome challenges and endure life and career transitions. I have a mind that tends to categorize and analyze constantly. I do not know why I do that, and I do not know how good I am at doing it, but for whatever reason, I reconcile new information in accord with my wildly cosmic and ever-changing sense of reality.
For this reason I thought I would try to make some general comments about how I view the categories of people who I follow, and rank them according to my preferences. I can revisit this blog next year and see how my view of Twitter may have changed.
Here are the categories of what I see on Twitter, in no particular order, and how I regard each one.
- I tend to follow people who Tweet about their life. This is my first preference.
- People who tweet for other people hold little interest for me. I liked following actor Alec Baldwin because he is a young man going through some growth issues as a new husband. Unfortunately, he blamed Twitter for his shortcomings and stopped tweeting, but I suspect he will be back one day. He needs to learn, as all husbands learn, that you cannot fight battles for your wife. Mr. Baldwin is a remarkable talent and is a very interesting and intelligent man. He wrote his own tweets. I have no interest in following people who tweet for famous people.
- Business – I follow a few businesses, but in general, I have no interest in following someone whose only contribution to tweeter is commercial spam. If someone is just tweeting about their company, I usually will not follow them.
- Social Media – A lot of people tweet about social media. I do not follow them. They are all advertising salespeople who are out of work.
- Politics – I like politics. There are a lot of people who brag that they read media from conservatives and liberals. I am less inclined to follow anyone who is stupid, conservative or liberal. The word ‘stupid’ is grossly misunderstood and overused, but I use it to describe people who alter new information to conform to pre-existing beliefs. I saw a surveyor’s assistant standing on a curb with his back to traffic on a curb. He was perilously close to the traffic. I thought I would tell him that he should not stand there, but I imagined that he would say, “I’ve done this for thirty years. Nothing is going to happen.” I also imagined that I would read a headline tomorrow which read, “Man Gets Hit By Car While Standing With Back to Traffic.” Most people would respond to that article with “Boy, was he stupid!”. He altered new information (You should not stand there) to conform to a pre-existing belief (I’ve done this for thirty years.) That is stupidity.
- News & Weather – I follow people who hold no passion whatsoever for the news they report. If I wanted drama I would follow Hollywood personalities. In news and weather, I do not want drama: I want facts.
- Leadership – People who tweet about leadership are a most curious lot. They are usually humorless. How could there possibly be that many people wanting to learn to be a leader? How could there be so many people who purport to be an expert of leadership? Wouldn’t they be out leading someone instead of telling others how to lead? I rank leadership tweeters pretty low; like flim-flam and con-men.
- Artists, musicians, actors – I follow artistic people so I can learn about them. I like seeing or hearing their art, or receiving links to things that are of interest to them. But I do not follow artists who only tweet about their art, their latest album, or otherwise use Twitter to promote themselves. I will support a friend before I support a stranger. Twitter is an opportunity to make friends. A commercial is just a commercial.
- People with Lots of Followers. I usually do not follow people who have thousands upon thousands of followers. This would include pretty much everyone in Hollywood, except for Alec Baldwin – but as I said, he doesn’t use Twitter now.
- Follow Me I’ll Follow Back people. This may have been a good category when I was in 6th grade.
- People from other countries. If they tweet in English, I will follow them. I value the international connections I have. I need to hear the international opinion on all topics.
- Super Positive People bore me. If the best you have to offer in today’s chaotic environment is a flowery message of hope, love and happiness, I’d rather have someone stick their finger down my throat: the result is the same, both would make me puke.
- People who only quote others – In this world there are two kinds of people: people who think, and people who read what others have thought, and use Twitter to quote them. If I want to read Emerson quotes, I’ll follow Emerson. I want to hear what people think. If they don’t think, I don’t follow them.
- Trade associates – I try to follow as many people in my trade as possible. This includes anyone who works, plays or repairs pianos. I follow a few woodworkers, but very few woodworking companies. Like I said, I like to hear what people have to say. If all they do is advertise their business, I unfollow them.
- I unfollow anyone named Beiber. Justin Beiber is a young Frankenstein. You wait. You’ll see.
- Rappers – Rappers are to music what catfish are to marine life. Both are bottom feeders. I do not follow them.
- Atheists – I follow some, but only if they are cute, and only if they drink vodka or bourbon. Gin & tonic is okay too.
So I think that is probably enough for now. I may have missed a few, and maybe you have a few that are special to you, but the list is long enough.
Oh wait – I have a policy about cat people. I do not follow them. Cats are the dirtiest animals on the planet. Cat people are a close second. I’ve made a few exceptions from time to time, but only for people who make significant contributions in other categories of interest. Cats have one purpose: to kill rats. If you kill rats, you have no snakes. We have a bobcat in the area, and coyotes, and they tend to kill the cats, so I just deal with the snakes that eat the rats. Snakes are more tolerable than cats. But that’s just me. People will disagree on that.