Twitter is like attending a gigantic party.
After making a great first impression with a catchy username and a snazzy home page design, you’re ready to engage in conversation – well, sort of. You approach people by “following” them and “@ mentioning” them, but they might not respond and/or not follow you back. (I’ve found, like most parties, it’s always hardest at the beginning, when no one really knows who you are.)
However, just because someone does follow you, that does not mean they are listening. On Twitter, you need to continually engage in conversation, develop relationships and “work the crowd” to be heard. So if you do not responding on a daily, hourly, even instantaneously basis, you’ll be left standing alone with drink in hand, bobbing your head to the music, talking to yourself.
Some folks can get away with one way conversation, mainly celebrities. They often follow a select few, yet have thousands, even millions of followers. However, most of us need to continually work the crowd and stay engaged.
That’s my main dilemma with Twitter; it never stops. It’s an infinitely ongoing party and most people never take a break. They attend on smart phones and other portable devices, attending the party wherever they go: on the road, at the movies, the bathroom. This creates an unspoken expectation of immediate response. Just like an in-person gathering, a slow response is anti-social (rude?), so people will walk away.
Twitter is an incredible, open-invitation to meet and connect with others; however, I’m not sure I have what it takes. Not only am I without portable internet devices, I simply don’t have the time nor the energy. If I’m not working on my current film project, I’m either writing a blog entry or, more importantly, I’m with my family. It’s nearly impossible for me to stay engaged at the Twitter party.
If I was a celebrity, it wouldn’t matter, because I could just talk and talk while ignoring everyone; but, alas, I’m not.