After having written a blog post on what I think of Instagram, I decided to do the same about my opinions of Twitter in this post, especially if this year (2019) will be my 10th “Twitterversary.”
I joined Twitter in 2009, three years after it first launched and the year in which I thought it became immensely popular, as an alternative to Facebook. The first people I started to follow on Twitter included BBC Radio 1 DJs and my dad. As the years went by, I started following celebrities, YouTubers, bloggers, brands and charities on Twitter. Within my first seven years on Twitter, I didn’t visit it as often as I did Facebook and I didn’t have as many followers back then. Since 2016, my follower count grew significantly as did my frequency of using the platform; however during this time I have experienced my fair share of ups and downs.
Up until 2017, the maximum number of characters allowed in a Tweet was 140, but this has increased to 280. I love this change because I get to write Tweets that are longer than I’d normally post, but sometimes I make threads of Tweets if I want to say a lot more.
One feature on Twitter I have mixed feelings about is the mute button. Just to reiterate from my My Thoughts on Instagram post, while I like it as a silent way of ‘blocking’ accounts without them knowing (I have muted certain accounts if they posted Tweets that contained offensive language or if they Tweeted about things I disagreed with), I can’t help but think that certain accounts have muted me because whenever I Tweet those particular accounts, I don’t get any immediate likes, Retweets or replies to my Tweets where I mention them. I even find this confusing, especially if the people behind those accounts like and/or reply to my comments on their Instagram posts and/or YouTube videos if they have Instagram and/or YouTube, so I have no idea why they’d mute me on Twitter. My perception of people muting me has partly inspired me to create a digital art profile picture where there is a mute icon on my lips and the slogan, “Don’t suffer in silence,” although its main inspiration is a magazine advert by the NSPCC and ChildLine from around 2004 that encourages young people to speak out if they’re being abused.
While I have blocked several accounts for various reasons such as one person making a hurtful comment about my appearance (which made me want to design digital art-style profile pictures of myself where I’m wearing a certain accessory on my head, such as Minnie Mouse ears, and only my eyes, my forehead and the top of my hair are showing) and people randomly Retweeting my Tweets or replies to my Tweets where I highlighted a typing error (with the exception of one account that I’m happy to follow and I’m happy the same account follows me back), someone blocked me for the first time in 2016 probably because I Retweeted one of their old Tweets that I found by using a formula that allowed me to search for Tweets from a particular period of time without realising that it would upset them (as part of my autism, I sometimes don’t know if or when I upset someone if I do something to them). People they followed also blocked me. I once wrote a blog post where I explained the situation in more detail, but I deleted it because I was self-conscious about what future readers would think of it and the kind of comments they’d put on it, although I have received negative comments on other posts of mine. Since the user whose old Tweet I Retweeted blocked me, I have used the Tweet search formula in more positive ways, such as to double check when another user’s birthday is for example.
After having been blocked and possibly muted by other Twitter users, I decided to use the direct message feature more often to send myself direct messages of things that I didn’t want to make public because I was worried about how other users would respond to them and I saw this as a similar method of writing private Facebook posts. I also used the direct messages feature to send messages to companies, such as the ones I will mention in the next paragraph, as well as YouTubers and bloggers I follow. I also message bloggers and YouTubers on Instagram, especially those that don’t allow people to direct message them on Twitter due to the way they have set up their Twitter accounts.
I even find Twitter useful for contacting companies if I had any queries, compliments or complaints I wanted to share with them. Nine times out of ten, these companies have got back to me efficiently, particularly retail companies such as Argos, Morrisons and Ocado, but when I Tweeted a complaint to Hermes about a delivery driver leaving my parcel by the front entrance inside the house my flat is in despite them pressing my intercom buzzer, I received no response at all. Unfortunately there has been another occasion where a Hermes delivery driver just left my parcel beside the main entrance, so I would definitely consider writing a letter to Hermes to complain instead of Tweeting them.
Like with Facebook and Instagram, I have used Twitter to promote my latest blog posts and YouTube videos by making them my pinned Tweets on my profile. Although I haven’t had as much engagement with Tweets about my online content as I did on Facebook and Instagram, I still find it a useful tool for promoting my newest material.
Overall, in spite of people sending me negative Tweets and replies, unnecessarily Retweeting my Tweets, blocking me and maybe muting me, my experience with using Twitter for nearly a decade has been a mainly positive one. I especially liked the introduction of the 280-characters-per-Tweet feature as well as contacting companies about any complaints, compliments and queries I have and using GIFs to express how I was really feeling. Being blocked on Twitter has even made me be more careful with what I Tweet about in addition to what old Tweets to search for.
What do you think of Twitter? Please let me know in the comments below.
If you want to follow me on Twitter, my username is Stompgal_87.
Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored blog post. All opinions expressed are my own.