I’ve been so bored with my Twitter feed lately.
Twitter used to be a place to share thoughts and ideas; to quickly engage with people with small, digestible tidbits of information or input. Sure, it also provided a vehicle for the dreaded “look at what I’m having for lunch!” post, but thankfully Instagram came along to provide an outlet for the wannabe food photographers in our lives. Although, the ability to share directly to Twitter from Instagram brought a swift end to that refuge.
Anyway, I asked myself what people do when they’re bored with something. The answer is simple: we look to refresh it. Bored with a room? Paint it or move some furniture around. Bored with the same restaurants and the old standbys? Go somewhere else and order something completely different. Bored with a playlist? Add some new tracks and put it on shuffle. There’s always a way to refresh interest in something that has lost our attention.
So, I went to refresh my Twitter follow list; to breathe some new life into it. And I made a discovery: for some reason, we’re all curators now.
I need someone to explain to me why engagement on Twitter has fallen to nearly zero and everyone thinks that they bring value by tweeting out an endless stream of links to other people’s content. Sure, a few links here and there to something that you found to be incredibly useful is fine. Maybe even dedicate a chunk of it to self-promotion.
But entire streams are now nothing but buffered links to other people’s work and a lot of that work is actually kind of bad. The value of original thought has been completely replaced by the “value” of knowing how to tap into other feeds and retweeting.
What a waste.
This is apparently the new way to build influence though. I have several accounts following me claiming to be “social media influencers” and “social experts” who, quite literally, haven’t @ replied to someone in months, if not longer. Their feeds are nothing but links, sometimes reaching five or six per hour. They follow a hundred thousand accounts or more, simply to advertise their presence. And they have a hundred thousand accounts following them back, no doubt to retweet the things that the “influencer” tweeted so they themselves can appear to provide value.
It’s a big vicious circle and it’s dragging the value of a good Twitter feed down. And — news flash — it is the exact antithesis to why we do social in the first place.
So, can we stop with the constant curation already? Can we get back to the idea that we, ourselves, can provide value with our own individual thoughts rather than providing value by proxy? Or, here’s an idea: write something yourself and then link to that.