Is Twitter truly for everyone? Probably not. One article (read it here at businessesgrow.com) examines the purpose of being a “Tweeter.” The author, Mark W. Schaefer of The Tao of Twitter, relays a personal anecdote involving a fellow customer and “brilliant management consultant.” Several reasons are bullet-pointed. For example, Twitter would be perfect for the customer because he is:
- Small business-owner
- Enormous, global market potential (needs a lot of awareness)
- Small marketing budget
- Selling differentiated personal services
- No time to blog, develop extensive content, etc.
- Is a charming, bright person with engaging personality.
And yet, we learn that the customer refused to incorporate Twitter into his life. When questioned, the customer answered:
“I’m not sure why really. I guess the idle chatter (which is mostly what I seem to see when I log on) just doesn’t make any sense to me. There’s obviously some self-imposed barrier that I can’t or just don’t want to cross. You were kind enough to introduce me to Twitter, and I appreciated that. There’s the old expression about leading a horse to water. Guess I’m just not that thirsty for Twitter water… at least yet.”
So apparently the customer isn’t completed turned off by the social networking tool. He’s simply not interested…yet. It’s the “idle chatter” that serves as a road block. Based upon personal experience, I can comfortably say that this man speaks the truth. Until last Friday, Twitter was an Internet phenomenon that I’d heard so much about but never gave a darn about to try. Quite frankly, I had no need for Twitter. If creating an account wasn’t a course requirement, then I would have happily carried on with life Twitter-less.
Twenty seconds after signing-up, I logged in and searched around the site, testing the unfamiliar coded waters. And quite frankly, I was disappointed. You see, unless you truly care about what your favorite company or must-see celeb is doing every second of every day, Twitter is…dull. I “followed” a few groups here and there, but I felt no glowing sense of belonging. In fact, I felt the exact opposite. I felt more alienated than before because my tweets were lost in a flood of mundane opinions.
The author makes a strong case for Twitter-business interactions, stating that “Even if your customers aren’t there in force, it is still an incredibly powerful way to learn, connect with thought leaders, and identify new business opportunities.” I agree with him. Twitter can allow for quick feedback and effective information gathering via the tweets of customers and potential business partners. However, I am not a businesswoman. I have no interest in starting a company of my own. Furthermore, I’m too apathetic to fully enjoy what Twitter offers. Following people, posting tweets–it’s all a distraction from life beyond the screen. I don’t care about BK’s new fries or what Tebow said on ESPN. I prefer being surprised the old-fashioned way, and then complaining about it to a person, face-to-face. I feel that Twitter distances people, encouraging them to communicate electronically instead of publicly.
Think about it. There will be an entire generation of folks incapable of holding a conversation without a keyboard.
Scary, ain’t it?