At least the twitter that I joined back in the day when the idea was young and we were all naive about social marketing and networking. It was a quick way to update friends and find out their plans for the day ahead or the upcoming weekend. Messages would fly back and forth all day long. Personal messages that said "I hear ya", "I'm with ya" "I'll give ya a call tonight"...Now I'm hard pressed to get anyone to respond to a question or even a comment to a fellow tweet. With tweetdeck, hoot suite, ping, mobile web, etc. everyone is busy twittering their doings without ever once having to actually go to the web and type in an answer and perhaps see that someone cares about what they've said.
What was once a way to connect in a friendly way is now a huge marketplace where everyone is trying desperately to get someone to buy their product, join their group, become a follower. I'd say 89% of Twitter devotees like it that way. They don't want to get personal; they can get out their advertising message; they can get you to where THEY want you to go with a link; and perhaps they can even get you to buy their product. But they don't have to make you their 'friend' and really care about YOU unless your money is green and coming their way.
Social networking is a huge market. Just look at the success of Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn and Twitter. Everyone is out to make a buck and sometimes a fortune. Do I think that's wrong? Of course not! Everyone is entitled to make a living and the better living they can make for their family the better the family can live. I just miss the once personal touch of reaching out to a 'friend' and have him/her take a few moments to say hi, how's your day going? Now it's mostly a tweet moments later but usually with another link to a product or service!
I'm not saying that I haven't used Twitter and FaceBook to help move along my eBay and Etsy sales because I have. But I've never done JUST that. I always find a way to connect to at least a dozen people a day just to tell them what they posted helped or gave me a laugh or yes, I'll be praying that their dog/cat gets well quickly. For the most part they go unanswered or perhaps just unseen in that ever swiftly flowing stream of words. But sometimes a long time 'friend' will reply with a personal comment and those are the ones that make me feel the best. It means I'm not just another message in the stream but they remember who I am and think I'm worth 140 letters.
Maybe I'm taking Twitter and FB all too seriously. Maybe I shouldn't care if QuickJet's dog just died and he's heartbroken or that MollysMaid has a sick kid and what would be the best way to break up congestion. But I DO care about those things because you see...that's what Twitter was all about in its early days. Days that perhaps only I miss.
You bet I'll post a link to this on Twitter and you can rest assured that I hope it stirs up a bit of controversy. I hope it draws a few comments even if they are all negative, because that will mean that there is still hope. Hope that the REAL Twitter is still alive and there are still people willing to do more than post a link to an Etsy listing or a conference call without ever once stopping to say something personal. In the early part of last century it was called etiquette. In the nineties we called it netiquette; today I don't think we call it anything at all.