I once tried Twitter. Last year, I thought I’d give it a go curious about the hype and quite fancying becoming a celeb stalker online as well as in print (yes I’m the person in the office people go to for ask celeb questions!) but I dropped it almost immediately. I did not get it. Firstly, none of my friends were on Twitter so I was reduced to following celebs who never follow back and trying to jump into conversations amongst strangers with no clue how to get my own followers. I was also unconvinced I’d have anything worth saying in under 140 characters.
I feel like Twitter is a love or hate thing. Some people spend their lives on it and seem to build up a huge network, others can’t understand the appeal, and these people may or may not use Facebook or blog instead, like me.
What has struck me lately is that some people can’t make their minds if they love it or hate it. Celebs seem to first embrace Twitter, building up a following and using it to thanks their fans or berate the press. Then the love affair ends. They flee Twitter, suddenly embarrassed about how they tweet every part of their lives and have more connections online than offline. Then they do a 180 and go back to it like an addiction they just couldn’t break.
Two cases – Miley Cyrus and Lily Allen.
Last year, Miley a popular Twitterer abandoned the site claiming it was taking up too much of her time and was making her forget to live. A quote at the time (found from goggle):
“I was that person who was like, ‘I’m so sad. I have no real, normal life, everyone knows what I’m doing’, and I’m like, well that’s my own fault because I’m telling everyone.
“I just think it’s kind of lame. I feel like I hang out with my friends and they’re so busy taking pictures of what they’re doing and putting them on Facebook that they’re not really enjoying what they’re doing … So I think just enjoy the moment you’re in, and stop telling people about it. Just enjoy it.”
This week, Miley posted on her record label Rock Mafia’s page on the social networking site at the weekend, declaring she would use the site when she needed to speak out. Is her own page just a short step away?
Back in 209, Lily Allen also fled the site along with all of her electronic devices – her laptop and Blackberry and stopped emailing. Her last message on Twitter read:
“I am a neo-luddite, goodbye.”
This year she has returned however, posting to her fans to denounce her new documentary on TV as not representing who she is.
Why the turn around?
Both mentioned boyfriends when they quit Twitter, mentioning they wanted to spend more time with them and the boyfriend’s confusion about how much time they spent on Twitter and the like. Miley is now no longer with Liam Hemsworth and has suffered some setbacks press wise – hello lap-dancing, drug taking and her parents relationship issues. Lily has also suffered in her personal life, her tragic miscarriage and constant press intrusion and the fact her new show revealed she suffered an eating disorder.
Both seem keen to get back online to tell their own stories, for people to get the words from them and not the press or PR. What the men in their lives think about the return to Twitter, I don’t know. Maybe breaking with Twitter gave them more perspective and they’ll use it more sparingly and perhaps wisely in the future. Time will have to tell.
I remain unconvinced about me finding love for Twitter but I do understand the need to use the online world to speak out, to share your voice with the world and to tell the truth from your own lips.
So do you love or hate Twitter?
(What about Marmite? I hate it )