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Follow the leader, follow the fool?

March 30, 2011

I have a varied and interesting list of people I follow on Twitter. Some are people I know in real life, some are celebrities and comedians I find entertaining, some aren’t even real people (for example I follow a very persuasive Llama, Darth Vader someone who I’m sure can’t be the real Queen, though it would be brilliant if they were).

There are some tweeters though who have, and I’m not sure how, found their way into my Twitter feed and become established therein. I tend to notice them because what they tweet about differs somewhat from the normal content of my feed. Generally this is all well and good. As those who follow this blog will know, I’m an advocate of Twitter and its capacity for sharing information, be it news, photos, jokes or even just opinions. Like it or not it’s an innovation in communication the likes of which we’ve not seen since the telephone*. I also enjoy having a varied Twitter feed and have reveled, somewhat smugly I’ll admit, in the idea that the information coming my way is inclusive, comes from a wide variety of sources, and can keep me nicely informed with what people think about what’s going on in the world.

As I say, this is generally all well and good and probably has helped me expand my outlook, even if only by 140 characters at a time, but I’m starting to take umbrage with one or two Twitter users and the tweets they’ve been tweeting. Up until now I’ve been keeping them in my following list because of this notion of an ‘inclusive’ Twitter feed, but I’m starting to see a significant difference between tweets that express different political or cultural views to my own – exposure to which can is at least quite informative – and tweets that are downright rude or smarmy and clearly fishing for a reaction.

Before you ask, no I’m not going to say who these people are. If you’re reading this you can rest assured that it’s unlikely to be you as I don’t think these people are aware of me and I’d be very surprised to find that they’ve read my blog. Given this, there’s very little sense in me getting in any sort of tizzy about obnoxious tweets from people I don’t know. Even so, I feel that at 280 tweeters strong my twitter feed has become sufficiently bloated to warrant a clear out. As I’ve learned from Facebook (remember that?) there’s nothing quite as satisfying as a good purge.

Here endeth the lesson.

*Probably, it’s hard to keep track.

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