Your Twitter Chat Is Stressing Me Out

twitter logoTwitter is stressing me out. It all culminated this weekend when I wanted to waste some time on an Amtrak train, but couldn’t focus. The journo chatter was too loud. Jacob Harris seemed to understand me:

But while he seemed ambivalent about the noise, it was making me properly anxious. Not only is the conference streaming in my feed, but then you’re having inter-conference #chats, too. Of course, this could be a personal problem. I’ll disclose that because of some family matters, I’ve had to take a step back from being plugged in 24 hours a day. Since I’m not forced to post, write, or respond to news like I normally do, maybe the noisiness is more obvious to me. I can’t use it right now, therefore it is meaningless. That might be too easy of an out.

The thing is, we journalists talk too much. I like following Twitter chats — #mucked up or #wjchat — until I actually follow them. At some point in refreshing my feed and discerning what you’re trying to say about advertising and wearables in your MT of a RT of an A1 to Q2 I give up and go see what @unfoRETTAble is watching.

People seem to be contributing, but eventually, in every Twitter chat, you see something like this:

Because you’re always missing something in those chats. You could say the same for Twitter, overall, too, but our profession seems  overly obsessed with using the platform to talk about pretty important things. Do we really expect to hash out the big issues of our industry in a Twitter chat? Or is it just a way to expand your brand? I’m really asking.

As Twitter tweaks users profiles, it becomes more like Facebook in that it becomes about who we are, even hiding replies, which means hiding the conversation. Wasn’t Twitter supposed to be about what we’re saying? The Twitter chat is a good idea in theory, and sometimes in practice, but the platform does nothing to make what you’re talking about clear, digestible, and open to discussion. Which is what a ‘chat’ should be all about, anyway.

Do you participate in Twitter chats? Am I missing some trick? Let me know what you think about Twitter chats and stress in the comments or @10,000Words.

Publish date: April 9, 2014 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT