Twitter: To Block or Not To Block
Someone has blocked me on Twitter.
Not just unfollowed me, but actually gone into their personal settings and stopped me from being able to follow them.
The first I realised of this was when I went to follow this person and was denied access at the request of the user.
My first instinct was to worry about what I had done wrong. I even tweeted as much.
I do not know this person in real life, so know that we have not had a real life falling out.
I am also pretty certain that I have never tweeted with this person directly, so can’t have had a Twitter falling out either.
All I can guess from the situation is that perhaps this person was initially following me and I maybe tweeted out something that caused offence.
Looking back over my timeline, it could have been one of my many tweets about crisps, chocolate, Eastenders or wine that is responsible for this online cold shoulder.
But, who knows?
It is so easy to misunderstand what is correct Twitter etiquette, as it is something that varies from person to person.
For example, I do not like my timeline to be full of competition ‘RT to win’ messages and I find the unfollow button really useful in preventing those.
I have also learnt that if you feel you have something to contribute to an existing twitter conversation between two or more people, it is polite to prefix your tweet with *butting in*. Failure to do so, could result in them moving the conversation to a quieter corner of the internet via the Direct Message feature.
It also considered bad manners to ask someone to retweet something if you have had little or no interaction with them previously. The general guide being to start a dialogue with your potential retweeter first.
This can be easier said than done.
I have sent many budding conversation starters out into the Twitterverse only to be met with a big fat silence.
I apply my own personal ’3 strikes and you’re out’ rule in these circumstances. See, even I have my own idea of what is deemed appropriate twittering…
Twitter is a wonderful place to hang out when everyone is saying hello, telling everyone else how fab you are and *sending cake*. But, it can also feel like the loneliest place in the world to be when nobody knows your name.
There are so many messages trying to get across. So many voices saying LISTEN TO ME. It is not always easy to be heard if you do not have anything funny or clever to say.
However, I try not to take these things too personally. I may have unintentionally broken a few twitter laws, but I can’t be online all of the time; I can’t keep up with all of the conversations; and I can’t be expected to understand how to properly use Twitter in only 4,108 tweets.
I understand this might result in an Unfollow here or there and that is fair enough. Your timeline, your rules.
But, we’re not talking about a simple Unfollow though are we. This was a full-on block.
Maybe the reason for the twitter freeze was not actually over anything I said on Twitter at all.
Maybe it was something I blogged about… but we all know I mostly write about sausages and wine, with the occasional story about poo thrown in.
Maybe this person does not like poo…
The plot thickens.
It could be a comment I left on another blog. I do hope not, as it takes me a long time to compose a well thought out comment and I would be mortified to think I was hurting any feelings. That is really not who I am, which is why I think I am so baffled by the action.
I go out of my way not to cause offence online. I may have not followed correct Twitter or Blog etiquette at all times, but that is more out of naivety than intent.
As I navigate my way through this new digital territory, where there are so many voices and so many conflicting opinions, I realise how difficult it is to get noticed online unless you have a strong view on something either way.
People love to debate, it is fun. They look for people to agree with them, and for people to disagree with.
Most of my tweets get lost in the Twitterverse simply because they require no response. They do not interest anyone besides other crisp/chocolate/wine/Eastenders fans, or my real life friends.
I should be wearing a beige cardigan in my avatar.
But, something I said must have had an impact on one person for them to block me and for this, I thank them.
Because maybe, in this confusing world of social media that I am still only just beginning to grasp, it does not necessarily mean that I did something wrong, but perhaps that I might have done something right.
Either that, or I bored them into it.
Nominations are now open for the 2013 MAD Blog Awards. I was thrilled to be a finalist in the 2012 awards for Best Family Fun Blog and would love to be there again this year. Obviously, I’d be chuffed to bits to be nominated in any of the categories, but think I stand the best chance in Best Family Fun, Best Family Life or Most Entertaining Blog. You can click here to nominate and will need my blog URL – http://grenglish.co.uk