Twitter has only frustrated me since I opened an account 13 years ago this week.
I blame myself, not my 2,889 followers or the massively popular social media platform, which turns 15 next month and boasts more than 330 million users worldwide. Co-creator Jack Dorsey sent the first ever tweet on March 21, 2006: “just setting up my twttr.” Hashtags (#Brilliant) made their debut in 2007.
In mid-February, 2008, I emailed an editor to say I began using this relatively new social media site. My email’s subject line summed it up in four words: “A twit using Twitter.” I figured if I could summarize that email in just four words, I can surely handle Twitter’s word-limit restrictions of 140 characters.
My editor replied, “OK, you already have five followers and I’m one of ‘em.”
Sweeeeet, I thought when I read his response. Five followers already! It would be a piece of cake to find a new, broader audience on the internet to share my columns and other social media ramblings. I was wrong. My piece of cake has gotten moldy.
Most of my tweets receive only a handful of likes or comments or retweets. The subject matter of my tweets does not matter. Debatable issues, silly features, heartwarming profiles, national politics, local topics. Crickets, I tell ya.
It’s frustrating. And it’s disappointing.
For years I’ve been tempted to close the account, give Twitter a break, and start a new account using a different strategy. But my current account is now 13, a teenager. It would feel like kicking one of my kids out of the house simply because she stopped listening to me. And talking to me.
The first time I wrote about Twitter in a newspaper column was 2009: “Sorry, can’t say much. Practicing for my new social networking tool — Twitter. I just joined. Heard of it? Consider it Facebook-lite, or meatball journalism. Take your pick. It allows only 140 characters/spaces for each message. Tougher than it sounds.”
That’s when I began sharing my Twitter handle, @jdavich, with readers.
My first tweet (squeaking by at 140 characters): “This is a test. This Twitter setting — JDavich — is conducting a test of the Emergency Broadcast System. This is only a test. Beeeeeeeeeeeeep.”
My follow-up tweet: “Not too clever, I know. I’ll learn the ropes soon. Please have patience. In the meantime, feel free to follow my 140-character morsels of wit, wisdom, and wonderment. Or follow me simply because I may follow you in return.”
Lame. I know. It wasn’t a good start.
Maybe my Twitter bio contributed to the problem: “I ask unpopular questions, provoke unwanted discussions, and share people’s back stories as a newspaper columnist, freelance writer and author of four books.” Not too inviting, is it? Not fun either.
I routinely struggled to keep my tweets at 140 characters or under. The criteria was originally established to reflect the length of SMS messages, which was how tweets were distributed prior to the development of mobile apps. This stipulation was always a challenge for me. I still feel like a windbag in a wind tunnel.
I can write a 1,000-word column like I’m pouring a drink. But crafting a 140-character tweet feels like cracking a safe. I never broke into the jeweled formula how to do it correctly. A few years back, when the limit was raised to 280 characters, I thought I finally had a chance to capitalize on my long-winded tweets. I was wrong. Again.
I’ve envisioned myself as “Lieutenant Dan” Taylor in the 1994 movie “Forrest Gump,” screaming in a fierce storm from the top mast of a tiny shrimp boat. Sometimes, I guess there just aren’t enough … tweets, though it’s estimated roughly 500 million tweets are sent each day. That’s about 6,000 tweets every second.
According to Pew Research Center surveys and other studies, roughly one-in-five U.S. adults say they use Twitter, similar to the usage of Snapchat and WhatsApp (which I also use).
“Overall, 42% of U.S. adults on Twitter say they use the site to discuss politics at least some of the time. But the most frequent tweeters do so much more often than other Twitter users,” the Pew survey states. “Many of the links shared on Twitter come from automated accounts, or bots.”
The Pew Center’s 2017 examination of all tweets (not just those from U.S. adults) found that 66% of links to popular websites came from accounts that are likely bots. The share was even higher for several kinds of links, including those that led to adult content (90%) and sports content (76%).
Twitter users tend to be younger with more education and higher incomes than U.S. adults overall, according to the survey. Overall, 42% of U.S. adult Twitter users have at least a college degree, compared with 31% of all Americans. And 41% of adult Twitter users earn at least $75,000 a year, compared with 32% of all American adults.
This may explain part of my problem. I’m too old, too uneducated and too poor. I also blame the bots, social media algorithms and my ignorance of proper usage. Still, this doesn’t fully explain why I’m one of the least effective Twitter users in the history of the (expletive) Twittersphere.
In 2009, I thought my Twitter page would eventually explode like my Facebook webpages (I have five for various projects), with thousands of readers who frequently and passionately comment on my posts, columns and musings. Nope. Even my Linked-In and Instagram accounts get more action than my Twitter page (#WastedTime?).
Should I finally close my account, or continue to scream into the storm? Feel free to share your thoughts @jdavich. I won’t hold my breath.
Elon Musk Says He’ll Pay $11 Billion in Taxes in 2021 But Twitter Wants ‘Proof’
Elon Musk took to Twitter to clarify once and for all that he will be paying a whopping $11 billion as taxes this year.
If the number of times Elon Musk could count when someone has asked him to pay the full taxes, he would be a very rich..wait, never mind. The Tesla boss is rich beyond any private individual has been in history, reports said.
Musk has increasingly been facing criticism from many politicians and many others who insist he has not been paying taxes as compared to the profits his companies have been making. On Sunday, the SpaceX CEO took to Twitter to share that he will be paying a whopping $11 billion as taxes.
For those wondering, I will pay over $11 billion in taxes this year— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 20, 2021
But some of the questions did not stop. One person tweeted how they needed to see Musk’s tax returns while yet another asked how much percentage was that of his total income.
A few were, however scathing of the government who thought they will add that amount to their pockets rather than using it for some proper development.
Wow that’s enough to give each person in the world almost $2 million but instead the government will just stick it in their pockets— greg (@greg16676935420) December 20, 2021
Why not $200 billion? Asking for a Senator— litquidity (@litcapital) December 20, 2021
Earlier this week, Democratic US Senator Elizabeth Warren has tweeted to say that Musk should pay taxes and stop “freeloading off everyone else” after Time magazine named him its “person of the year”.
In response, Musk shot four tweets in which he said that the senator reminded him of a friend’s angry mom who yelled at everybody. He tweeted, ““And if you opened your eyes for 2 seconds, you would realize I will pay more taxes than any American in history this year.” “Don’t spend it all at once … oh wait you did already.”
He added further, “You remind me of when I was a kid and my friend’s angry Mom would just randomly yell at everyone for no reason.”
Musk responded by saying that he “will pay more taxes than any American in history this year”. This Twitter exchange left netizens divided as even though many supported Warren and agreed that Musk should pay more taxes, others felt that he was already doing enough.
Musk’s Tesla is worth about $1 trillion. Over the last few weeks, he has sold nearly $14 billion worth of Tesla shares.
The Tesla boss has been pushing for his colonize Mars agenda for years now, and has made it very clear in some occasions that he would rather spend the money on putting humanity on the red planet, than pay his taxes. “My plan,” the SpaceX founder tweeted about his fortune, “is to use the money to get humanity to Mars and preserve the light of consciousness.”
Twitter Admits Policy ‘Errors’ After Far-Right Abuse Its New Rules of Posting Pictures
Twitter’s new picture permission policy was aimed at combating online abuse, but US activists and researchers said Friday that far-right backers have employed it to protect themselves from scrutiny and to harass opponents.
Even the social network admitted the rollout of the rules, which say anyone can ask Twitter to take down images of themselves posted without their consent, was marred by malicious reports and its teams’ own errors.
It was just the kind of trouble anti-racism advocates worried was coming after the policy was announced this week.
“Anyone with a Twitter account should be reporting doxxing posts from the following accounts,” the message said, with a list of dozens of Twitter handles.
Gwen Snyder, an organizer and researcher in Philadelphia, said her account was blocked this week after a report to Twitter about a series of 2019 photos she said showed a local political candidate at a march organized by extreme-right group Proud Boys.
Rather than go through an appeal with Twitter she opted to delete the images and alert others to what was happening.
“Twitter moving to eliminate (my) work from their platform is incredibly dangerous and is going to enable and embolden fascists,” she told AFP.
But the rules don’t apply to “public figures or individuals when media and accompanying Tweets are shared in the public interest or add value to public discourse.”
By Friday, Twitter noted the roll out had been rough: “We became aware of a significant amount of coordinated and malicious reports, and unfortunately, our enforcement teams made several errors.”
“We’ve corrected those errors and are undergoing an internal review to make certain that this policy is used as intended,” the firm added.
Jack Dorsey Post Twitter Is Chasing His Crypto, Fintech Dream
At a packed Miami conference in June, Jack Dorsey, mused in front of thousands of attendees about where his real passion lay: “If I weren’t at Square or Twitter, I’d be working on Bitcoin.”
On Monday, Dorsey made good on one part of that, announcing he would leave Twitter for the second time, handing the CEO position to a 10-year veteran at the firm. The 45-year-old entrepreneur, who is often described as an enigma with varied interests from meditation to yoga to fashion design, plans to pursue his passion which include focusing on running Square and doing more philanthropic work, according to a source familiar with his plan.
Well before the surprise news, Dorsey had laid the groundwork for his next chapter, seeding both companies with cryptocurrency-related projects.
Underlying Dorsey’s broader vision is the principle of “decentralisation,” or the idea that technology and finance should not be concentrated among a handful of gatekeepers, as it is now, but should, instead, be steered by the hands of the many, either people or entities.
The concept has played out at Square, which has built a division devoted to working on projects and awarding grants with the aim of growing Bitcoin’s popularity globally. Bitcoin price in India stood at Rs. 44.52 lakh as of 12:50pm IST on December 1.
Dorsey has been a longtime proponent of Bitcoin, and the appeal is that the cryptocurrency will allow for private and secure transactions with the value of Bitcoin unrelated to any government.
The idea has also underpinned new projects at Twitter, where Dorsey tapped a top lieutenant – and now the company’s new CEO Parag Agrawal – to oversee a team that is attempting to construct a decentralised social media protocol, which will allow different social platforms to connect with one another, similar to the way email providers operate.
The project called Bluesky will aim to allow users control over the types of content they see online, removing the “burden” on companies like Twitter to enforce a global policy to fight abuse or misleading information, Dorsey said in 2019 when he announced Bluesky.
Bitcoin has also figured prominently at both of his companies. Square became one of the first public companies to own Bitcoin assets on its balance sheet, having invested $220 million (roughly Rs. 1,650 crore) in the cryptocurrency.
In August, Square created a new business unit called TBD to focus on Bitcoin. The company is also planning to build a hardware wallet for Bitcoin, a Bitcoin mining system, as well as a decentralised Bitcoin exchange.
Twitter allows users to tip their favourite content creators with Bitcoin and has been testing integrations with non-fungible tokens (NFTs), a type of digital asset that allows people to collect unique digital art.
Analysts see the transition as a positive signal for Square, the fintech platform he co-founded in 2009. Square’s core Cash App, after a bull run in its share in 2020, has experienced slower growth in the most recent quarter. It is also trying to digest the $29 billion (roughly Rs. 2,17,240 crore) acquisition of Buy Now Pay Later provider Afterpay, its largest acquisition ever.
But these ambitions will not pay off until years from now, analysts cautioned.
“The blockchain platform they’re trying to develop is great but also fraught with technical challenges and difficult to scale for consumers. I think he’ll focus more on Square and crypto will be part of that,” said Christopher Brendler, an analyst at DA Davidson.
© Thomson Reuters 2021
Interested in cryptocurrency? We discuss all things crypto with WazirX CEO Nischal Shetty and WeekendInvesting founder Alok Jain on Orbital, the Gadgets 360 podcast. Orbital is available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Music and wherever you get your podcasts.
Cryptocurrency is an unregulated digital currency, not a legal tender and subject to market risks. The information provided in the article is not intended to be and does not constitute financial advice, trading advice or any other advice or recommendation of any sort offered or endorsed by NDTV. NDTV shall not be responsible for any loss arising from any investment based on any perceived recommendation, forecast or any other information contained in the article.
(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)
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