I don’t know how you are “supposed” to use twitter. I’m sure there’s a correct way and, if you play it long enough, you can unlock all of the secret levels and, eventually, complete it. But me, well I just bumble along in my own little way.
For example, I find that twitter can flash past quicker than I can keep up. Sometimes I will spot an interesting-sounding tweet that I decide needs more attention. One that needs a bit of time spent on it. Probably it has a link to an article or a website or a video; something that I would like to digest when I have more than a few fleeting seconds to spend on it. So I “favourite” the tweet, fishing it out of the flow so that I can find it again a bit later. If I don’t, then it will all too soon have washed past and be well on its way down the twitter river to the sea of internet oblivion. From there nothing ever returns.
For the uninitiated, “favouriting” a tweet used to mark it with a little star. But then – and without asking for my permission – twitter goes and gets rid of the “favourite” button and gives us, instead, a “like” button. That is when it all went wrong.
A “like” is surely no different to a “favourite”, you may say. But a “favourite” does not have a strong emotional bias. A “favourite” just says that this (whatever it may be) is my preferred tweet about this subject. This is the tweet that, among all of the millions of other tweets on this very topic, I have chosen to read. It does not endorse the tweeted message, it just says that it is the one I have taken note of.
A “like” on the other hand, plasters a bloody great big heart all over the tweet in question.
Here’s a shocking video about environmental change. BIG HEART!
Great, now I look like a right idiot. Thanks twitter. Anyone looking at my twitter profile will see that Running Buffet ♥ shocking climate change video. I’m not sure that’s the message I want to be sending out. What was wrong with the “favourite” option I ask? The official answer: they were confusing. Oh well, in that case…
(By the way, the video in question really wasn’t that shocking, at least not if you’ve followed any of the news about climate change. But my point remains, I still look like an idiot.)
But anyway, since no one asked me if they could make this change, I’m guessing they’re not going to listen to me now. So I shall take off my Victor Meldrew cap and coat and go and have a sit down. What will they think of next, I wonder? What will they think of next?