Monday to Friday, my day follows a familiar routine.
The alarm goes off optimistically at 7.45am. I hit snooze repeatedly until it’s 8.20am, at which point I call to Flea and tell her she has to get up. At 8.40am, I roll out of bed, pull on some clothes, and take Flea to school.
On the way home, I drive past the coffee shop. If there’s a parking space I stop to pick up a take-out coffee, then head home and sit down at my desk to check out Twitter and Facebook.
It’s usually an easy introduction to the working day. Catch up with some friends, clients, bloggers, brands… then get down to real work.
Lately, though, Twitter feels different.
I look at my feed and it’s 50% automated. At least.
Someone posted on Instagram. Someone posted on Pinterest. Someone’s published a blog post (these often appear two or three times as the various automated systems all compete to tell me about your latest post). Someone that someone knows did any of the above, and Buffer and Triberr can’t wait to tell me about it.
I’ll be honest. I’ve unfollowed quite a few people I really like on Twitter lately, because they don’t talk to me. Hell, they don’t talk to anyone. It’s all automated updates about what they’re doing on social media and – guess what – I don’t really care that you just added a Pin to this board or that board.
Does that make me a bad person? I hope not, because it’s really nothing personal. I would unfollow my own mother if she flooded my Twitter timeline with updates about how someone I never met has made/crafted/baked something I’m never going to be able to replicate in a thousand lifetimes.
At this stage, I should add a great big huge, hulking caveat – I do know it’s not my Internet. I get to say how I use it, but how you use it? That’s entirely your business. And I’m certainly not going to claim I don’t share my blog posts on social media, or that I’m guilty of occasionally sharing Instagram pics to Facebook or Twitter.
But still… this whole automated link sharing; it’s just a bit sad, isn’t it? Am I the only one who’s noticed?
Pathetic as it may be, when you work from home, social media really is a lifeline. I miss my virtual morning coffee break where we chat about telly, and the newspaper headlines, and whether it’s really seeing Take That if there’s only three of them. So, here’s my suggestion – if you’re a talker, talk to me on Twitter. I promise I’ll talk back. Let’s bring chat back. Who’s with me?