How much is too much? #tmitweets

Yesterday I struggled all day with a breastfeeding problem. Smallest had spent two nights feeding every 40 minutes, then gone back just as suddenly to 3 or 4 hours, and somehow over night I think I missed a left feed. So I woke up to a very sore and distended breast, and despite trying to feed frequently off it, by evening I was almost crying when it was touched.

I hoped it would be better this morning, but it wasn’t, so I reached for support via twitter. I was inundated with helpful responses, from friends and strangers as we discussed warm flannels, cold cabbage, mastitis, blocked ducts and thrush.

And in the middle of it, I got one raised eyebrow, with a smile, from a business follower, surprised to have his stream suddenly take on such a personal bent. He was fine about it (he really was, please don’t hunt him down and shout!), but it got me thinking.

I’ve read a lot in the last few days about twitter stats. How there’s a tiny minority of power users creating all the content that the rest of us apparently just mindlessly retweet. It made me feel a bit confused tbh, it may just be that I don’t follow the power users in question, but that’s not my experience of twitter at all.

When I started using it, it still sent texts out to your phone. So we used it, me and some rl friends, to coordinate ourselves when out and about – much cheaper and easier than sending texts to each individual. When the texts went, so did we, to another service that kept them going a little longer. And since then twitter (and technology) has changed – the advent of smartphones means we don’t really need the texts a lot of the time, and there’s an awful lot more ppl on twitter. It’s being used for marketing, brand awareness, sponsored tweets. I know that twitter needs to make money, to keep the service going, but I don’t like the way they are driving it.

I like the social stuff. I like the small talk when I’m still awake at 1 o’clock in the morning. I enjoy the fun bits, and yes, I do some comps and some blog pimping too. Think they are a very small percentage of my stream though ;) I’d love it if more ppl were using it that way – and it might keep twitter a little safer for the rest of us, rather than it just turning into yet another boring marketing tool. Great, lets have the marketing too, but lets remember the social bit first and foremost. Next time you’re planning on pimping, how about you stick some small talk in and around it too?

So what do you think? Are there things you won’t say on twitter? Do you split your personal and business accounts apart – is that a particularly male thing to do? Did you unfollow me because I talked about breastfeeding? (Or would you have done if you had been following?)

And to those who helped this morning, thank you. I’ve showered, dangled and now smell slightly of cabbage. I’ll let you know if any of it helps. On twitter, obviously.

About Jax Blunt

I'm the original user, Jax Blunt I've been blogging for ten years, give or take, and if you want to know me, read me :)

Comments

  1. Ooh, ouch. Been there, done that. Ow ow ow.

    For me that’s the joy of twitter. Friendship, a laugh, politics, help, moral support, a voice in the 3am darkness – I adore it. Right now I’m struggling desperately because something big might be happening, and I can’t talk about it because I’m not allowed – and I know that Twitter would be a fantastic source of information and moral support and inspiration and ideas. Argh!
    Rachael recently posted…spring is comingMy Profile

  2. interesting, because i have twitter for my friends. Friends i’ve made on there and/or through blogging, admittedly, but friends. I follow one or two celebs for jollies (my day would not be complete with out Mister Shuffles) but I use Twitter as a support network, mainly.

    The marketing stuff comes in handy now and then – particularly if you have a problem or beef and the co picks up on it and tweets with you – but this occasional tweeting, these tweeps don’t make it to my long term following list. That’s exclusively for my friends :)

    That sounds very insular, but then thats the beauty of Re-Tweets – the passing on of information, ideas, just laughs, some days. Recently I’ve followed protests and events all over the world. It’s been mildly relevating – not a LOT i can do to help from my armchair, but I can retweet – for example, someone in Japan at the time of the earthquakes and tsunami was trying to get a message to someone in London recently, that they were ok. Missing persons and pets or lost property tweets sometimes come up too – i think that’s just an awesome use of it, away to unite us all in a small way…

    Also you can throw a question out and get all sorts of support and advice and ideas – as you’ve found!

  3. Being on twitter at the time that incident did raise my hackles as to me what you doing was perfect use of twitter in what I always thought of as its purpose. Quick contact with lots of people.

    You have touched on current dilemma I have though, originally my blog and twitter were for business purposes. To get the DaddyNatal message out there, but as quite a social creature I am now finding myself stopping or deleting a tweet. Why? simple because it isnt the professional me. I have more now been entering into conversations and chatting in general.

    Also my blog has now got couple of more personal entries as I have really found I enjoy blogging.

    So now my dilemma is do I now create a more personal blog and twitter account, to explore this side of do I evolve those I already have.

    Still undecided so would love to hear other peoples opinions.

    And if you would like to read about children :-) my story on 2 under 2 on my professional blog lol they actually only 13 months apart :-)

    http://www.daddynatal.co.uk/blog/?p=165

  4. Pretty much what Mamacrow said. Twitter is where my friends are. I do an awful lot of moaning, but thankfully, my friends don’t seem to mind! I follow some celebs, but not much in the way of marketing…though recently I’ve been followed by wine sellers for some reason!
    Rita recently posted…Weight Watchers week 1My Profile

  5. I think intention is key: if the only reason you’re on Twitter or Facebook is to promote your business, you won’t manage to engage with anyone. I was listening to the Woman’s Hour interview with Jean Auel the other day, and Jane Garvey said, if she’d hoped to sell 45 million copies of a book, she wouldn’t have chosen the Stone Age to set it in. And yet she almost certainly wouldn’t have sold any copies at all if her hope was to sell rather than simply tell a story. If we expand from the print era to social media, that’s the point, if all a person wants to do is sell, IMHO, that comes through transparently in their online activity.

    But those who tweet as individuals, who share details about their own lives and celebrate or commiserate with the events of other people? Well, they’re the ones who I’m much more likely to turn to as and when I need a service or product they happen to offer. @Daddy_Natal, does that help you reach a decision?

    Funnily enough, though, I tweeted earlier in response to someone pondering whether the “male” solution was to separate a business identity from a personal one. I said that, given the gulf between the two services I happen to offer, I set up two accounts. And funnily enough, organically, each account is differentiating itself clearly: @IanAppleby is more cerebral, reflective and intellectual while @Papa_Kangaroo is more immediate, impulsive and emotional. Strangely enough, I’m enjoying this persona much more just now ;)

  6. I think it’s probably depends in part on what the business is as well. some areas of business probably lend themselves more to a more overlapping personal/business approach.

    Though I do have a underlying ‘suspicion’ regarding what seems to be a bit of a trend lately with blogs, Twitter etc, where people mix the personal with business. It just kinda feels like another way to try and suck people in, to be a bit all touchy-feely, to give people the feeling that they have some emotional investment in whatever it is. Probably I’m just an old cynic.

    Not that this opinion is necessarily worth much, seeing as I fail to get why some people love Twitter so much. It just seems awkward and clunky to me :-)

    But, hey . different strokes :-)

  7. I must confess I split my accounts as when I first started doing more ‘mummy’ chat I found it didnt sit well with my business followers! Plus since I do ramble on extensively about breastfeeding etc I find these are things I wouldnt normally discuss with some of my clients at work!

    Occasionally though a client finds me as @northernmum1 and follows on both accounts, always freaks me out when they talk to mummy me.

    Thats to twitter I seems to be developing a split personaility!
    northernmum recently posted…new husband new babyMy Profile

  8. fireflyphil says:

    As still quite new to Twitter, I like first of all making friends. Then if it so happens that we can give each other business support or custom, that’s great – but I don’t care for the idea of using it impersonally. Alerts for product reviews are fine, but first of all, Twitter is for sharing the fun, and when appropriate, giving sympathy, which is lovely to get and rewarding to send.

  9. I have several Twitter accounts. There is the PippaD one which is me and my blog and friends etc but I do occasionally mention (okay every night) that I am at work and bored or busy or hungry or…

    Then I have the work account, my personal work account, my School Run reminders one and a one that is locked down for only a few people to read.

    I keep it separate because work Pippa is very different from personal Pippa and I don’t want the cross over.
    PippaD @ A Mothers R recently posted…Feather and Black PyjamasMy Profile

  10. I use Twitter 100% as a support network. I have very few real life friends with children, so the network of mums tweeting have been a great support network, even if simply to commiserate at 3am that I’ve been woken up again. Your cry for BF help was absolutely appropriate, especially given your followers!

    BTW – I’ve nominated you for the Liebster Award: http://badgermad.blogspot.com/2011/04/i-got-liebster-award.html
    Mother Badger recently posted…I got the Liebster Award!My Profile

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