The problem with Twitter

Let me just say first up that I am not really a fan of reality television. I abhor the over-dramatisation, usually the hosts are not great television talent, and quite frankly – if it was the contestants’ collective dream to make it big in their chosen field, they should have studied, trained and worked in that industry rather than waiting for an appropriate reality show to come along.

So that bring to me to The Voice. The other night as I lay in a dark room with my phone’s display set to the lowest brightness, I opened my Twitter, as it has been supremely helpful in preserving my sanity and patience when passing the long minutes and hours of trying to settle little ones to sleep.

Imagine my surprise when Every. Single. Tweeter in my timeline (and I follow over 700 people) were tweeting about The Voice. It was RELENTLESS. It was also FUTILE from a tweeting perspective – Twitter became simply noise rather than the conversation. I have always thought Twitter is about a conversation, not noise. No-one was reading the tweets and responding, they were just crowding out the medium with their comments.

WHY you ask?

Well, I’m assuming it was so they can get their Twitter handle up in lights – i.e. displayed on the broadcast as a ticker on the bottom of the screen. Wow. What a claim to fame.

So, there’s that problem I have with it. I mean, who cares?! Honestly?!!

Secondly. A lot of bloggers and tweeters go on and on about how they will not give their blog away for free. They are approached by PRs to do reviews and sponsored posts, and how they won’t do this for free anymore because they have more worth than that. And I wholly support this! While I’m not and don’t intend to be a blogger who does sponsored posts etc, I fully support those that do, and I really believe that they have brands and should protect them.

Why is it then that so many bloggers are happy to tweet was is essentially ongoing promotions of this television show? Everytime someone tweets with the hash tag for this show, they are promoting it. For free.

My issue doesn’t end there. I have an issue with the Nine Network. It’s MISOGYNISTIC. THEY HATE WOMEN. Evidenced in recent years by their treatment of their female staff in the Everywhere Eddie days. Continually evidenced by the fact that their workhorse show is Three and a Half Men and Big Bang Theory – neither of which have strong female characters. It’s also the homeland of NRL which is the biggest women-hating sport of all time.

I don’t mind a bit of healthy Twitter banter about a TV show, but not this ridiculousness of talking over the top of each other, living tweeting every single minute of the show. Just sit back and watch the show!

Now I don’t usually bang on about this kind of stuff. I’m not even a feminist, really. But the commercial has taken over Twitter and the tweeters, all in the name of us vying for our name in lights… Sure our name might be on telly but there are repercussions.

Meanwhile the Network is rubbing its hands together and earning SO MUCH MORE ADVERTISING MONEY because it’s such a talked about show. So their little trick is to make us tweet – the carrot being that our name will go up on the screen – and then they put their hands out to their advertisers and demand more $$.

Tweeters and bloggers – remember your brand. Next time you want to talk about a telly show, just think about the reasons why, and what you’re giving away for free. 

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17 thoughts on “The problem with Twitter

  1. An interesting post for sure! I’ve never really thought as my Twitter account as part of my brand… (oops, bad blogger! LOL)…

    On another note, I think you follow me and I can tell you I wasn’t tweeting about The Voice 😉 X

  2. Thanks for the comment Melinda! Yes I do follow you – perhaps you didn’t comment in the five minutes it took before I turned off my phone in DISGUST!!! Oh dear… such a drama queen am I. Your twitter is an extension of your brand. It’s OK to have personality – that’s part of what brings a brand to life and that in turn is what endears people to your brand – but my argument I guess is that ppl tweeting mindlessly so their comment will get on the screen isn’t actually a part of their personality… If that makes sense.

    1. Carma – the judges are Joel Madden, Delta Goodren, Seal and Keith Urban. So they are paying big bucks for it and I wonder whether it will end up with a ‘Voice Off’ between the Aussie, UK and USA winners?

  3. I’ve had to think long and hard about how I would approach this comment, as I am loathe to disagree with someone in what is essentially their own private space to say as they please. Plus I like you and your blog 🙂

    But I do feel the need to say that I was a proud employee of the Nine Network and its head office for a period of 6 years. I know many people, from those who work in the cafeteria, to the CEO who are all anything but misogynistic. I still have many friends employed there, male and female who are so hardworking and dedicated as well as generally kind, caring and bloody good people.

    And I know I’m guilty of twitter banter during The Voice but my reasoning was never to appear on the bottom of the screen. Monday nights, I’m home alone with no one but a 3yr old for company and I see it as a way of watching a TV show I happen to love, and being able to share thoughts in much the same way I would if I was lucky enough to have my husband sitting besides me.

    Usually I shy away from Reality TV (never seen a single ep of AGT, X Factor, Biggest Loser, Masterchef, Celeb Apprentice or even a full season of The Block) so I do understand your thoughts on that. And I do hope you will forgive this rather long comment clogging up your comments and wont hate me…!! Peace x

    1. hi Donna, thank you for commenting.

      I am very guilty of not thinking before I speak and in this case, type. I know that the nine network is obviously made up of many hardworking and good people, but rarely is an organisation the sum of its parts. I have a long memory and I haven’t forgotten its past mistakes, which is probably really petty of me. And I’m not even necessarily an advocate of J.Rowe or M.Freedman. There’s many things about the brand (again the brands!!) of nine that don’t sit well with me, part of that being that they are far too soft on people who have repeatedly made mistakes (i’m thinking some of the NRL personalities here, and I’m sorry again, I know that you’re an NRL fan, but honestly there are some people working for nine who I don’t think should have been given the second, third, fourth chance… ).

      However, I was being petty and could have made my point about the voice without ratting on Nine.

      Also, I totally get what you mean about sitting at home by yourself and wanting to talk about the TV show. And I admit that not everyone wants to see their name up in lights. But surely it gets to the point where so many people are talking that there must be no one listening? I don’t know….

      I honestly don’t know why it frustrated me so much… But it did. And thank you for taking the time to comment even though you disagreed with what I said! xx

  4. Hmmm….I’m certainly guilty of inane tweets about the television programs I watch. This is especially true of cooking and lifestyle programs I enjoy. I can say with some smugness though, that I have never watched The Voice 🙂

    1. I think that the voice is sneaky in that they put the comments from twitter up on the screen… so it makes people just tweet and tweet and tweet. I admit that I don’t mind a bit of discussion, but when the voice is on, it’s just incessant.

  5. Also guilty of inane tweets about reality tv – not to try to get myself on tv (because I know that my tweets criticising contestants will never make it to tv) but because I like to think that my friends who are also watching and tweeting about the same show will read and either reply to my tweets or maybe have a bit of a laugh.

    But you make interesting points! And they’re not going to make me stop following you 😉

    1. Thanks Donna. Look, I don’t mind some healthy discussion, but Twitter was absolutely choked the other night. I don’t want to watch The voice, so I turn off the telly and go to the net… and it’s all over FB and Twitter. There was no escape. I just got a bit frustrated with it, that’s all 😉

    1. Thanks meggsy. In hindsight maybe I was being a bit petulant. But I still stand by what I said, in the main.

  6. So accurate, some days my twitter account is more powerful than my blog. I don’t tweet anything to get up on a screen and usually don’t use the hashtag – now I am sure I wont.

    1. Thanks for the visit Clairey! Oh yes good point about the hashtags. I agree about Twitter being more powerful than the blog at times. I’ve been blogging for 5 and a half years, but more people read my tweets than my blog. And tweeting is more instantaneous too, so it’s more interactive and as a result probably engages more people than a blog post.

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