Twitter Trends: Trash or Treasure?

 

You’re on Twitter? So you know that sidebar with all the trends. It’s loaded with absurdity like #RuinAMovieWithBacon, #DescribeYourPoopIn4Words, and #LiesWeTellOurPetGiraffes.

Then there are the ones with celebrity break-ups, fall-outs, nose jobs, nose rings, weight gain, weight loss, and what color their hair was yesterday. It’s fascinating. Really.

There’s also breaking “news” trends (a.k.a. target practice). They scream, “Feeling aggressive? Ready for a virtual fight? Let your anger out right here!” And people do.

Sometimes there are awesome trends, like #Hemingway, #Shakespeare, or #EmilyDickinson with fabulous quotes for nerds like me. Also, I have learned about some incredibly cool “holidays” like National Coffee Day and National Chocolate Day.

It’s a mix. A dizzying display of words, names, places, and opinions.

I tend to ignore them but with their bright bold font, it’s difficult not to at least notice them. Which is, of course, the point. And occasionally (before someone rats me out) I’ve been known to #RuinADateIn3Words or something equally silly.

When I looked up the definition of “trending”, it actually had Twitter in the definition. I am quite serious. To be fair, that was online so I’ll smooth my ruffled feathers or dunk in the birdbath or whatever.

 

trend

verb

gerund or present participle: trending

  1. change or develop in a general direction.

          “unemployment has been trending upward”

          “interest rates are trending up

          “the Richelieu River trends northward to Lake Champlain”

  1. (of a topic) be the subject of many posts on a social media website within a short period of time.

          “I’ve just taken a quick look at what’s trending on Twitter right now”

 

Do you notice trends? Steal a glance to see if there’s something you’re interested in? Pointedly ignore them? Or actively seek them out to tweet about?

 

Trends

 

My Sunday thoughts in 200 words or less.

 

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I’m an Online Bartender

 

When I bartended many moons ago, I stuck to the (possibly antiquated) rule of not talking about politics or religion. I kept the conversation light. Superficial.

It worked for me. After my shift, I left with a purse full of tips and my sanity intact. I didn’t take my work home with me. (Which, as a bartender, you really shouldn’t. Unless a rep comes in with free samples of a new raspberry-chocolate liquor. Those you bring home.)

Drunken conversations, disagreements, arguments, anger? Why would you want those in your head while you’re trying to get to sleep at 4 AM?

I’ve seen a few bar brawls in my time caused by “discussions”. It’s really not a good idea to drink and talk about volatile issues. In fact, one can drink a few margaritas, make a cutting comment about another person’s shoes, and that can lead to a fist fight so what might talking about religion lead to? Go ahead and give that a moment’s thought.

I have coined a new term: “Online Bartender”. I’m not going to mix you a martini. (Get your own drink and meet me back here.) I’m also not going to discuss politics or religion or current events. Bet you saw that one coming.

If a person (like me, for example) does not write about the latest news on her blog, tweet about current events on Twitter, or use a trending hashtag, it does not necessarily mean that said person doesn’t know or care about these issues. She may. She may not.

Personally, if it’s a celebrity’s new nose job or fabulous $500 pair of jeans, I don’t care. If it’s brutality, war, poverty, injustice, abuse of power (in any form), I do. Very much. And you will never know about it. Because I won’t discuss it. Not even if you ask nicely and send cookies.

I choose not to write about my opinions on religion and wars and abusive sports players and school shootings and terrorism. It doesn’t mean I don’t know about these things, it means I don’t use social media to talk about them. I work through my feelings in my own way in my own home. I discuss news stories with my friends and family in real life. That’s just me.

Although…

I do happen to know that some other writers, bloggers, and tweeps also feel this way so, before you judge a person for being ignorant or uneducated or callous, please do remember that some people are Online Bartenders.

 

Do you discuss politics, religion, and current events online? Do you keep quiet on social media and talk about it at home?