[Note: I actually wrote this 2 years ago, but here it is reprinted almost word for word.]
Getting overwhelmed with junk on Facebook? Annoyed by random spam targeting you? Tried Twitter for a while and now you think it’s about to Jump the Shark already?
Ease back on the throttle there, Fonzie. Twitter is no different than Facebook or Flickr or Blogger except in its immediacy and constant freshness, which accelerates everything. Every social Web app goes through the same cycle. You just have to master it, and not let it master you.
As I’ve experienced them over the last 3 years, here is the cycle:
12 Stages of Social Media
- Inviting Everyone You Know
- Optional: Inviting the Wrong Person (skip to 9)
- Massive Use / Addiction
- Slight Abuse / Accidental Use
- Annoyance / Frustration
- Cutting Way Back
- “Going Dark” / “Taking a Break” / “Going Private”
- Acceptance / Renewed Curiosity
When your best friend from high school announces the birth of his baby boy on Twitter, you can’t tell me that Twitter is dying. For moments like these to be shared, you just have to tune in properly.
My advice to you: skip to Step 10. Try Jaiku or Facebook for a while, if you absolutely must escape. Get a better tool to deal with the deluge, or just create another account and live there for a while. (Update: There are 12 Antidotes as well, contained in the forthcoming book 140 Characters.)
Twitter does not jump sharks. People use Twitter to jump sharks. The Death of Twitter is a Myth, people. You ain’t seen nothing yet.