Twitter: Like Being Badgered By A Drunk On A 24-Hour Bus Ride

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Canadian politician Charlie Angus made headlines recently for quitting Twitter. Apparently, Mr. Angus said that Twitter is like:

“Being badgered by a drunk on a 24-hour bus ride.”

Mr. Angus blamed the “dumbed-down nature of the conversation” for his departure from the social networking tool. The Globe and Mail quoted the politician as saying that “only about 5% of what he was seeing on the social network was worth it.”

My take: Mr. Angus’ comments made me wonder: HOW WOULD HE KNOW? After all: Mr. Angus ONLY FOLLOWS (uh, followed) 54 PEOPLE!

In statistical terms, this would be considered an insufficient sample size.

But this begs a deeper question: Who was Mr. Angus following, and what were they tweeting that led Mr. Angus to his conclusions about Twitter? A quick look at his Following reveals that he followed:

  • HuffPost Canada. Well, this explains the “dumbed-down” comment.
  • Not one, but two, Stephen Harper-parody accounts. What was Mr. Angus expecting from these accounts, deep philosophical discussions?
  • Music Canada. According to its Twitter bio, it represents “Canada’s Major Labels.” I know I’m going to get some well-deserved grief for this comment, but — here goes: Canada has “major” record labels? Muwahahaha.
  • @TallTree_1173 (Northern Ontario Turtle Island). @TallTree-1173 has only tweeted 357 times, and most of them are either tweets to, or retweets of, Will Smith.

Most the remaining accounts that Mr. Angus follows are political-related, so, really, is it any surprise that he would conclude the nature of the conversation on Twitter is dumbed-down?

Bottom line: There are two conclusions to take away from Mr. Angus’ departure from Twitter:

1. Your Twitter experience is dependent upon who you follow.

2. Despite his limited and skewed sample, Mr. Angus was right.

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