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Posted on: Sunday, 27 June 2010 by Rajiv Popat

For those of you who might have read this blog post, you probably know my stand on the whole stupid you-follow-me-I-follow-you game that is played so frequently on Twitter.

If you remove that game out of the equation and then consider the amount of chatter and noise on twitter, the real question you start asking yourself is this - is twitter even worth spending any time on or is it just an elaborate version of Yahoo Chat or Yahoo Messenger, depending on if you want to meet interesting strangers or catch up with friends.

My recent activity on twitter however seems to have shot up drastically in the last few days. The rise in activity is a based on a simple realization about Twitter after 'not using it for months'.

If you have been using Twitter regularly, you probably do one or more of the following:

  1. Talk about your product or service.
  2. Catch up with friends.
  3. Paste useful (or useless) links.
  4. Collect followers and flex your mussel power.
  5. Talk about a global event like the #worldcup for instance.

And depending on which one or more out of the above makes you happy, doing either is perfectly fine. After all, twitter was actually supposed to thrive on activities like these.

What you might be missing out on, however, is an opportunity to observe things around you. If you have been following me on twitter you might have noticed that this is what I have been doing a whole lot lately.

Here are some of my recent tweets that aught to give you an idea of what I mean along with a context of where they were done from:

Isn't it sad that #socialmedia guys are making so much noise about #socialmedia on #socialmedia sites? blatant self promotion.
(While searching the social media tag on twitter).

Amazed at what anger can do to you. Was about to file a complaint about a rude call center guy. Waited and decided against it. #happy.
(While having a bad time with an Indian call center).

Wonders how to give an interesting talk and constantly worry about someone feeling bad or disagreeing at the same time.
(While reading the GNU speaker guidelines).

A girl learning how to drive. wonder why people become so serious and worked up when learning anything new. smile. learning is fun.
(Walking on the road, as I watched a girl learn how to drive).

School uniforms are a disrespect to diversity. every human being is different and so is what he wears. can we please stop raising sheep now?
(In a bus in India where I saw a few students in uniforms get on and act like a flock of sheep being herded into the bus).

Word of advice: when you don't know what you are doing find people you can trust and who know what they are doing. set them free.
(While watching a new budding manager managing people).

Honking on Indian roads is a reflection of general Indian personality. loud. interesting and at times downright obnoxious. #toughlove.
(On Road in India).

Have you ever tried actively keeping a track of the days as they slowly pass by? The velocity at which time moves is rather scary.
(On a slightly depressed moment).

If there is one word you can block from your company's vocabulary what would that be? For mine it would be calling people "resources".
(As I heard the word 'resource' getting mentioned over a dozen times in a meeting at work).

The food joint where I am eating with brother and nephew has been around since 1939. the point: small businesses with a niche can work.
(While enjoying a snack at a small joint near home with brother and nephew).

The point, is that these are all events that pass us by about a dozen times a day. How frequently do you see a serious girl, looking all worked up behind the drivers wheel with an instructor equally worked up and worried? How often do you get turned off by the responses from an Indian call center? How often do you hear the term social media as if its the next best thing since slice bread? How often do you eat out at a small joint you love?

These are all perfectly 'normal' event. What twitter does is that it gives you an opportunity to turn these into 'abnormal' events by adding your perspectives and by adding a little bit of yourself to these events.  It then allows you to share your perspectives with the rest of the world and more importantly, archive them for your own future use.

What better way to end this post, than with a tweet that I first posted when I realized and started doing this:

Tweeting is about having a abnormal way of looking at perfectly normal things. Now give us meaningful content. I dare you.

See if you can make your different, weird or opinionated perspectives fit in that hundred and forty characters.

I wish you good luck.

Side Note: If you are still not there on Twitter, here is quick starter guide.