So sick! I thought I'd come play something but reading all 149 tweets I'd missed tired me out. Back to bed. o7I replied with:
@LurbyJo you jumped into the Twitter stream & tried to take it all in & it made you sick! Just enjoy the stream at the point you jumped inShe replied:
@Alexia_Morgan I can't. I feel so guilty if I don't read everything. WHAT IF SOMEONE SAYS SOMETHING TO ME AND IGNORE THEM!?It made me think about a problem that's common to many Twitter users - too much information!
The messages, updates and communication coming to us via Twitter can be likened to a 'stream of information', or a Twitter stream. Imagine it as a stream of flowing information. It's always flowing, always moving on.
When you're following just a few people, it's very easy to keep up with their messages, because there's so few of them. You might be able to check once a day, or even once a week, and still be up to date with the conversations or updates occurring since you last checked.
But what about when you're following dozens, hundreds or even thousands of active people all sending their updates via Twitter? You simply can't keep up, and to even try will just drive you crazy!
How to make it easier
The first thing to do is to check whatever tool you're using (Twitter itself, or Twhirl, Tweetdeck, etc) to see if anyone has @replied or direct messaged you since you last checked. You can browse them, even reply to them if you want to. They've made the effort to personally address you or reply to you, so it's always a good idea to do them the courtesy of engaging in communication with them.
The second thing to do is to browse back through people's updates, but not very far. You don't need to browse back through the hundreds or even thousands of updates people have made since you last checked! You really don't.
Take a dip into the Twitter stream
When you jump into a stream, you don't try to swim all of it. You don't need to! It would be silly, if not downright stupid, to try and swim upstream as far as you could go in order to enjoy what the stream offers you.
Wherever you dip into the stream is where you need to be to enjoy it. That's all.
You can relax and enjoy it flowing past you, you can splash around a bit, and engage in communicating with people at that moment. Then you can pull yourself out when you've had enough, and you can go off and do other things.
When you next check Twitter, you can see the replies people have made to the messages you made when you last jumped into the stream, and you can engage them in return. Then you can jump into the stream again to see what people are saying in the moment, and for however long you want to participate, before you jump back out again.
This helps you avoid information overload. It helps you enjoy the experience more.
When people send an update to their Twitter, they're not personally addressing you - they're just throwing out 'stuff' about what they're doing or thinking. You don't need to see all of it! You only 'need' to see what they're throwing at YOU, and that's with the @replies they send to you. Everything else is just flotsam and jetsam, floating in the stream.
That's the interesting nature of Twitter and the Twitter stream. You don't have to be part of it at all times; you can just jump into it every now and again and participate with whatever is happening while you're there, before you jump out again.
That's how I do it. There's just too much going on to take it all in, so don't even try.