Thanks to Tweetdeck’s activity column, there are some things you do on Twitter that you should really save for the witching hour when no one’s around to see it.
The activity column shows you what everyone you follow on Twitter is doing. It will tell you if someone just favorited a tweet or followed someone new in a constantly moving stream. But if you follow a lot of heavy Twitter users, the feed will often move fast.
It’s a love hate relationship.
Personally, I toggle between using it and banishing it to the end of Tweetdeck where I don’t have to look at it. But when the feed is out of sight, I feel like there’s something I’m missing out on. And then it’s just time to take two Advil and get over it.
I work with a lot of people who love the activity column, notably Nicholas Carlson and Business Insider’s Executive Editor, Joe Weisenthal. They both agree they get a lot of information from what they see.
But when my colleague Rob Wile added Golden Globe Award Winner Jared Leto to his “don’t miss” Twitter list this morning, those in the office who keep their eyes on the activity stream had a field day.
Here’s the thing: what you do on Twitter is available for public consumption. So fave a tweet here, follow someone there, fine. But if you’re favoriting someone’s joke, it will show up there. If you just roped a former ‘My So Called Life’ superstar to one of your lists at 11am (practically rush hour for Twitter on a weekday), it’s on display. Following or faving racy stuff on Twitter can also be seen on everyone.
Rob, we’re not judging, but maybe you could have saved this for 3am and hope no one would tell Weisenthal when he wakes up an hour later to tweet “what’d I miss?”
Let’s say you’re a political reporter and your job is to cover Chris Christie. If you’re not following him on Twitter you should probably rectify that, but you SHOULDN’T follow him right in the middle of the State Of The State address. You probably won’t get called out, but you never know who’s watching and who’s bored that day.
Nothing on the Internet is sacred, and your Twitter activity is definitely anything but. Best to keep your fave and follow hand steady and wait til everyone drifts into a deep slumber before you do your embarrassing digital housekeeping.