How to Find #NormalPeople on Twitter: A Call to Action

I'm on a quest to follow normal people on #Twitter... which is harder than you think.

The Guardian ran an article on how Twitter is struggling to attract regular people. According to people interviewed for the article, "normal people" find the platform too fast moving and intimidating. Many people who signed up have fallen by the way-side.
drawing by David Borden of a man in the rain holding a cardboard sign that reads: There are worse things than going to work on Monday morning
My attempt at tweeting wisdom

What keeps normal people away?

I've observed the following types of people that make Twitter off-putting:

Seems everyone is selling something... especially #PaleoDiets and get rich schemes.

These are the folks who have an ideological agenda. They mostly outline how those that do not hold their opinion are not too bright. Instead of telling what is good about their candidate or position, they tell you why everyone who opposes them is an idiot.

A bot is an automated system that spews messages into the Twittersphere. Bots are a consequence of the fact that Twitter moves so fast that mere seconds after a Tweet, if your message doesn't get any traction, it is buried in oblivion. To increase the likelihood of being heard, marketers send out messages every so many minutes. Ironically, these bots make the problem worse, increasing the cycle.

Oversexed, Filterless, Exhibitionists:
I am amazed at how many people like to take pictures of their cleavage, make dirty puns, or openly discuss masturbation.  Ew.

A very popular thing to do is post clever platitudes and "inspirational" quotes. If you are a fan of cute and or insightful statements, never buy a book of them again. Twitter is smothered in wisdom.

The #TopTweets Feed:
If you only look at Top Tweets, you'll never find a regular person. Most Top Tweets go to mega-corporations and others with enormous bull-horns and tens of thousands of followers. Yawn.

Is it worth it to look for normal people in the chaos? I think so. Twitter has the potential to bring normal people together to talk about how we want to shape the world. At its worst, Twitter is just a platform for spammers to sell you a diet plan. At its best, it assists with movements such as the so-called "Arab Spring."

If we can get past the celebrity faux pas du jour and the political name-calling, perhaps we can find a way to actually talk to each other across continents and cultural barriers.

This is my call to action: My goal is to follow 5000 regular, normal, actual people over the next year. Will you join me @dsborden? If you're a normal person, join the revolution.




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