Why do bad things happen to good fans? Whether it’s atrocious art, ridiculous writing or something else entirely – some crimes against fandom cannot go unanswered. When that happens, it’s time to say ”BLAARGH!“
How is it that Twitter, the site that has revolutionized communication in the past decade, has the absolute worst functionality for private messaging in the history of ever? The micro-blogging site is the preferred social media outlet for many heads of state, countless celebrities, and millions of us regular folk, so why should we have to slum it on Facebook to have a conversation in private?
Twitter’s Direct Message functionality has evolved over the years, but it always seems to remain as f—ing useless and annoying as the version before it. For a while, there was no on-site notification that a Direct Message was received, so…I’m sorry if you didn’t find out about your Grandmother’s funeral until 3 months after Uncle Greg messaged you. Then, the system was improved to include a subtle blue dot next to the “Me” icon when a message had arrived in your inbox…about as effective as a soft whisper from a mute poltergeist in a category 5 sharknado. And y’know what? Twitter users are still forced to @ mention their friends and colleagues with a brutally awkward “DMs for you!” tweet to make sure the recipient doesn’t let the message gather more dust than Grandma’s vibrator drawer (sorry Grandma).
Don’t get me started on the “THANKS FOR FOLLOWING!” auto-DMs from the growing number of users, whether it be their personal or professional account. Y’know what you’re doing, New Follow? You’re clogging my inbox and forcing me to eventually have to delete that waste of space bot-sent Direct Message. It’s gotten to the point where if you send me a “Thanks for following!” auto-DM, that will almost certainly warrant you a swift and unforgiving unfollow. I don’t care how much I desperately need to keep up with your unlistenable podcast, unreadable blog or terrible f—ing YouTube Channel. Maybe…just MAYBE if you link me to your Facebook fanpage, we can cut Twitter entirely out of our relationship.
The most frustratingly laughable aspect of Twitter Direct Messages? The now-seemingly rampant spam messages sent from hacked/phished accounts. Remember when @The_Guzmaniac sent us all the good news about the deals he was getting on Free iPads? Yep. And then just a couple of weeks ago, without any of the PoP! Staff (to our knowledge) clicking on a spam link, the PoP! Twitter was broken into, and I witnessed as our account sent weight loss spam to our over 1000 followers at a rate of about 1 per second (no matter how many could probably benefit). As my armpits grew more damp with each new outgoing message, I offered my kingdom for a “Direct Messages Off” button. Before we had to nuke the PoP! Twitter as if the Chitauri had invaded, our password was reset and the messages stopped. WHEW, RIGHT!? Then it was just a matter of DELETING EVERY SENT MESSAGE ONE-BY-ONE so that PoP! didn’t have to look like bigger assholes than we usually do when everyone logged onto Twitter the next morning.
Twitter DMs are absolutely useless, and until there is a massive overhaul of the system, they will remain useless and ulcer-inducing in 140 characters or less. A few suggestions for our Twitter overlords: Offer a “Turn Direct Messages OFF” option. Prevent users from utilizing auto-send bots via Direct Messages. Create some sort of pop-up notification on the home page when a direct message is received. And if we really want to get nuts, how about we get rid of the 140 character limit for messaging. I don’t need to use two Direct Messages to give strangers directions to my next Eyes Wide Shut orgy.
FIX IT, TWITTER. FIX IT.
Until then, we’ll be over on Facebook gossiping in private.
Filed Under: BLAARGH!