Last week, I set my usual Twitter account to one side and tweeted as @PeopleOfUK, the #RotationCuration account for the UK. While I enjoyed the experience of tweeting on behalf of the nation – and I liked to pretend it was by appointment of the Queen – it wasn’t quite what I expected.
I know that comes down to my own expectations. When I applied to be a @PeopleOfUK tweeter, it was at the height of my enjoyment of Twitter, which has somewhat died down since. I’ve been tweeting since May 2007. I don’t think I’ll ever leave the service (at least not until Twitter Inc. has thoroughly ruined it with further decisions like this and everyone jumps ship), but it’s not the same as it was a year ago, for example.
If anything, what my time as Mr. UK has shown me, is that I use Twitter in a very specific way, that a #RotationCuration account couldn’t satisfy. I missed my own timeline and the overlapping Venn diagram of my friends and followers. On my own account, there’s always some conversation going on that I can jump in on, and people that share my interests and sense of humour. By comparison, the UK’s account felt disjointed and isolated.
Even though the UK account has almost three times as many followers as I do, it very much felt like talking to myself. There were a handful of people who would send replies, and I got a bunch of retweets and stars here and there, but not the same connection I have with the regular faces of my own timeline.
It was a fun experiment, but it’s good to be home.