Monday, March 23, 2015

Twitter, will you please stop badgering me about cricket

My phone, admittedly, is on its last legs, memory-wise. It left contract before Christmas, but when I headed back into the shop it had been given an Apple store makeover (white, about three products on sale, prices and information tidied away into 9pt type, grey on white) and I turned on my heel and left, impossibly irritated by the fact that a brand choice I had made because it was cheap, cheerful, simple and yet still offered acceptable product options appeared to have dumped the last three of those in a desperate attempt to pretend they are not the first. Which they still are. Cheap, albeit increasingly expensive with it.

So, it's an old phone. Which means two things. One, it struggles to run the apps, especially when an advert fires off. Two, the adverts being served to me are old person adverts. Twitter, since the adverts began to really ramp up (in common with many people working in my sector I recently went on a Twitter Analytics seminar which was essentially an hour's worth of pointing out that (in common with the other well-populated social network) small advertising spend = huge increase in exposure) has been a particular pain to run on the phone. The auto-loading promoted tweet at the outset is verging on cripple-ware (and I'm a regular user of advert-supported Words with Friends, so my bar is very low when it comes to what is acceptable, ad-wise) and it is as the moment always and without exception for bloody cricket.

Don't get me wrong. I have no problem with the fact that cricket happens, that people care about it, that people follow it, But I, I do not follow cricket. My sports preference is actually explicit on Twitter (I follow a few professional cyclists plus some of the more amusing commentators) but even setting that aside, nothing about my age, sex, interests or other demographic information would suggest I am likely to be interested in cricket. Why, Twitter? Why must you persist in banging on about cricket, like that friend of your Dad's who is recently divorced, getting on a bit and congenitally unable to notice when anyone is bored, or might wish to talk about something else?

Last week, for the first time, I noticed a tiny x next to the promoted Tweet, and a finger-prod provoked the hover-tip "Dismiss". Finally! I thought, I can get rid of the cricket! This morning, though, brought an email. About cricket. From Twitter. Personally addressed, just to bring home what great chums we are. "XXXXX XXXXX, experience the quarter finals of the cricket world cup!"

Oh, I am experiencing them, Twitter, I am. Whether I want to or not, it seems.