My friend and fellow blogger Scott Greenfield revealed the conspiracy - that a few of us lawyers decided to take a break from the silliness of twitter.
Twitter, at its core, is a means of communication. To some, it is their career. To some, it is their life. Those obsessed with the fallacy that twitter is the key to building a successful career in any field are angered anytime anyone (like me) states anything to the contrary. It's not that they disagree, it's that the mere voicing of any disagreement with the notion that twitter or social media is the end-all-be-all, may actually cause people to agree. Those that have failed at substantive careers and opened up offices in Starbucks or their kitchen tables don't want word to spread that it's all a cruel, meaningless, irrelevant, joke.
When I first starting using twitter, I soon stopped. I didn't understand it. I was urged to try again, and given, for free, the best social media advice around - "just get on there and start talking to people."
So I did.
Then I got it. Twitter is a conversation, nothing more.
Twitter is also a great medium for former and failed and disbarred, and convicted lawyers to parade themselves as relevant to those desperate lawyers looking for the silver bullet of success. There are as many "Top 10" lists as there are hours in a day. There as those who had their fill of law, whether it was 10 years or 10 minutes, that are there to tell you how to do everything. There are plenty of desperate, broke, Starbucks dwelling lawyers, who are all too ready to believe that a lawyer who practiced "associate" law for 6 months has all the secrets to building business.
Few ask questions, many kiss the ass of those that have no specialized knowledge of the medium other than that they are "passionate" about it. The circle of those that think each other "awesome," or "change agents" or "gurus," or "rock stars," is a circle of the most irrelevant humans on the planet.
Then there is the notion that the use of social media must, must, have goals. Bullshit. Those that preach this are doing so because they can sell you those goals. Those who preach secrets of social media are shameless losers merely looking for that desperate consumer who will maybe write a check for some "guru" advice.
No lawyer will ever build a practice on twitter. Have I received referrals and cases "from" twitter? Sure. But it's not because I dimed out the latest fake lawyer claiming to be the Wizard of Oz, or because I mentioned the word "law" or "lawyer" or whatever. I received and receive referrals and cases from twitter because people take a closer look, because I actually have an office, and a practice, and clients, and cases.
The cart never comes before the horse - except on twitter. My rule is that anyone on twitter trying to get you to pay them for social media advice, is someone from whom to stay far away. There is a collection of these scam artists, these tweeters of everything shiny and techno and social media like, who claim to know something. They know nothing. They like social media, that's all.
Sure I'll be back on twitter. I enjoy the conversation. I've met some great people. I have developed relationships with lawyers and other people not because they are on twitter, but because who they really are.
My time off from twitter has given me a new perspective on the conversation going on there with those former(and even current)-lawyers-turned-social-media-idiots. Some of the conversation is nothing more than re-tweeting articles about social media, and re-tweeting articles about new shiny things and their sure domination over the world. Twitter still, is the worst place to find real lawyers, because the real lawyers are not interested in conversations about cell phones and their apps. Technology is a tool for lawyers, not the core of their existence.
The further I am from these shallow "lawyers," the more I am embarrassed by their existence in my profession. The more I wonder why anyone listens to them, except for the fact that they believe snake oil is the solution to their woes. Meaningless conversation is always important to get through a day. To some of these folks, it's the entirety of their conversation. To some, their day is based on meaningless conversation, attempts to get hired by lawyers, and making sure everyone knows that people love them. These "lawyers" will never accomplish anything important, except to have someone else tell them how awesome they are.
The lying continues, the demeaning of our profession continues, and the hope of desperate lawyers looking to retire off of twitter, continues. It's all very sad.
I look forward to jumping back in to the mix, and continuing to point out all the garbage that calls themselves "lawyers." To me, it's fun. To others, it's sadly, all they have.
Located in Miami, Florida, Brian Tannebaum practices Bar Admission and Discipline and Criminal Defense. He is the author of I Got A Bar Complaint.