I'm hardly a social media expert, but I'm nothing if not a social media addict. There's plenty of advice out there on how to be great at twitter - be funny, be interesting, be a good curator, blah blah blah. But I've got a few pet peeves that I haven't seen mentioned on any of these lists.
This is by no means a definitive list on how to behave on twitter. The average user (myself included) probably does a few of these now and then, because we all sorta suck, right?
My mission is a small and achievable one: to suck a little less at twitter. Here are some fun tips to make that happen:
Stop detailing your bodily functions. If all you tweet is I’m so hungry! or I’m so full! then you may as well just name your account after your stomach. Same goes with I’m soooo cold. Following accounts from both hemispheres, I’ve constantly got someone whinging about being cold in my timeline. It’s dull. You’re giving me nothing. I want insight. I want a new perspective. I want frostbitten spirit-fingers!
Quit the TMI app. Specifically, abusing the TMI feature by making every tweet ridiculously long and drawn out. The joy of twitter is that it’s a series of short, readily available, self-contained messages. Usually I only click through if you’ve offered a particularly interesting comment on something you’ve retweeted, and I want to see the whole retweet. But if you start with ‘You know what’s wrong with the world…’ then I am so not clicking through.
Stop tweeting inane decontextualized song lyrics. Maybe you’re listening to this amazing song and it’s bringing your soul to delicious musical orgasm, but twitter is a text-based experience and all I see on my screen is ‘baby baby baby oh baby baby baby no’ - and I just don’t give a duck.
Limit the text speak. Perfectly acceptable for your average tweeter with three bots following them. But what blows my mind is when self-proclaimed writers use text speak when it's not necessary (we've all had to make sacrifices to save that -1 character.) But dude, you’re trying to sell me a book you wrote? You better damn well show me that you know how English works.
Quit being didactic or overly philosophical. Thinking out loud isn't always equivalent to making other people think. Being high-minded now and then is refreshing, but if every tweet is an abstract attempt at being deep, you're probably coming off pretentious (at best.)
For the love of pie, quit with the ever-so-unique nicknames for people in your life. You can’t just say my husband or Dave (if your husband’s name happens to be Dave), oh no! It has to be The Man, The S.O., Mister BetterHalfington, and all that shit. And kids become The Princess or Little Winner. You’re not being cute and creative. You’re being that married person or parent who makes all the other married people or parents look like lame, kitschy dorks.
Now that I've alienated everybody ever, here are some things other people say to stop doing, that I say keep doing on twitter:
Swearing. Apparently not many people like swearing on twitter, but I think if that's part of your personality, don't censor yourself to appeal to the masses. Fuckbuckets.
Drunktweets. Yup, it's an art, and completely depends on what kind of drunk you are. I happen to be a happy and inappropriate drunk, so my drunktweets are by far what gets me the most followers. Unless you're tweeting on behalf of your boss, or your parole officer is following you, I'd say drunktweets are harmless fun.
Oversharing. Twitter is beautiful because it gives you the freedom to post whatever you want. And if you want to post “The thing that bothered me about my ex is that he had really weird junk.” then I am totally gonna follow you and favourite that shit.
Did I miss anything? What would you add to the list, or take off it? Have you ever tweeted about a fire before fully evacuating the building? Share in the comments!