People will tell you that you should do Twitter your own way and in many ways they are right. You should express yourself how you want to express yourself, that is, after all, what self-expression is all about, no? That being said, people do a lot of stupid things (in no particular order).
1. Team Follow Back
Under no circumstances should you involve yourself with anything #TeamFollowBack related or anyone who says “I follow back” and here’s why. Team follow back and all people who automatically follow back are really telling you that they’ll follow anyone and who wants to be followed by someone who will follow anyone. This is not a third grade birthday party and it’s time to be a selective grown up. Moreover, how good can someone’s tweets really be if they only gain followers by promising to return the favor? Follow people because they’re awesome. Follow people because they interest you. Follow people because you’ve created elaborate fantasies where you do all kinds of illicit things and everyone is always happy, or whatever.
2. Don’t beg celebrities (or others) to follow you back
I know this is similar to number 1. but it happens so often and is even more aggressive and uncomfortable than simply being un-discerning like team follow back that it needs to be addressed. Asking if someone follows back, begging to be followed, and any sort of angry @ mention where you bitterly state that someone won’t follow you back because of their follower ratio is about as pathetic as it gets. This is sad and you’re not only embarrassing yourself but humanity as a whole. Get a clue. And as stated in 1. if you’re following a person simply so they will follow you back, knock it off, you’re doing it wrong anyway.
3. #FF (Follow Friday)
This one is a bit of a double edged sword. In theory, it should work great, the people who you think are awesome recommend other awesome people to follow and then you do, in fact, follow them. In reality, Fridays are the worst on Twitter. People #FF entire lists of people without offering any kind of explanation as to why (or when they do, the reason is often stupid like #HotChicks or #MyFavoriteGuys – both which are stupid reasons to follow as judgments like hot and favorite are about as relative as its gets and let’s be honest, if your #FF is a whole list of people you’re not very discerning to begin with and thus your recommendation means nada).
That being said, I was recently reminded of the one positive of this whole thing. It can make someone feel really special. Someone recently did a #FF for me that was about how they thought I was great etc. etc. and dammit if it didn’t make my entire day. That being said, if the person did it all the time or even for a bunch of people on the same day, it would start to feel a little like bullshit. So, if you decide to do #FF, do it sparingly and with real thought and emotion.
4. Stop Careless (Moronic) RTing (retweeting)
For the love of intelligent things, if someone does #FF you, DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES RT it (you may be able to get away with doing so if the tweet is incredibly hilarious and well written but otherwise, no exceptions). See, here’s the thing – the people you’re RTing it to ALREADY FOLLOW YOU! So now it just looks like you’re either a moron who doesn’t realize this or a total jackass who RTs compliments (have some humility, yo). Even worse than this is RTing it if the #FF is a list of however many names the person could squeeze into 140 characters. Now, not only are you okaying this foolish behavior of pandering and idiocy but you’re propagating it to your followers (who I assure you don’t care that you were on a nondescript list) and are not going to then follow all the people on said nondescript list anyway. Hell, they might even unfollow you for this annoying behavior (I know I do).
5. Stop Careless Thanking
We get it, you’re grateful! There is no need to thank the person who #FFed you in a list with 6 other people and even less of a need to thank the person, while still @ing all the people in the original tweet – because here’s what – not only does the rest of the list not care that you’re thankful but they now probably hate you a little bit for your stupidity. USE SOME LOGIC. Seriously. And if you RT someone thanking you for your #FF nondescript list, just close your Twitter account now. Honestly, you’re a blight on society.
6. Don’t ask for Retweets or favs (stars)
Up until recently I didn’t know this was a thing, that people asked each other for this, that people traded these things like a barter system, and my life is infinitely sadder now that I know this exists, so don’t be one of these people. If your tweets don’t speak for themselves, they weren’t very good anyway. And if you think your tweets are dynamite (and they actually are) then just engage with people, offer witty quips, RT and star the tweets of others that you enjoy and so that the people you find funny know you exist, just don’t expect things from people like a trade off. If you’re good, people will eventually see.
7. Don’t worry about follower ratio
If someone makes you laugh or interests you, follow them. Regardless of how many people you are following. There is no magic follower ratio, there is no magic if I follow less than 500 people I will be seen as a big deal answer. Follow who you like, don’t follow who you don’t like. As a tip though try to remember slow and steady wins the race. Back in the day I remember my getting dizzy when I tried to keep up with more than 400 people but you adapt, you get better at Twitter. So don’t sign up and follow 2000 people, start slow, find your groove, and adjust as you go.
8. Think before tweeting
In all honesty, this applies more to @ mentions than anything. You can tweet whatever the fuck you want to and people will follow or unfollow accordingly. But @ mentions are a little different. You see, the people following you signed up for that shit so if you tweet asinine nonsense and they see it, well, they made that choice. @ mentions, however, don’t have that same limit. You can @ mention anyone (though that doesn’t mean you should). Here are some general guidelines to keep in mind:
- Don’t repeat the joke back to the person in slightly different words. Write your own jokes (see also: doing this is never funny).
- Don’t @ mention them with the opposite of their tweet. If I tweet https://twitter.com/SSDated/status/349305174164119554 and you respond with https://twitter.com/raywade1/status/349306633400229888 You can rest assured that I 100% hate you.
- Don’t bother @ mentioning with any of the following: ha!, haha, lol, lolz, lmao, lmfao, so true, etc. Just star their tweet and be on your way.
- Don’t @ mention something off topic. If the person tweeted about ice cream and you come back with so what do you do for work? you’re a fucking moron.
- Don’t bother @ mentioning someone about a tweet older than a week. In social media time that’s like a year ago and the original tweeter is no longer thinking about it. Find something newer to respond to.
- Use your words. I can’t tell you how many times an @ mention doesn’t make sense (I’m assuming because the person thinks I can read their mind). If you can’t be clear in 140 characters than maybe don’t mention them.
- Finally, honestly, truly, just put a little thought into your response. I often get @ mentions where I follow up with several back and forth tweets till the guy (sorry dudes, it always seems to be you) admits that the original @ mention to me was stupid and he didn’t really think it through. So don’t make me be that bitch that harasses you till you realize you’re a moron. Just stop the idiocy before we get started. It’s okay to just star a tweet and not bother @ mentioning.
Now this one is a little controversial. Some people absolutely can’t stand them. I think they’re okay when used thoughtfully. I’m okay with a hashtag if it’s cute and/or funny #FatPanda #TheyBuriedMeAliveSomeoneHelpMeImHungry etc. That being said, even when funny or creative, brevity and moderation are your friends. Once or twice. Here and there. No big deal. I’m also okay with hashtags when they serve a purpose #StandWithWendy being a favorite of mine recently or my always favorite #PossibleBookTitles or any of the ones about changing movies/bands/etc. Two rules of thumb to avoid be a super douche when it comes to hashtags: Don’t hashtag incorrectly (don’t hashtag #montreal #vancouver #sydney #boobs in a tweet about gardening in the hopes someone will care about your tweet, they won’t) and don’t hashtag excessively (this goes for instagram too–there’s no need for #igers, #instagrammers, etc. A. because we’re all instagrammers, this is instagram, don’t be a fucking moron and B. these are redundant, the same, just pick one).
10. Don’t treat twitter like a chatroom
Don’t tweet Hi or any variation of this at anyone, ever. If you have something to say, say it. Not only do public greetings like this seem creepy (and out of touch with social media), but they confuse the person you’re @ing. First, they’ll probably wonder if they know you somehow. When that’s not it they’ll wonder what’s going on, why would someone tweet a greeting, that’s so bizarre. Then, after they’ve wasted sufficient time on this, one of two things will likely happen. They’ll respond because they’re kind and you’re pathetic and the whole thing makes them uncomfortable or they’ll block you because fuck that.
Disagree with any of these? I’d love to hear about it in the comments (but make sure you offer up some *logic* on why I’m wrong and you’re right). Have any more to add?
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