Monday, March 4, 2013

I’ve Been Doing Twitter All Wrong Over Here


Twittering is a skill that needs practice, you guys. I’m going to admit that I’m not that concerned about my practical Twittering skills. Years ago, back in the Dark Ages, I used to have no followers and I’d write things on Twitter and no one would give a fuck and pr0n bots would try to show me their boobs, but all that’s changed. Now, I write things on Twitter and people are all like, “Yes! How clever and wise! I shall retweet this!” and sometimes I Twitter at people and they Twitter back to me, or they Twitter at me and I Twitter back to them, and then we Twitter at each other and look! Here we are using technology to avoid normal social interaction! How fun!

But, according to some online advice columnists, who I won’t link back to because I can’t find the article now and I’m lazy, but who are on Buzzfeed (and let’s face it, Buzzfeed doesn’t need more traffic), I am doing Twitter all wrong. Here are some of the ways I’ve been fucking up at Twitter:

Not Following People Back

That’s right, I don’t follow people back. For a long time on Twitter, I followed back everyone who followed me. Then I realized that my Twitter feed was clogged with the retweets, shared links, promotional posts and pr0n bot boobs of 1200 people that I didn’t know, like, or give a crap about. I found myself re-thinking my reasons for being on Twitter, and decided that they involved having fun, meeting new people and not going mad while working from home all day.

So, several months ago, I unfollowed everyone that I hadn’t engaged with and enjoyed, plus a few by accident, and that added up to more than a thousand people, so if I unfollowed you a few months ago, this would be why.

Sorry, but you're boring and I don't care about your life.

It took me about three hours to sit there and go through my “following” list and remove all the peeps that I didn’t want to follow anymore, but Twitter has been so much more fun for me since I did that. Sure, my remaining followers have been slowly trickling away now that they’re not getting the ego boost of reciprocal follow-cation. Twitter is a very “what’s in it for me” place, and everyone’s convinced that having a lot of followers means something. It does not.

Abusing Hashtags

According to this columnist on Buzzfeed whose name I forget, hashtags on Twitter serve a purpose. They allow disparate groups of people to Twitter about the same topics and see each other’s Twitterings, by looking them up with the hashtag. You knew that. Or, if you didn’t know that, now you do, and you’re welcome.

So, apparently, we’re all supposed to stick with using the hashtags that are already popular and circulating instead of “abusing” the hashtag privilege by creating our own random hashtags that mean nothing outside of the context of our silly little heads. I guess trending hashtags are handed down by The Almighty Hashtag Tribunal instead of being flippantly created by mere peons such as ourselves.

I abuse hashtags all the time. I use them to attach my tweets to a larger colony of similarly-themed tweets Twittered by other Twitterers that I don’t even know, to organize my own tweets under categories, or to express my thoughts about the tweet even as I Twitter it. I might even use them to let somebody I’m currently Twittering with know which tweets are about what topics, since I often carry on multiple conversations with the same person(s) simultaneously.

I don’t care what anyone thinks, it’s fun, like wearing skinny jeans and using Hotmail. Even as I wrote this blog post, my Twitter friend @evilmynx and I managed to get the hashtag #sluttycat trending. It was amazing, really made me feel like I’d made a difference. But the online advice gurus claim that this practice will annoy your followers and DRIVE THEM ALL AWAY.

And here I thought they were being eaten by zombies.

Retweeting Praise

I’m definitely not the only person who does this. It’s beginning to look like, if the advice of people who are paid to come up with advice is to be believed, I shouldn’t be looking to the other Twitterers for examples of how to Twitter. They are doing it wrong too.

Turns out that retweeting mentions of people telling you you’re awesome makes you look stuck up. It makes you look stuck up even if you copy and paste the message into a new tweet in order to convey your thanks and appreciation to the giver of praise by sending it back to them. It’s definitely not a means of saying “Thank you for saying these nice things about me” in the most convenient way possible for the other person, who might by now be sitting there wondering “What did I say again?” No, it is SHOWING OFF and it will annoy your followers and DRIVE THEM ALL AWAY.

STRAIGHT INTO THE ARMS OF THE ZOMBIES!

Retweeting Insults

I don’t get many insults, but when I do, I retweet them. The online advice people frown at this and tell me that I’m a big ol’ meanie for escalating things like that, because it’s encouraging my followers to attack the person and the best thing to do is ignore them. Yes, I know, my grandmother gave me that advice when I came home crying about bullies in the third grade.

Ignoring the bullies does have some value, but I don’t believe in letting people use the dwindling anonymity of the Internet as a shield to stand behind whilst attacking others. If you haven’t yet clued in that the Internet is a public space and that what you say there can have a way of biting you in the ass, well, guess what. Maybe retweeting that harassing tweet will serve as a reminder.

Besides, it’s not as if I’m going all “Hey guys look at this asshole, LET’S GET HIM” every time I do this. I’m not responsible for what other people decide to do. If some of my followers decide to give him a hard time, then it’s his fault for being a douchenozzle in the first place.

I love having an excuse to use this picture.

20 comments:

  1. JUST FOLLOW YOUR HEART MARJORIE

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    1. Oh Paulie, I knew you'd support me no matter what!

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  2. Some of it is bullshit. And what fun is Twitter if you can't abuse hashtags. Btw, there are apps that can clean out your Twitter followers so you don't have to go through each one yourself. About time for me to do it as well.

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    1. WELL HOLY SHIT, PAINT ME RED AND CRAM AN AARDVARK UP MY ARSE!

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    2. I'm pretty sure that would hurt. The aardvark, not the paint. Just saying :)

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    3. I'm pretty sure I tried one of those Twitter apps once, it still took a fucking long time.

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  3. You are Ridiculous - Ridiculously funny - Love this post - the caption on that last picture nearly sent coffee through my nose.

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    1. I apologize for the coffee. *hands towel*

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  4. Thanks for the lesson in Tweetettique. I know I've been doing Twitter wrong. I don't follow everyone. I self promote. I RT & MT others if I like a Tweet. I make up random #tags. I'm quite sure I have many Twitter violations, but I'm among friends. Jae Mac, I'm Just Sayin'...(Damn!)

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    1. Oh yeah, I forgot to put self-promotion on the list. I think that's fine as long as you tweet about other stuff too.

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  5. I gotta be straight with you. You're doing twitter very right. I just followed you because a) you're honest b) you're funny.

    I follow and retweet stuff I like. I also take 10 minutes at the end of each month to clean up my followers list and start over.

    good post

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    1. Well, thanks for following without (I'm assuming) expecting me to follow you back! I hope you don't find my Twitter boring. I mostly Tweet about things my cat did and my mundane daily activities. Sometimes I complain. Today, for instance, I complained about people who complain about the snow. But you already knew that.

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  6. I can't decide if twitter scares me more or less now! My teens try to explain it to me (thinking it will distract me from any more instagram questions), but there is a limit to the number of questions they will answer in one sitting! Just stopped by from a-z!

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    1. Twitter is pretty scary. God knows, I'm sure it'll keep me from gainful employment one day, if this blog doesn't. Thanks for stopping by Andrea!

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  7. The "online advice people" talk a lot, don't they? ~~ Have fun with Blogging from A to Z!!

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    1. Thanks and thanks for stopping by! I give much better advice than those "professionals," I need to find someone to pay me for that! ;)

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  8. I am SO with you when it comes to doing what makes YOUR OWN Twitter experience fun! Good for you for breaking and making your own rules!

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    1. Rules are made to be broken! I'm a rebel! Yawp!

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  9. Right on. I hear ya. It took me forever to even figure out what to do with Twitter. It wasn't until I went to a blogging conference and noticed what everybody was doing afterward on twitter that I even remotely got the point. I can be slow like that.

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    1. Oh man, I should probably go to a blogging conference.

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