Life: Twitterquette

To celebrate the (rather slow) approach of my 2,000th follower on Twitter, I have decided to impart a little of my ‘twisdom’ (if you will) about the medium.  Admittedly, I’ve gone all Gotye on Twitter’s arse in the last year – yep, Twitter has become somebody I used to know. But that kind of thing has never stopped me from sharing my opinion, right?

So here, for your enlightenment, are some questions people frequently ask me about Twitter.

Should I follow everybody who follows me?
No, don’t. Let me share with you the following cautionary tale: one friend made some casual remarks about furniture shortly after joining Twitter and got followed by a furniture retailer. She felt obliged to follow back and thus opened the floodgates to all the furniture retailers in the world, like, EVER, whom she also felt compelled to follow back. Within a week she closed down her account, complaining twitter was nothing but end of financial year office ergonomic executive chair sales. It *CAN BE* nothing but end of financial year ergonomic executive chair sales but only if you let it. Or if that’s just how you roll.

Should I take it personally if nobody ever responds to my tweets?
Let’s face it: being on twitter is a lot like shouting “Look. At. Meeeeeee!” in a crowded room of people who are also all shouting “Look. At. Meeeeeeee!”. Nobody is ignoring you. They just can’t hear you above the sound of their own voice. Sorry, did you just say something?

Should I thank everybody who retweets me?
No, unless you like your tweet history to read like an Oscars acceptance speech. I kind of put it in the same category as replying to thank you letters.

Should I thank everybody who follows me?
Who are you people, the Thanking Brigade? Sheesh. The answer is no. And whatever you do, don’t auto-DM thank yous to new followers because you will just look like a porn-bot and that’s not good – unless, of course, sending people links to porn is your way of thanking people.

Should I take it personally if people unfollow me?
Unless it’s your mother, no. Life’s too short.

Should I say whatever I want whenever I want about whomever I want?
It’s worth remembering that (most of the time) there are actual humans at the other end of a twitter handle. Once, I questioned the Flight Centre pilot’s sobriety due to the angle of his hat, only to find myself in conversation with the Flight Centre itself. This briefly sparked an international fashion trend involving wearing a pilot’s cap at an oh-so-very-slight jaunty angle and to be honest, nobody, not even the Flight Centre pilot, wanted that. Also, casual remarks about things like “evil dead cats”, “an*l bleaching” and “clown porn” may as well be tweets that say “PORNBOTS: COME ONE, COME ALL.” I learnt this the hard way.

What if I tweet something that I immediately regret?
Delete it from your tweet history and move on. Twitter moves at such a fast rate that if today’s newspaper is tomorrow’s fish’n’chips wrapping, this nano-second’s tweet has already eaten those fish’n’chips and crapped it out the other end.

How much can I twitterise words like ‘twitterquette’ and ‘twisdom’ before someone slaps me?
There is no limit to such (t)wit. Twuly. (*slaps self*).

If I can’t say it in 140 characters, should I say it at all?
No. Go back to Facebook, Tolstoy! In the right hands, a tweet can be like a beautiful haiku. In the wrong hands, it can look like an unfin..(cont)

The formerly fashionable NDM had three children and discovered that brown is the new black the hard way. The force behind the once-was-blog Not Drowning, Mothering, she now very occasionally writes for the sometimes-blog The NDM. In her spare time, she enjoys baking cakes, cyber-hassling advertising executives and collecting photos of unusual objects made out of paperclips.

  • Rumpus

    Love it. I feel fully etwipped (*slaps self*).

  • Kim at Let Me Start By Saying

    Why isn’t this in the Twitter User Manual?

  • Vikki Seaton

    Lordy – you’re just so darned funny!!!