The Definitive Guide To Proper Twitter Etiquette
If you’re a celebrity, what I’m about to say more than likely doesn’t apply to you. Now, let’s be clear, when I say “celebrity,” I don’t mean “I got a YouTube video with a bunch of hits” celebrity. I’m talking about someone who’s in the public eye – a movie star, comedian, singer, etc. If you’re a D-lister, chances are, you’re not exempt.
OK, so I haven’t been on Twitter THAT long, but I’ve observed a few things that just don’t sit well with me. I kind of look at Twitter as an online precursor to how one should deal with people in real life – assuming you’re not quite ready or mentally capable of real human interaction. I’ve seen behavior on Twitter that reeks of unjustified arrogance. A lot of people seem to want to use Twitter as a means of inflating and stroking their inexplicably large ego. So I’ve decided to compose a handful of tools to help you all become the model Twitter user, lest you look a John Mayer (see “tool,” or “douchebag.”)
1. You don’t have to follow everyone who follows you. There are a lot of spam bots on Twitter. However, if someone follows you AND goes out of their way to make a connection with you by speaking to you or sending you a DM, it’s common courtesy to follow them back. Ignoring their out-stretched hand is like – well, if someone extends their hand in a friendly handshake and you sneer at them and turn on your heels and walk away. You don’t have to offer your hand in return, but just know that you look like an asshole. You may not be an asshole, but you’re wearing an asshole’s uniform.
2. Don’t treat Twitter like a popularity contest. If you have to attempt to be popular, guess what: You’re not popular. When I see nobodies – and let me pause here and explain what a nobody is since a lot of people on Twitter seem to be unaware that they are indeed a nobody. If you don’t have fans, you’re a nobody. If you’ve never been on TV, in a movie, or released a record that people have purchased, you’re a nobody. If nobody outside of your circle knows who you are, you’re a nobody. If I were to google your name, and return no relevant results other than your own web page, you’re a nobody. If a somebody doesn’t know who you are, you’re a nobody. If you don’t know the somebodies are, you’re a nobody. Now, there’s not anything WRONG with being a nobody. The problem comes in when you entertain these delusions of grandeur of you being a somebody – but I digress.
When I see nobodies behaving like somebodies, it irritates me. If you’re a nobody, but you have CONSIDERABLY more followers than people you’re following – let’s say a ratio of 9-1 – you’re not cool. You’re a douchebag who thinks that their follow is of value. You’re inexplicably stingy with your follows. Hey shithead, you’re a nobody. There’s no need to ration out your follows, it’s only building upon the perception of you being the jerk off that you are. Does this offend you? If so, you’re probably one of the jerk offs that this applies to, and you should probably just do the world a favor and off yourself right now. You won’t be missed. #kanyeshrug
3. Don’t chase after celebrities – @ replying them, retweeting them, etc – and then get pissy when they don’t respond to you. Have you ever looked at a TRUE celebrity’s page? Here’s a quick homework assignment: Do a Twitter search for “@iamdiddy” and see how many mentions this guy gets. Do you REALLY think, no matter how many times you mention him or retweet him, that he has time for or even sees your tweet? Give these people a break. They’re busy. That’s why they’re famous and you’re not. Now if you’re a Real World album with 1500 followers who gets mentioned by the same 3 people every day and 2 of them were your housemates and you STILL can’t find the time to reply to your fans, see #2.
4. See #2.
5. Don’t join Twitter, be inactive, show no interest in learning, and then go “I don’t get this pretentious bullshit!” Just because you don’t get it doesn’t mean it’s stupid. If you want to pretend that you’re better than everyone else because you’re too good to participate in something everyone else is into, that’s fine. Just don’t expect any sympathy when you’re in the hospital after a failed suicide attempt due to loneliness and no one comes to visit you.
6. See #4.
7. I’m hardly one to be an authority on how to get more followers, but it seems to me that the more genuine you are – the more you show interest in developing connections with people – the more followers you are likely to get. “Real recognize real.” Be yourself. Be funny. Be angry. Be sad. Be happy. Be inspirational. Tweet about the things that are important to you. People are drawn to passionate people. If you love peanut butter and jelly without the peanut butter (lol), tweet about it! People will contact you! “Hey man, I thought I was the only person who craves jelly and jelly sam’iches!” It’ll work.
8. Create connections with people with whom you share a common interest. (Is “share a common interest” redundant? You can’t share an interest you don’t have in common, right? If you have the interest in common, you already share that interest!) Create connections with people with whom you share an interest. 🙂
9. Get a third party Twitter client (i.e. TweetDeck). The Twitter.com homepage leaves much to be desired.
10. Follow me. I’m awesome. (No “lol,” I’m just awesome. If you’re not following me, you fail.) @Michael_Aaron
In summation, I guess all my rules can all be compressed into one rule: Don’t be a dick. lol If you’re not brazen enough to be cold-hearted to someone’s face, don’t hide behind that mask on Twitter. No matter how cool you think you are on the internet, no matter how many followers you have relative to how many people you follow, your flaws are still there. You can build up this fake internet persona where you’re so cool that everyone wants to be your friend but you’re too cool to be theirs, but nothing will change the fact that, when you leave that computer, you’re still an asshole. Remember: You’re still an asshole. Have a good day. 🙂