Saturday, April 13, 2013

Proper Twitterquette

I'm relatively new to Twitter--only about two months tweeting--so I'm sure there's plenty I don't understand about its uses, its rules, its nuances.

That being said, it's taken me only two months to become thoroughly exasperated by what I see as the abuse of the medium by certain users.

I offer, for what it's worth, two categories of tweeters whom I believe are showing extremely poor twitterquette and generally ticking the rest of us off.

The Trivial Tweeter

I read somewhere (probably on Twitter) that the system allows each user a maximum of 1,000 tweets per day.  That's roughly 40 per hour, or two every three minutes.

But do we really need to reach that limit?

I used to follow a guy who tweeted constantly about his coffee-drinking.  As in, "I'm headed to the coffee shop now."  A minute later: "Just ordered my latte."  Thirty seconds later: "Ah!  First sip.  Delightfully frothy."  A minute later: "Almost done.  Time to order another."

I'm not kidding.

Why, oh why, did this guy believe I wanted to know every excruciating detail of his moment-by-moment love affair with caffeine?  Why, oh why, must everything in our lives be reported to everyone else on the planet?  If you're doing something worthwhile, then by all means let 'er rip.  But if you're drinking coffee, or filing your nails, or picking your nose, I DON'T WANT TO KNOW.

When I stopped following this guy, he immediately stopped following me.  I assume he has one of those programs that automatically identify unfollowers and unfollow them.

And all I can say to that is: thank God.

The Serial Tweeter

If anything, worse than the Trivial Tweeter, who's merely annoying.  The Serial Tweeter is trying to sell you something--in my case, one of his or her books.  So every hour, ten or twenty times, s/he tweets a link to his/her works on Amazon.

Let's get one thing straight.  I'm a writer too, and yes, I do advertise my works on Twitter.  As I understand the rules, that's one of its uses.


This does not make me want to run out and buy these books.  Quite the contrary.  It makes me loathe the writer, the same way I loathe the people who come up to my door and try to sell me things I don't want (usually religion), the same way I would loathe anyone who was constantly in my face trying to sell me something when I'm trying to conduct other business.  Thanks to the Serial Tweeters I've had the misfortune to follow cluttering up the Twitter feed with their endless barrage of "look at me, love me, buy me!" tweets, I can hardly find the other business I want to conduct.

So I'm going to be spending the next couple days identifying Trivial and Serial Tweeters on my list, and unfollowing the heck out of them.  I'm sure they'll immediately return the favor.  To which I can only say: thank God.

Maybe I'm shooting myself in the foot.  Maybe there'll be a mass exodus away from my tweets.  Maybe I'll drop instantly from my respectable 80 followers to an anemic 5 or 10.

But you know what?  I'd rather have one good and true companion than countless fair-tweeter friends.

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