I’m on Twitter.
You guys know that. Some of your are followers. Some of you simply read the updates on the side of this page.
Now, I like Twitter. I like reading little updates from people like John Mayer and people I actually know, like my friend Brandy in Colorado. But, guys, some people—oh, some people!—tweet way too much. About things that don’t deserve Twitter coverage, like cleaning the toilet or emptying the litter box. Or give helpful tips on how to do both, which don’t necessarily come off as helpful, but sort of like Twitter overkill and a tiny bit gross and annoying. Then there are political tweets—focused on the president, health care issues, war, etc., from both sides of the issue. There are people calling Obama a liar and people praising his health care plan and giving play-by-play of his latest press conference or town hall meeting.
Then—oh, the humanity!—Twitter got hacked last week and was down for pretty much a whole day. People freaked out. Someone actually told me that he/she was lonely because he/she couldn’t get on Twitter and talk to all his/her Twitter friends. I have yet to figure out if he/she was serious. Do I need to explain that there were so-called “real” people in the offices surrounding said person?
Here’s my point: Twitter is fine and can be useful—when kept in the right context. When it goes down and you freak out, I’m just saying you might have a problem. When you’d rather be online, posting the inane minutia of your day to people you may or may not actually know than talking to real, actual people all around you, you might be a tiny bit addicted. And I’m not sure that’s a good thing!
Now, let’s talk about the content of tweets. I’m tired of reading about stupid, non-Twitter worthy things. Like the cleaning the toilet thing. Someone I follow actually posted that one time. Not. Twitter. Worthy. I wouldn’t even include that in a play-by-play conversation about my day with a friend over coffee. It’s just not something that deserves to be broadcast. So, here are some guidelines for tweet-worthy things:
1. If it’s something everyone in the world does (i.e. cleaning the toilet), don’t tweet about it.
2. If all you ever tweet about is how much you hate Obama, his administration, his health plan, his shirt, etc., you’re not a good Twitter-er.
If you have that much venom in you, you might want to set up a political blog.
3. If your tweets are all about spouting off random info you’ve learned and “educating” the public, you might want to take a Twitter sabbatical.
(OK, I have nothing against people sharing their knowledge. Cameron Strang, the editor of Relevant Magazine, often tweets about facts he’s learned on Snapple bottles. Trivia contests among Twitter followers are fun. But endlessly tweeting about calories or overprocessed foods, why coffee is bad/good for you or pesticides are terrible or why radio stations have letters in their names gets a bit taxing for your followers. We love that you are passionate about whatever it is. But we may or may not share that passion. So, just cut back a little. And find a group of people who share your passion about whatever it is and say all the other stuff you just have to say about the subject to them. Because, really, sometimes we just don’t care. Now, I’m all for being educated and striving to always be learning, but I don’t like being told what I should think about things. So, back off! 🙂
4. Your tweets are all complaints.
Sadly, guys, this might be advice I need to hear myself. If you’re always complaining on Twitter, who wants to read that?
OK, enough ranting for one day. Go have a good day!