Friday, April 6, 2012

Bitter side to tweet life

I FIND Twitter to be one of the best social media tools around. I enjoy reading the fun and inspiring tweets from those I follow and it’s usually a great way of being up to date on what some friends and family are up to, or think about, on a day-to-day basis.

Twitter can be used to promote things, plan events and gatherings with your friends and announce important occurrences in life. You can tell your friends where you are at that exact moment, or share a picture of interest.

These are all amazing ways to connect with people through the magic of Twitter.

However, as how the universe works, with the good comes the dark side of Twitter. Lately, I’ve been getting a little frustrated with Twitter — not the service — but more on the way many users are spoiling what Twitter has to offer.

I know that different folks have different reasons for signing up to a Twitter account, and I have no qualms at all with that. I just feel that some use it less effectively and far more selfishly than others.

Simple steps: Twitter can be a great tool but there is plenty of space for a misstep so watch your etiquette when tweeting.

So, here are, in no particular order, my Top 7 peeves when it comes to Twitter use.

1. Those who tweet links to content on the web.

From the Forex/MLM/”Get 100 Followers a Day” Spammer to the Twitter Gamer (eg: “I just assassinated a head of state #spymaster”) and Foursquare addicts (eg: “I just checked in to Nenek Aku Punya restaurant”).

I have nothing wrong with you wanting to share your know-how on the Forex industry, or how to ‘up my game in gaining more followers’. Just don’t flood my timeline with your spam.

And it’s cool if you are a gamer. But for those not in the game, it can get rather mundane if all you post is who you’ve assassinated and what weapons you’ve purchased.

Likewise for eateries. It doesn’t help that I’m trying to lose weight at this moment.



3. The #Hashtag Harlot

Hash tags have a place, they need to be used sparingly, and they need to be kept short so they are actually readable.

When I see hash tags like #Thingsarenotsocoolanymoreandmakesmewannavomit, I immediately hit the “Unfollow” button.

Limit yourself to, at most, two very relevant hashtags per tweet. That should leave enough space for you to insert your commentary.

4. People who use Twitter for a one-on-one conversation.

I’ve been guilty of this but have stopped after reading a rather raunchy conversation between friend A with her boyfriend that went on for days!

So please, if you want to conduct a conversation, kindly text or DM the person. It is completely uncool to expect all your followers to read your conversation with someone if it extends past 2 or 3 tweets.

Once you realise this is going to be more than a quick exchange, it is time to move along and not force your conversation down everyone’s throat.

5. ReTweeters.

Twitter is all about sharing, so if you think that @Notebook is worth sharing, then by all means re-tweet it, but attempt to follow it up at some point with something that you thought of yourself. Or some folks who don’t know how to differenciate the RT and Reply button.

I know you have many adoring fans who love and worship you, and you want to show your appreciation by replying back.

But that’s just it. REPLY to them personally. You don’t have to RT everything and flood our timelines. Unless you are doing what my next peeve would be.

6. Shameless self-promotion.

Yes, we are only human and that means we like to talk about ourselves. Yet social media is all about the conversation and interacting — sharing with others as well as yourself.

As mentioned in my introduction, Twitter is an invaluable tool for promotion. We all know this, and I will admit, I may be a little guilty myself when it comes to tweeting my articles or blogposts.

Sometimes, it is easy to forget that you are posting things to your friends, and real people who aren’t looking for links to be shoved into their busy lives.

The obvious exception is if your Twitter account is specifically for a website. People know what they are getting into if they follow a specific account, so that is acceptable.

7. Demanding tweets from followers.

“I demand a birthday wish from @daphCLPT. Or I will unfollow you”. Seriously?

So there, I’ve come out and said it. Twitter is great, if you don’t use it like the examples above.

Social media missteps like this happen but I guess it is knowing when to draw the line between tweeting interesting tidbits and posting annoying tweets for the world to read.

But then again, these are just personal peeves that annoy me. To each, their own, some say.

If you don’t like it, Twitter off, Block or Unfollow. So, what’s your tweet peeve?

@daphCLPT is a tweet whore. Her husband complains that it’s no longer her morning kiss that rouses him from sleep, but her “Ooh babe! Guess who Ellen has on her show today?” type of exclamations that startles the poor man out of bed. She is learning to tweet less, and kiss more

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