The folks on Twitter never cease to amaze me. Time and time again, I am left shaking my head because someone exhibited a lack of Twitter etiquette. Wouldn’t it be great if we could reach through the computer and shake them so they could come to their senses? Alas, since we can’t, I have to settle for writing this blog post. Hopefully, the guilty tweeps who read this will get the hint and change their ways, but why do I doubt it?
More often than not, if you don’t have any manners in the “real world”, it’s going to carry over into your actions on social media. People who lack manners (in real life or on the computer) are often so blockheaded that they never get the point. Anyway, here are the most annoying, unmannerlike (I know…that’s not a word) things I have seen on Twitter. They can be applied to Facebook as well.
- Reducing people to a number. There’s a growing trend on Twitter where people grow their numbers into the thousands and then unfollow everybody but a handful so they can look like a hot commodity…like a rock star. Each time I’ve seen it, I have been so disappointed because I thought the folks who did it were better than that. They preach new ageisms and yet they are treating people like a number, subscribing to their ego so they can appear big. Folks like that quickly get an unfollow from me. Come on now. Do numbers mean so much to you that you are forced to piss thousands of people that you built a relationship with off because you want to look like the next big thing? Think again, hon. It only makes you look desperate.
- Not responding to a comment. Hey, we’re all busy, but if someone takes the time to respond to one of your 140 characters, the least you can do is return the favor. Unless you’re Rev. Run or Terry McMillan, you should be shooting off a reply every now and then. (If they can do it, why can’t you?) Are you too busy that you can’t comment? Well, maybe you shouldn’t have logged on to Twitter in the first place. However, I doubt if it’s a time constraint thing. It’s a dismissive thing and it’s so not cool. Unless the person is off their rocker or a porn bot or a spammer (you get the point), take the time to respond. Nuff said.
- Acting like the boss man. Hello! “You’re not the boss of me!” I get so annoyed when people tell me to retweet something or follow them back because they followed me. I see it time and time again. The thing is, many of the tweeps who are guilty of this have things people would want to retweet without being told to do so. Listen. If what you’re saying has value, people are going to want to retweet it without you putting a Twitter gun to their head. If you are interesting, people will want to follow you back without being told to do so. Being told to do something makes people want to do it even less. But you should already know that by now, shouldn’t you?
- Promotion only. Ah, the promotion tweeps are everywhere (I am—and used to be—one of them). They have books to sell, events to fill and weight loss secrets to share. But don’t expect me to follow you if all you’re doing is selling. You need to add value to Twitter, hon. Tweet an important article that has nothing to do with you. Tell us what you had for breakfast. Tell us about your favorite book (and it shouldn’t be yours). When I was selling my book, I made sure I tweeted about other things (not because I wanted to trick people, but because I was more than my book). I wanted to show my many different nuances. No one wants to be promoted “at”. Promote “to” me by telling me about you and not just your product.
- Not showing gratitude. If you’re a “Twitter star” and have hundreds of thousands of followers, of course you can’t follow everybody back when they follow you, but it would be nice to see you show some gratitude. Send out a tweet saying something like, “Wow. I’m floored right now. Thanks so much for the follows, everybody.” Yeah, you can use what I said, but you might want to tweak it a little. (smile) Are people raping the retweet button for you? (I got that one from a tweep name @AfroSinTrick.) Even if you can’t thank them personally, every now and then a general thanks will do. You would be surprised…a little bit of gratitude goes a long way in the Twitter world.