I was a total twit.
After a few months, I closed my account and decided I wasn't destined to tweet. A few months ago, some of my fellow highway girls convinced me to try it again, and I did. And I'm so glad. The writing community is just as helpful and supportive on Twitter as they are on forums and on their blogs, and I really enjoy being a part of it.
There are a few faux pas – Twitter Transgressions, if you will – that I have noticed. A few types of tweeple that use and abuse tweeting and their followers just a tiny bit. Who are these tweeple? Allow me to introduce you.
One who tweets dozens of times daily reminding followers that one is having a contest and/or is nearing a certain number of followers and will be holding a contest as soon as that number is reached.
@ChosenOne 21 MORE DA MEMBERS AND I'LL SIGN MY BALL FOR YOU!!!
@ChosenOne Have you signed up yet? We still need 20 more DA members - prizes prizes prizes!
@ChosenOne Come on, seriously you guys. Just 20 more. Did I mention my broomstick's a Firebolt and it's, like, really fast?
@ChosenOne @Hot_Gin Not funny. :(
@ChosenOne Almost 200 DA members!!! I know some of you still haven't signed up. Come one, it's like you guys want @MugglesSuck to win or something...LOL (plz RT)
Nothing wrong with contests, nothing wrong with followers. But the redundant brute force tactic of slamming those already following with tweet after tweet after mother-lovin' tweet of contest reminders and follower number updates? The people subjected to this are already following, and if they're going to enter, one tweet was enough to convince them.
2. The RT Reflector
One who retweets every retweet of themselves, leading to a mirror-in-a-mirror effect that subjects followers to the mind-numbing experience of reading a single tweet several times for no real reason.
@UnconsecRatedR GO TO BEACH THRU FOREST LOL RT: @MaryMary Seriously. A day at the beach. Is that too much to ask?
@MaryMary LOL You wish! RT @UnconsecRatedR GO TO BEACH THRU FOREST HA RT: @MaryMary Seriously. A day at the beach. Is that too much to ask?
@UnconsecRatedR BUT REALLY DO IT NOMNOM RT @MaryMary LOL You wish! RT @UnconsecRatedR GO TO BEACH THRU FOREST HA RT: @MaryMary Seriously. A day at the beach.
@MaryMary Silly thing. ;) RT @UnconsecRatedR NOMNOM @MaryMary You wish! RT @UnconsecRatedR GO THRU FOREST HA RT: @MaryMary Seriously, a day at the beach.
What the Reflector doesn't seem to understand, or understands but chooses to ignore, is that replying and retweeting are two separate functions. If followers want to see what the tweet is in response to, it's a simple click. But this is a misguided tactic for self-promotion that backfires and eventually makes me feel like I'm looking into some sort of Escher-like pit of RT despair.
(It must also be acknowledged that when this gets really out of hand, two parties are to blame. But suffice it to say that RTing yourself even once, fun as it sounds, is not attractive.)
3. The Passive Aggressive Pissant
One who tweets an angry message that is obviously aimed at a specific individual about a specific incident but is supposed to be understood as a general statement.
@SparkleMePretty You know what I effing hate? Dogs who can't go more than 30 seconds without ripping off their shirt. Just sayin'. #steroidsshrinkyourjunk
Ah, the P.A. Pissant. Facebook is like a dirt hill filled with these darlings too. The frustrating thing is that chances are the person in question probably won't see the tweet, and if they do, they won't even know it's about them. Meanwhile, all of Pissant's other followers are left thinking one of three things: "God, I hope it's not me," "Ugh, Pissant is passively pissy again," or "....WTF does that even mean?"
4. The Follower Effer
One who #ffs each and every individual they're following in a series of mindsploding tweets every single Friday.
@KillerKat Love you guys! (Still gonna kill you, LOL) @LuckyClove @onthethresh @AllThatGlimmers @BrutalBrut @Win_Finn @BTBabe @PrezSnowflake #ff
@KillerKat @G_Hawt What? Don't get all pissy. I #ffed you first last Friday.
@KillerKat @Dist1Boy @Dist1Girl @Dist2Boy@Dist2Girl @Dist3Boy @Dist3Girl @Dist4Boy @Dist4Girl @Dist5Boy @Dist5Girl @Dist6Boy @Dist6Girl #ff
@KillerKat @Dist7Boy @Dist7Girl @Dist8Boy@Dist8Girl @Dist9Boy @Dist9Girl @Dist10Boy @Dist10Girl @Dist11Boy @Dist11Girl #ff
And so on. Follow Friday is a fantastic thing, really. A tweet or two every Friday to share a few people that are your speshul snowflakes of the week. But seriously. Seeing pages like this really #ffs with my head.
5. The Condescending Monarch
All of the above are totally forgivable offenses. It happens. But this one...in the land of Mi_Schu, this is grounds for instant and eternal exile.
One who addresses one's followers as if they are one's mindless minions by speaking to them as a group in a manner reflective of how one might speak to a newly hatched flock of chicks.
(The last part of this definition is what matters. I see nothing wrong with someone addressing all of their followers with a question, or to share an anecdote, or just as a general greeting. But the Condescending Monarch is under the delusion that addressing a few hundred Twitter followers puts one in the position of Saruman at the top of the tower of Isengard calling his cuddly widdle orcs to action.)
@FUTreebeard: Good morning my sweets! *pats orcys on head* I'm taking you all to Uncle Sauron's today! *puts orcys in basket* *skips to Mordor*
Right. Let's be clear on this; while I understand that one might get a huge rush out of having 100, 200, 500, 1,000 followers - 1,000 people want to know I just ate a pickle and now have pickle breath ZOMG! - "followers" aren't actually "sycophants." (Well...in the traditional sense of the word, they are, but Twitter followers are not.) We're all just people connecting with people we know and others we don't. And if a twit pats me on the head or slaps me on the...cheek (without my permission or request), then that is quite simply the end of our tweelationship.
I've missed a few here that are big no-no's for writers, like carrying on what is obviously a private conversation without moving to DMs, or tweeting someone to ask for a favor so they're pressured into saying yes rather than look like a meanie in front of all the watchful followers. What other tweeting transgressions can you give me?