1. Don’t be a troll.
It never ceases to amaze me how negative some
voices can be when they are amplified by a 140-
character tweet. Using social media to foam at the
mouth and post hateful thoughts about strangers
says a lot about a person and their state of
happiness. If you find yourself taking frequent
trips under the bridge, maybe it’s time for a
break in order to assess why attacking others
while hiding behind a keyboard brings you joy.
But then again, Lauren Sivan might have summed
up trolling best during a recent segment of “Big
Deal or No Big Deal?” on Good Day LA, “We’re
awful, awful people apparently.”
2. Avoid rambling about how terrible your life is.
Everyone has an occasional “ice cream cone in
the dirt” kind of day, but be mindful about how
often you tweet about them. Most people (myself
included) don’t want to read endless “woe is me”
postings in their timelines about the sad shambles
your life is in. Granted, we all need to vent, but
save this type of confiding for your offline IRL
friends. Most of your followers are people who
have never met you face-to-face, and they
probably won’t want to after reading your Debbie
3. Twitter beefs are useless.
Endlessly arguing with some Internet shut-in who
gets off on picking fights on social media is
pointless. People sometimes do this to help
establish their online reputation (strange that
people think they can build a brand off of
fighting under the guise that it’s debating). Other
times, they just want to get under your skin, and
engaging with them is a surefire way of letting
them know it’s working. It’s similar to an ill-
tempered child who is seeking attention. Respond
and it will only get worse. Leave the juvenile
feuding to the trolls in the Internet sandbox and
block them. It’s much more effective and will give
you peace of mind.
4. Tweet it as soon as it pops into your head.
Contrary to what many social media experts will
tell you, there is no ideal hour to post on Twitter.
I’ve posted tweets sometimes during a 4:00 a.m.
bout of insomnia and woke up later to find them
retweeted several times over. Bottom line: If a
tweet is going to impact with an audience, it will
regardless of the time of day it goes up. Therefore,
as soon as you think it, share it.
5. It’s Twitter, not marriage.
When someone makes a decision to follow you, he
or she isn’t entering into a contractual union
where they swear allegiance to you for their
entire Twitter existence. People follow, and then
sometimes they unfollow. You shouldn’t get
offended when it happens. Continue to be
confident in your content and keep it moving.
Honestly, some of you act like you just got served
divorce papers when you tweet about losing
6. Go easy on favoriting tweets.
The one function I have never really understood
is favoriting, and now that Twitter is posting
favorited tweets into timelines, users really need
to start exercising a little restraint. Do it too much
and you’ll risk looking like some crazed fan à la
Kathy Bates in Misery . Besides, do you really
think that you’re going to go through your
Favorites list and reread all those starred tweets
in your spare time?
7. Don’t take Twitter (or any other social media
network) too seriously.
This one is probably the most important thing I’ve
figured out. Whether you’re promoting a business
or just passing time while waiting for the next
Star Wars movie to arrive in theaters, social
media is a great tool for interacting with others.
However, it is by no means the most important
tool in the kit. Yes, it can help build a brand, but
if some kind of global cellular data and Internet
outage were to ever occur, we would be left with
the basics: verbal communication, handwritten
notes, and face-to-face interaction. So take this
whole social media thing with a grain of salt and
have fun with it. Market your business… crack
some jokes… entertain and inform. Twitter
enhances communication, but it shouldn’t be
regarded as the only source for information.
I think I’ve kept a good perspective about my
digital footprint in social media and the level of
importance it has in my life. I enjoy it; however,
it doesn’t completely define who I am as a person.
Some time in the distant, geriatric future, I’ll
probably reflect and wonder why I tweeted so
much to begin with. So here’s one final humorous
thought — via one of my tweets, of course — that
stops me from getting caught up in social media’s
hype and drama. Hopefully, it helps you too.