Now if you’ve been glancing at my Twitter feed on that left column over there or if you follow me on Twitter, you’ll probably notice that I’m quite preoccupied with farts.
I tweet about the people on the train farting, my dog using farts as a way to blackmail us into opening the car windows so that he can stick his face in the wind, and how the guy at work I sit next to has digestion issues.
This was pointed out to me by more than a few friends, and in the end I decided that maybe it’s not in my best interest to be the “Fart Guy” on Twitter.
But tweeting about farts isn’t the only thing that’s going to irritate people in the Twitterverse, so I thought about all the other things that bug me about tweets.
1. Constantly tweeting about farts
As funny as you think farts are (and I know I find them hilarious), apparently most people on Twitter find them pretty disgusting. Strange but true!
2. Don’t be a Nike Run-bot
I’ve had a few friends who link their Nike+ run things to their Twitter account, so every evening it’s “Mr Run-a-lot has completed a 243km run in 18.4 seconds”.
This isn’t exactly bad, but it’s terrible when it’s the only thing that they ever tweet about. It’s obvious that they linked it once and then completely forgot about their Twitter account, so it just becomes a constant source of spam for Nike.
This applies to random games that like to hijack your Twitter account too.
3. Don’t be a post pimp
This is an extension of the previous point, and I’m a bit guilty of this sometimes, but nobody likes it when all you ever tweet are links to your blog posts. Once again, it becomes obvious that you’ve just abandoned your Twitter account and just allowed some AI to take control of it.
Behavior like this will eventually lead to a cybernetic robot rebellion, and that is bad news for humans in general.
4. Excessively rage-tweeting
Another trait I’m guilty of! At one point, I didn’t use Twitter that much… except when I was all road-ragey from the lousy and inconsiderate drivers on the road. So for a period, all that came out of my Twitter stream was a series of hate-filled desires to see certain drivers die fiery deaths or be painfully sodomized by random household objects.
But you know what? People don’t want to read that. Maybe once in a while is okay because everyone has their bad days, but if you’re constantly and exclusively rage-tweeting, then you gotta stop and take a deep breath.
Try to tweet something more pleasant, like “I love my wifey. She’s much nicer than that driver that keeps swerving in and out of my lane.”
5. Over-tweet pointless things
You’re about to go to bed, or you’re brushing your teeth. Everyone does that. Nobody needs to know that you’re doing it right at this moment.
I’ve even seen some people that tweet the most pointless thoughts… thoughts that aren’t meant to start a conversation or discussion. You know when someone says something in a conversation, and then it creates an awkward silence? If it doesn’t work in a conversation, it doesn’t work in a tweet.
A better tweet would work your current activity or experience into some kind of meaningful thought or idea.
- Bad example: My sandwich tastes bad. I don’t like it.
- Good example: My sandwich tastes bad. I think the fengshui in my kitchen is unsuitable – anyone know what kinda potted plant I can counter it with?
And no, you don’t need to wish everyone “Good night” before you go to bed.
6. Not following people in return
I know it’s not exactly etiquette anymore to follow back someone when they follow you, but I think it should be a given when that person is a friend that asked you to.
I had a friend who bugged me to add him on Twitter, and I noticeably added him on the spot with my smart phone and showed it to him. Months later, he still hasn’t followed me back! Obviously, I don’t follow him anymore.
7. Ignore your followers
Twitter is a social network. It’s not a place for you to just put stuff up and hope everyone loves you like a love song. You need to interact with people.
That friend from the previous point? Well, I’d tweet about him to help promote his stuff or something like that… but I never get replies from him.
It feels like I’m tweeting to a broken robot, and nobody likes that!
8. Stubbornly try to trend a dumb hashtag
Back when Diablo 3 was a big deal, there was this person who kept tweeting about Diablo 3 and kept pushing this really stupid hashtag.
For this person, it wasn’t good enough to just use #Diablo3 so she kept using this other hashtag that she came up with… and spammed the Twitterverse with it. Every 10 minutes, there was another tweet about Diablo 3, and another usage of that hashtag.
Now I don’t want to reveal that hashtag, but needless to say it was stupendously annoying, and you know what? It didn’t catch on. Nobody else used that hashtag, but for the 2 weeks that Diablo 3 was insanely talked-about, she kept pushing it.
I unfollowed her.
9. Tweet something that’s nothing but hashtags and a hidden URL
10. Claim to have a list of 10 tips when you really only have 9
People on Twitter can count better than you!
I was originally going to call this post 10 Things I Hate About Twitter as a reference to the Julia Stiles / Heath Ledger movie… but that didn’t sound as good as I thought it would. Nevertheless, 9 seems like such an irregular number that I had to come up with 10 tips anyway… but I failed.
Update: Steve from Stephen Kelly Creative (check out his blog for some really nice photos and artworks) just reminded me that one big no-no is to bitch about work on Twitter (or Facebook for that matter). You might not get fired immediately, but they will definitely be waiting for the right opportunity to kick your ass out!
Interesting fact: In most parts of the world, tweets are restricted to 140 characters. In Malaysia, tweets are restricted by how much weight your pigeon can carry.