So it is time for a fun blog post I think. I have been a Twitter user since June 2008… so as someone who has perused this fun social networking site for over a year – I have decided to come up with some ground rules for Twitter. A listing of things that should NEVER EVER be tweeted. Most of these – unfortunately – come from experience. A few of these rules I have even broken myself. But if we will all follow these lovely little rules, the Twitterverse will be much more pleasant to explore.
*BTW these rules also apply to Facebook status updates – so just because you aren’t a Tweeter doesn’t mean that this blog is not for you.* 🙂
So, here we go…
#1 – The “They just tweeted WHAT?” Rule – Please realize, when Twittering, that there are many many people reading who are visual people. And who see, in their heads, each thing you Tweet. So if you talk about making out with your guy/gal – we see that. Blood and/or pus oozing from a wound – oh dear do we ever see that. Infected nails or itchy rashes of any kind – yea we begin to itch and get nauseous. Your kid vomiting into your open mouth – yea we just threw up a litle. There IS such a thing as TMI – and although it is only you typing these things alone into your computer – we are all reading them and some of us are seeing them all too clearly.
#2 – The “We all love us some TiVo” Rule – So, if you happen to be a live TV watcher – you can really mess our day if you pop on and Twitter information about the guy in the hatch or so-and-so who won the such-and-such reality show or other surprise information. There are subtle ways of expressing just enough information so that those of us in the “know” don’t ruin it for those of us just trying to run by Taco Bell and eat before we sit down and get our TV fix. So – be a sensitive tweeter to your friends the TiVo users.
#3 – The “It may be cheaper than $100 an hour” Rule – Although Twitter is awesome, it is no substitute for a good therapist. If you are depressed/upset/lonely/frustrated – there has to be a better “friend” for you to turn to than the 140 character limit, right? Twitter is kind of a fun social networking tool. Some of these tweets are kind of a buzzkill. If you have a legitimate need like an urgent situation that needs prayer – that’s cool. It is a quick way to get it out there to a ton of people and get what you need. But some of these tweets are seriously stuff that maybe needs to be discussed with a professional. And along these lines – don’t be a passive aggressive tweeter. If you are upset with your boss, your mom, your cousin, your best friend, or your boyfriend – talk to them. Don’t tweet your frustration to the rest of us. Again – the term is “social networking” – it’s kind of supposed to be fun.
#4 – The “Those are fighting words” Rule – If you tweet something offensive – prepare to offend. If you tweet something political, something inflammatory, something ignorant – be prepared for the backlash. It is amazing to me the people who tweet their point of view in a less than sensitive way who get so upset when people whack at it. Again – although you are alone with your little computer – you aren’t the only person in the Twitterverse.
#5 – The “TweetHo a No Go” Rule – For the love people – don’t tweet thinly disguised sexual innuendo. It is bad form, bad taste, and you will quickly get a not-so-hot reputation. Just don’t do it – if you wouldn’t say it in front of your mama – don’t tweet it. You girls especially – you are worth MUCH more than that. If you doubt it – contact me – I’d LOVE to talk to you about how incredibly valuable you are.
#6 – The First Date Rule – In Twitter, as in life, you should always put your best face forward. I know you stink, sweat, poop, have warts, gas, zits and issues. Everybody does. HOWEVER – nobody in the Twitterworld wants to hear about it. Let’s treat Twitter like a first date – first dates are a hit when they are BIG on fun with as LITTLE drama as possible. We dress up – we smell nice – we are totally well behaved. THEN – people want to have a second date with us. Twitter is like a great first date. So let’s keep the yucky intimate details off Twitter.
#7 – The “And Then” Rule – There is such a thing as too much of a good thing. I am a pretty avid Twitter user – and so I’m sure there are people who just don’t want to hear my updates anymore. I’m probably as guilty of this one as anyone else, so I understand the desire to tweet – often. I live at home all day with two little munchkins and sometimes Twitter is my lifeline to adult conversation. But there are some times when you need to put your phone/computer down and LIVE LIFE. If you are on a date – don’t tweet everything you do. That pretty much shows us, and your date, that you are much more concerned with the Twitterverse than you are with your date. And that kind of stinks for you, for your date, and for us. Same with honeymoons – what are you thinking? I KNOW there are better things for you to be doing with your time than giving us updates. So go LIVE LIFE and give us all a chance to miss you when you’re gone.
#8 – The “I Rock” Rule – Try, oh try, to keep the bragging to a minimum. If you are spectacular in some way – that is awesome. If you are the holiest of holy people, the smartest guy on the planet, the best parent in the universe, the most conservative/liberal thinker you know – that is just great for you. And the first or second or third time you tweet about it – we rejoice with you. But we are only human and after the 15th or 16th post – we are bound to roll our eyes a bit. So just keep it within reason. We do, after all, get jealous of your awesomeness.
I guess that’s all the rules I can come up with for now. I think Twitter is like chocolate – it is a great thing when used properly and in moderation. Are there any that I’ve missed my fellow Tweeters?