You’re Using Twitter All Wrong

Don’t just focus on personal gratification.

By Kevin RR Williams

SOCIAL MEDIA Perhaps your parents failed to have the talk with you before your social media honeymoon. It may not even be their fault; perhaps you eloped. Nevertheless, you find yourself there, in the room alone with Twitter. Without much fore-… thought, you quickly gratify yourself, leaving your mate wanting. This is called premature elation.

Sometimes it's the mates' fault. They are focused on other matters. But often it's the inexperienced — or sometimes even the experienced without proper education — that creates a chasm hindering mutual satisfaction.

Shortly after the debut of iPhone 4, Steve Jobs chastised critics of its poor cellular reception by making the statement: “Just avoid holding it in that way.” This only increased the backlash. Customers have rephrased the tongue-in-cheek remark for any Apple anomaly: ‘You're holding it wrong.’ The point is, rather than shift the blame, own up to errors and correct them. Now consider, what you could possibly be doing wrong with Twitter.

Take the Quiz

  1. Do you only focus on your Twitter "Interactions" and "Me" tabs?
  2. Are you prone to uncensored tweets without regard for consequences?
  3. Do you stop following others abruptly after a reciprocal follow?
  4. Are you a serial favoritor and retweeter of your own tweets?
  5. Do you tweet in a language only you understand?
  6. Have you failed to use adequate hashtags?
  7. Are you embarrassed to publicize your Twitter account?

If you have answered yes to any of these questions, it's time for some straight talk. Stop babbling sweet nothings like a Klingon (wit wds mkn u look ignant). When a man and woman truly love Twitter, they don't abuse it. The reason why you can't remain in a relationship should be pretty clear. Is narcissism hindering commitment and ruining your engagement?

Image Makeover

Identify what you really want from and can provide to a relationship. Do you have a frumpy landing page? A makeover can give you a fresh look and increase your prospects. Are you still using that high school prom photo, or worse yet, the bird egg avatar? Spruce yourself up.

Take a moment to detoxify. Unless you want to promote the idea that you're narcissistic, do not tweet inappropriate toilet selfies or subjects that interest no one but yourself. It's exciting to be be mentioned by a notable Twitter user but if those tweets about yourself are your only retweets, you're using Twitter wrong. Delete tweets and photos that are not conducive to your new image.

You’re Using Twitter All Wrong

Use the first tab in your Twitter timeline called "Home" to see what conversations are of genuine interest to you. Are the ones you follow not conscious of your existence? Stop stalking the intangible rich and famous. Do the people following you equate to the first dates that say, "I'll call you," but never do? You have talents. You have a voice that should be heard and deserves respect.

Blog: Don't Confuse Friend With Friendly

If you are following people you would like to know better but they keep retweeting secondary accounts that don't interest you, silence the gossip; click the desirable avatar in your timeline to bring up their main page. Then click the gear icon to select "Turn off Retweets" from the menu. If none of the tweets interest you, why are you following them? Need to sever ties with a bad relationship? Unfollow them or, if they are following you, block them. Look beyond the pickup lines to discover great matches.

Rule #72. If you have 200,000 followers and follow no one, you aren’t getting the full Twitter experience. Twitter isn't a megaphone, it's a telephone. —Darren Rovell

From the timeline that shows what those you follow have tweeted, reply to a topic or retweet to see if you receive a response. It may not happen immediately, but focus on the relationships you really want to nurture. After several earnest attempts, redirect your efforts. Treat relationships you wish to flourish how you wish to be treated; don't waste their time nor let them waste yours. Expand your prospects with the judicious use of hashtags — two, at most, in your tweets. Eventually, you'll be interacting with others who respect your needs. This should prompt you to share more, resulting in mutual satisfaction long beyond the honeymoon. For more suggestions from someone with over 100,000 followers, bop over to CNBC for the article, "The 100 Twitter Rules To Live By" by Darren Rovell. Now, aren't you glad we finally had this talk?

Please take this in good fun. Though prolific users would have you think otherwise, there are no official rules to using social media in this regard. You can favorite your own tweets or only read your own posts. The Twitter Chaperone won't shut down your account. It's your prerogative to be as anti-social as you like, unless you wish to expand readership or site visitors.

Tags: friends, human interpersonal relationships, increasing followers, sociology