Monday, June 13, 2011

The Five Stages of Twitter

So you've just heard about this Twitter thing. Yeah, you're late to the game, but welcome anyway! You are starting on an exciting trip with many chapters, all of which are 140 characters are less. So let's take a look to see the roadmap to your Twitterverse journey.

Chapter One: Bewilderment
Twitter can be a little confusing at first. If you're not used to status updates or the Twitter culture--not to mention a lack of followers and the mass of people, famous and otherwise, who can be followed--it can be very intimidating. Don't worry; as you add third-tier friends and follow random people who happen to mention American Idol, you'll get the hang of things.

Sample Tweets:
I don't know what I am doing! LOL
Am I doing this right? LOL
What is a hash tag? I'm hungry for breakfast now #hashtag

Chapter Two: Apprehensive Mastery
Twitter's not that complicated. The learning curve is pretty shallow. So it won't take long before you're able to tweet like a champ. You'll be able to pick and choose who you follow a little better, and you'll sort of get the hang of how to cram four sentences worth of wit into what amounts to an elaborate login name. You may actually begin to get some decent networking done before you realize most of them are spambots.

Sample Tweets:
I need to get to Vegas! Things are stressful and hectic and it seems like I never get to c my frnds nemr sic d #j
@travelagent2000 You must really follow my tweets closely to follow me mere seconds after I mentioned I wanted to go to Vegas! Thanks, friend!
I get it, but how is this different than Facebook status updates? #notdataminingyourlife #asmuchanyway

Chapter Three: Misuse of Otherwise Useful Features
Now that you've gained the confidence of sending and managing your tweets, it's now time to start using them improperly. Have long, elaborate conversation for everyone else to see, so that the messages can clog up everyone's feeds with much more ease than normal. Make sure it goes on about like a dozen responses so everyone knows exactly where you will be at next Friday or precisely what your well-reasoned position on illegal immigration is. And if someone tweets something you find amusing or vaguely interesting or, hell, just tweeted anything, make sure you retweet that, then proceed to retweet any slight rewording of the same concept repeatedly, and then retweet everyone's responses to those as well. Also, please misspell hashtags, or else you won't fit in, and make some socially awkward and ultimately failed attempts at "tweet-ups." Don't even ask. 

Sample Tweets:
RT @unimaginativehollywoodPRagent Missy Misserson "caught" "dining" at a "restaurant"!
I can't wait for my acceptance letter to Harvard! #ihartcollage
@oldcollegefriend2004 I will be out of my apartment from five to eight next Thursday, which would be an excellent time for someone to rob it 

Chapter Four: Fatigue
Twitter can be overwhelming. The nature of its existence depends on it: the forced character limit emphasizes quantity over quality, and at this point you find that most of your followers basically want to either sell you stuff or have you send pictures of you naked.

Sample Tweets
Does anyone know with the Hometown Grill closes tonight? I want to know if I can make it in time. This is not an open invitation.
I don't feel like tweeting anything, but I feel obligated to do so, so here is a YouTube video of my favorite band and/or a dog riding a skateboard.
@coworker, there is a reason e-mail still exists.

Chapter Five: Indifference
At some point, Twitter will become a chore. You'll have to wade through a thousand random tweets from celebrities from sitcoms that you no longer watch and once-clever college kids who graduated and got jobs and now bitch about how no one changes the coffee pots in the break room. It's like you're at an old folks home, only every complaint and judgmental comment is blasted directly to your smartphone. 

Sample Tweets:
I wish I had time to delete the people I don't want to follow anymore, but there are SO MANY.
I am going to complain about everyone complaining about the weather, as if somehow that makes me different. #inception

I am only logging on to make sure my account isn't deleted. #mypsace

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