Sitting here at the airport in Vegas, getting ready for the flight of shame home (not to mention it being a connecting red-eye.. oye!) I got to thinking about this topic of sins considering I committed all seven real life ones over the past 6 days here (ok, so maybe not “Wrath” but I almost went to the machine gun range, just to be 7-for-7).
PLEASE NOTE: I am refraining from naming each sin with a “TW” like “Tweed” or the “Twust” because legally you should be able to pour motor oil over someones Cheerios if they do that.
Ladies and gents, with a headache, bags under my eyes and a lighter wallet, I present you with: The 7 Deadly Twitter Sins:
Greed is quite a popular sin. Twitter by default is a self-centered tool. It’s about us. But it’s 100x better if used as a conversational tool versus a dictation. I see people use it as a glorified RSS feed for their blog or an ad-puker. So absent of personality, I wonder why they even try. Yes you are in business, but if you believe that business is built on relationships, you need to make building them your business.
This sin holds a special place for the people who only retweet compliments about themselves. I was talking to a colleague of mine, she was asking how I have built a large amount of followers and I mentioned that I get retweeted a lot and I retweet others. Her reply was “I retweet others all the time!” When I checked out her page, the only time she EVER retweeted anyone was if it was a compliment about her or a #FollowFriday mention with her in it. You may as well tweet while looking in a mirror telling yourself you’re good enough, you’re smart enough, and gosh darnit, people like you.
GET FOLLOWERS FAST!!!! Most people on Twitter have seen tweets like this or thought of using a site that helps kickstart things for you. Seems innocent right? Let’s just have a look-see at this logic. Imagine the guy in the tweet below just followed you. Makes you feel all warm and fuzzy that a new person is along for the Twitter journey with you, makes up for your lack of popularity in high school and the day is getting better! Then you see his next tweet:
How does that make you feel now? Still warm and fuzzy? Still getting tinglies? Didn’t think so. When you tweet out “follower system” tweets it says one thing: You’re in it for the numbers. I’ll bet the 3 cents I still have after Vegas that one of the next tweets will be about an amazing bizz opp or dick cream to add that precious extra inch or seven. Everything you tweet is an extension of your biz and your brand. If you want to scream about “GETTING THOUSANDS OF FOLLOWERS” be my guest, but the funniest part about the above tweet? He has 149 followers. Seriously. If you don’t see the irony in that, just shut down the computer and go see New Moon or something.
Twitter is a conversation, it’s truly what I love about it. But imagine having a conversation with someone where they take an hour to reply to you, face-to-face. How awkward would that be: “How, how’s business?” and they blankly stare off for an hour, then reply “Good thanks!”. That’s how it feels if someone takes a week to reply to a tweet. I once had someone that took 79 days to reply to a retweet. 79 FREAKIN DAYS! If it takes you longer to reply than it would to walk over a hand-written reply to my home, you’re doing it wrong. I know, not everyone is a tweetaholic like me, and not everyone can devote a good chunk of their day to Twitter. So if you have a limited amount of resources/time, let’s say 5 hours a week, it’s better to spend 45 minutes a day, for the entire week, than 5 hours once a week. Consistency breeds familiarity which creates relationships.
Ya, I’m kind of a big deal on Twitter in my own mind, which at the end of the day means fark-all to the majority of the world, but everyday I get DM’s asking me to change my pic to add a “cause” or tweet about this or that. I’m all for causes, I’m a big charity guy, but mostly I’m a fan of choice. Meaning it’s your choice to support anything you want but every once in a while people try to guilt others into changing their avatar etc. When everyone changed their Twitter profile pics to a shade of green to support some cause I got asked daily why I hadn’t changed mine yet. My answer to them? It’s none of your damn business why. My lack of participation in your cause does not infer lack of support, just like changing my avatar does not make me a better person by default. Same goes for people who think you should be obligated to follow them back if they follow you. Things on Twitter, just like most things in life, is a choice.
One of the worst things about Twitter is the reactionary nature of it. Most of us don’t think before tweeting and for the most part it’s ok since most tweets are harmless/boring/innocent by nature. But once in a while we react/lash out above our better judgement. It takes 1000 tweets to build a reputation and 1 to change it all. There are many examples of this here or here. Twitter feels very intimate sometimes, like you’re on an episode of Friends, having a conversation with a few, except there are thousands “lurking” around. It’s like having a harem of stalkers, without the creepiness.
Being the object of someones wrath is also very common. For a full explanation on how to deal with these trolls, read the previous blog post about it, but in a nutshell: don’t feed them. They aren’t owed a reply, your time or your emotions. You’re better than that.
Twitter is filled with humans. And when you throw a bunch of humans into an environment, a few things are sure to be present: 20% of people will have bad breath, 30% will wonder how their hair looks, 60% like peanut butter and cheese sandwiches but are scared to say something (or maybe I’m the only one), and 100% will have hormones. It happens, we can pretend they don’t exist, but they’re always there. It’s one of the reasons to have a flattering picture as your Twitter profile, it catches the eye. The problem is when people turn creepy or obnoxious (and by people I mean guys). I’m truly blessed to know a lot of incredible women on Twitter who are not only brilliant in business but are attractive as well. The stories they tell me about direct messages or replies they get from some men make me shake my head. Seriously folks, I’m not sure what book told you the line “Your lips look tasty” works, but it makes me picture Silence of The Lambs, and not for the cool stuff. Every tweet, every DM represents your company and more specifically it’s you as a person. So if you want to be known as “that guy” who drinks hard liquor at the networking event straight-up and gets that smarmy smile on, be my guest.
You know what? Screw it. I have no problem with you being proud of something. I mean true pride. Something you accomplished, your kids, whatever. Scream it from the top of the mountains, good on you. Just do it in moderation. Don’t just talk about yourself, spread pride of others too. ReTweet their accomplishments. One sin out of seven ain’t so bad 😉
What about you? What do you think? What bugs you about certain tweets? Maybe you disagree? Comment below!
Oh, and of course, here is a video of me riding a bull in Vegas. Explains the bruise on my thigh:
Thanks to my awesometastic friend Manya for filming and eiditing the train wreck!