An Asocial Twitter user uses guidelines as a test. How do you think they’ll go?
Normally I write about geek-related content. Today I’m going to talk about a content-related geek. I hope that’s okay! Besides, you’ll either learn something new, or have your social-media savviness confirmed for you!
My Twitter Sucks: Context about me and why it matters
I grew up (that’s debatable) in the 80s (that’s true). I didn’t like phones back then and I don’t now. I’m not technically a boomer (I’m Gen X) but I’m pretty old-school when it comes to everything apart from social rights and unironically loving memes. Imagine a middle-aged old man who doesn’t yell at kids to get off his lawn, but they want to get off his lawn anyway because they don’t want to see a middle-aged man dab. That’s me. And I’m not trying to be cool, I just genuinely love memes.
I’ve always wanted to work in the creative industry, but my inability to be happy around people (because I don’t understand people) has made that incredibly difficult for me. First I wanted to be an actor, but I found out that you had to be one of the cool kids. Then I wanted to be a musician, but I kept believing that practice and hard work would pay off. Maybe they do, but not if you keep giving gigs away and then being known as the guy who will give gigs away. Oh and also, you still have to be one of the cool kids.
And then the world discovered the internet and everything changed.
Having long given up on acting, and accidentally sabotaging my music career before it even got started, I had a wonderful idea: Why not become a writer on the internet?
Except, wait, you need to understand people even more than being an actor or musician because at least with being an actor or musician there are invisible social walls. You wouldn’t just barge backstage and expect it to go well, after all – that’s the performer’s space, not yours.
So, after way too long, I finally get some writing opportunities on the internet. Except I think I’m writing hard-hitting articles, when really I’m just supposed to be writing simple blog posts. This is perfectly fine, but then I get frustrated when nobody cares about these new ideas I’m putting on the table.
This is because they’re only new to me.
The idea that Batman is actually a straight-up villain? Old news.
The idea that comics superhero costumes have come from the wrestlers known as luchadors, and THAT’S why they used to ‘wear their undies on the outside’? That’s weaksauce, everyone knows that already.
The idea that maybe comics should stop rebooting themselves every second Tuesday? Anyone who’d even care about that already agrees with me, and did so long before I wrote the article.
If only there were some way I could gauge other peoples views on these things. If only I had some secret access into their deeper thoughts. If only other people weren’t as concerned with privacy as I am
If only social media existed!
oh wait lol
My Twitter Sucks: The dark journey back to social media
So, I join Facebook and, for the first few weeks, it was amazing! I’d contact people I’d known in school who I haven’t spoken to for literal decades, taking great joy in catching up with particular people.
Then, after that, everything went downhill, because some people are just plain trash.
People I thought highly of were now just bigots. In fact, more than I’d care to admit are essentially little more than, shall we say, ‘fans of Hitler’.
I can understand someone thinking Batman is a hero. Hitler, not so much.
So, I left social media because it’s hard to work on improving yourself when people are tearing you down because you were born ‘a certain way’. All you LGBTQ folks out there, you know what I’m talking about. In my case, the ‘certain way’ was racial, but the same things applies.
But without a social media presence, it’s hard to get shares and likes, and without shares and likes you’re not going to be able to make any money. I tried for years to get somewhere with my YouTube channel (which I won’t link here because it’s not very good) during this time, and I’m satisfied with the fact that I’ve gotten and kept 29 subs. Hey, at least I haven’t lost any, that’s something!
So I went back to social media recently, and it’s STILL hard for me to get shares and likes.
Don’t get me wrong – a lot of my friends (and friends of friends) have shared my work lately, which is something that I truly appreciate. That means a lot to me personally. But it doesn’t mean anything to the internet at large.
Considering that I’m asocial (which is wildly different from being antisocial, might I add) I figured maybe that’s the problem: Maybe when you cloister yourself away from others for long periods of time, well maybe that has consequences.
So what can I do?
I can try to understand each of the social media, one at a time. Even if it doesn’t pay off in a financial sense – well, let’s just say I’m curious now. Before, I viewed social media the same way as I viewed phones: Just a way for other people to annoy me. Now, I’m just like: Well, it’s actually quite interesting, because humans as a species (which includes me) can be fascinating at times.
My Twitter Sucks: A new nope
Having given up on actually getting anywhere with Facebook, I figured I’d try Twitter. I’ve already got a Twitter account which I use to share my GIQUE articles. I know just enough about Twitter to know that I’m a hardcore member of #TeamFollowBack (which is exactly what it sounds like) and that’s about it.
I currently have exactly one follower, who hasn’t interacted with me at all yet, so I suspect it was a random follow (which I assume is a thing) or maybe a bot.
On one of my previous listicles, I reviewed some YouTube channels. I Twitter-atted (there must be a shorter way of saying that) the people/channels in the article. One of them liked the Tweet!
That had a pretty positive effect on me. I have also cooled down on the other channels who didn’t take the time to ‘like’ the tweet.
It made me wonder: Isn’t that, you know, kind of rude of them? Or am I just being a bit harsh?
So I type ‘What are the social rules of Twitter?‘ into DuckDuckGo (which is basically Google for nerds) and examined a few search results, and read the article written by the person with the highest Twitter following count.
Let’s go through all 20 rules in Aja Frost’s article and we’ll see how I’m doing so far. Keep in mind they’re just rough guidelines, and she even says as much in the article.
My Twitter Sucks: 20 Rules/Guideline for Twitter
1 – Do: Repeat Tweets
I don’t repeat Tweets because they’re just ‘Here’s my latest article’ with a link to the article.
Current score: 0/20
2 – Don’t: Tweet the Same Type of Content Again and Again
Current score: 0/20
3 – Do: Use a Ratio
I hadn’t even thought of this. What Aja means is that we should mix our Tweets evenly. Drop an article link, then maybe some random quote, then a fun fact, then a link again (and so on).
Current score: 0/20
4 – Don’t: Confuse Your Followers
I think this is the first one I can say I’ve done, even if it’s because I broke rule 2. Aja means ‘don’t post random non-brand-related stuff over and over again on your business account’ – she uses the example of losing a lot of followers because she kept Tweeting about House of Cards (instead of her normal stuff). Hence her ratio rule, I reckon.
Current score: 1/20
5 – Do: Write a Good Bio
Until yesterday, my Twitter bio just said ‘blah blah blah fill this in later’. I think it’s okay now, although it could maybe use a banner pic. That’s worth half a point.
Current score: 1.5/20
6 – Don’t: Only Promote Yourself
Here’s the first one I haven’t agreed with. Last time I tried writing I posted HEAPS of stuff by other team writers and I don’t think I ever got that reciprocated. One content creator reposted an article of mine once, but that was only so they could argue with me. So that counts. I guess.
Still, I’m not here to argue with her, I just wanted to complain about all of that.
I’ve only linked my own stuff on Twitter so far, so I’ve failed here too.
Current score: 1.5/20
7 – Do: Inject Some Individuality Into Your Tweets
I agree with this in principle (although I’d swap the word Individuality for Personality) but I honestly can’t see it making any difference. However, I’ve already started doing it.
Current score: 2.5/20
8 – Don’t: Retweet Anything You Haven’t Read
The fact that this needs to be on the list is a major part of the reason I’ve never stopped and will never stop being asocial.
So yeah, I’m winning this one – mainly because I haven’t retweeted anything yet.
3.Current score: 3.5/20
9 – Do: Shut Down Frequent Retweeters
I haven’t come across this issue yet, but I wouldn’t hesitate to stop seeing retweets from someone if I was only interested in their original Tweets.
So I’ll give myself a half-point for that.
Current score: 4/20 *dabs*
10 – Don’t: Ignore People
THANK YOU, AJA.
Remember folks – this is why I researched this topic in the first place.
I don’t understand a lot about this new techno-society (technociety?), such as why it’s socially acceptable to be on your phone during a live performance – and yes I’m including recording the performance on your phone when I say that. Please remember I didn’t say it was wrong, just that I don’t understand it. Not clapping when people have finished a live performance is still just rude as fuck tho, change my mind. Spoiler alert, you can’t change my mind on that.
I’m going to copy the first two paragraphs of Aja’s entry on this section/point:
When someone tweets at you or mentions you, the worst thing you can do is ignore it. I’m always a little disappointed when I write a complimentary post or give a company a shout-out and hear crickets in response.
I know you’re busy, so just favorite the tweet if you don’t have the time to respond. If you do, I strongly encourage you to say something, even if it’s as brief as, “Thanks so much!”
I. FUCKING. KNEW. IT.
Nobody’s Tweeted at me yet, but I would 100% respond if they did. Maybe that’s easier for me because I’m just a small fry, but as my father once almost said to me: If you want me to take you seriously as a content creator you can bloody-well act like one. And that goes for everyone I Twitter-atted who didn’t bother interacting with me at all, too. As my father actually did say once: I’m not angry with you, I’m just disappointed.
Current score: 5/20
11 – Do: Ignore the Spammers
Current score: 6/20
Aja gives us a bonus tip for this entry too: Don’t ever ask anyone to follow you.
12 – Don’t: Be a Stalker
This is another thing I wanted to research, so I’m glad Aja addressed it here.
See, to me – and I cannot stress enough that I’m not joking or doing a bit – most of the online world seems to be based on stalking, by default. There are many content creators that I have a world of respect for, but I couldn’t give two shits what they ate for lunch and I genuinely don’t understand why anybody else does.
Having said that, I’m quite curious about some of their political views (in the sense that I don’t want to financially support any type of supremacist) so I’m glad to have access to that information.
You’ll notice I haven’t mentioned by name the content creator who liked my Tweet. That’s because I’m still not sure on the rules/guidelines, because I don’t get social stuff.
So I win this point by default – even if I haven’t really earnt it.
Current score: 7/20 *dabs in no scope*
13 – Do: Follow the Companies You’re Interested In
Finally, a simple one.
Current score: 8/20
14 – Do: Use People’s Names
I – what? Is that not already common? Mind blown.
Current score: 9/20
15 – Don’t: Forget the Power of an Emoticon
When I was in school, way back in the 1600s or whatever, I didn’t find it challenging. Not because I’m smart or anything (OBVIOUSLY) but because most of the tests were open book tests.
Instead of being disruptive when I’d finished a test, I’d draw pictures on the tests related to the test. Different teachers reacted differently to it.
I remember on one math test, I got 100% (as did a lot of the class, it was an easy test). The teacher was pretty cool about it and said ‘If you can work out the exact percentage on your own, I’ll let you count your drawings as correct answers.‘
And that’s how I got 114.5% on a test. And yes – it was even written down as such on the official grade card!
Another teacher did the reverse and marked my grade DOWN for each picture I’d done. I would have literally gotten a better test score if I’d acted up in class while everyone else was trying to concentrate.
Um – WHAT?
I will never forget what that teacher said to me: People communicate with words, not pictures.
I’m almost certain that cave paintings didn’t contain writing, but okay then.
Mind you, this is the same forward-thinking genius whose actual catchphrase was: You need math because you won’t always have a calculator in your pocket.
Anyway, yet again, the only way to move forward in life is to ignore what I was taught at school. It’s almost like schools aren’t – and never have been – about actual learning.
Point is, I’m giving myself 2 points for this one because I don’t just already know it, I knew it before I knew that the internet even existed.
Current score: 11/20
16 – Don’t: Swear
And now I’m docking that previous extra point because I will 100% swear if the situation calls for it. I’m not wasting 10 Tweets explaining why racism is wrong to unempathetic fools when I can just say FUCK OFF NAZI SCUM.
I also want to reserve the right to say the phrase ‘Well, SHIT’ when I hear some bad news.
Current score: 10/20
17 – Do: Stay Positive
Current score: 10/20
18 – Don’t: Neglect These Key Tools
I had a look at the tools Aja suggested and frankly I don’t see how they can help me. If I want to see when my one follower is online I can do that manually. I’m all for preparing for success but I’m not here to waste time doing completely irrelevant crap. Maybe if I hadn’t wasted all my energies on music and YouTube, but whatever, live and learn.
Current score: 10/20
19 – Do: Use Photos
Irrelevant because I already have the featured image of the article. I do have an actual picture of me as my profile pic though so I’m giving myself a point for this one.
Besides, if I wanted to post pictures I’d use just Instagram.
Current score: 11/20
20 – Don’t: Repost Instagram Links
Sounds good to me. The further away I can stay from Instagram, the happier I’ll be.
Final score: 12/20
My Twitter Sucks: Final Thoughts
12/20 = 60%. I should know, I aced that one math test about 500 years ago.
In Aussie schools, that would be a ‘credit’, which is the same as a B-grade in the USA – which is actually better than I thought I would do!
Also, I would have included ‘State your preferred pronouns, even if you’re not Trans‘ in the list, but apparently that’s unprofessional because it’s often construed as ‘being political’. Well, that’s just sad, I think.
What I’ve learnt today is that my Twitter doesn’t technically suck, it just feels like it does.
So hey – I’ve got that going for me at least!
Hit me up on Twitter at @LiamPadmore4 or not whatever – but hey, at least you know I’ll reply! Feel free to comment below if you like, too.