I joined the Twitter #WritingCommunity a few years ago to connect with other writers. Naturally, just like other social media platforms, different trends emerged and Twitter pet peeves were born. I asked the Twitter community to tell me all about trends they dislike on the platform. It seems as though most of the trends that annoy Twitter users is conduct that makes them feel a lack of community and connection. From the the comments left on my tweet, I created a few Twitter Etiquette Tips: 

1. Keep your cool.

@AldonKC and @MasonWrites2 both listed disrespectful arguments being their top pet peeve on Twitter. @AldonKC put it perfectly when he wrote, “It bothers me when I’m drawn into an argument under the guise of some intellectual discussion that turns nasty on a dime.” 

In short, if you’re going to argue online please make sure you are able to do it in a civil manner while maintaining an open mind. Whatever the topic, keep in mind the other person is probably not going to change their beliefs over a Twitter chat. And, they certainly are not going to have their mind changed if the conversation turns nasty. So, keep any debate healthy by remaining respectful.

And, if the conversation turns disrespectful, my advice would be to not engage. After all, you’re here to connect, support, and be supported- not to argue with a stranger on the Internet.

2. Follow to Connect.

In our Twitter discussion, @Natornatalie, @MisbehavedINTJ, @MWSchutter, and @Brittweisrock all agreed that following others just for the sake of getting your follow count up defeats the purpose of being on a social media platform meant to connect you with like-minded people. 

When users take this “follow all” approach to Twitter, “you are just a number” (@MWSchutter).  @Natornatalie also made a good point when she wrote about how blindly following a mass of people could lead you to accidentally supporting people you wouldn’t normally agree or associate with. 

I totally agree with @Brittweisrock’s statement, “Follow and RT people you vibe with.”

3. Don’t be “that” person.

In response to my question on Twitter Alex, @A22423, wrote, “Do not DM someone just to send a buy link. Not okay.” This is a point I think most would agree with, and it seems to happen quite often.

Directly messaging someone just to send them an unsolicited link to your book or product can come off as desperate. And, usually, it just results in the other person getting annoyed. Think about it. How often does someone really buy something from a link sent to them by a stranger in their DMs?

Your Thoughts:

What are some of your social media pet peeves? Each social media platform (Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, etc.) has their own set of trends that can potentially annoy. What are some behaviors you wish others would be more self-aware of when online?

One Response

  1. Hi Mandy, good tips! I am not on Twitter but I do have things to say about Facebook.

    None of us (with the possible exception of Mark Zuckerberg) should expect Facebook to be a substitute for the real world. But now that a lot of us have been restricted from experiencing big chunks of the real world and have substituted time with social media for it, we should realize the limitations of what it can provide.

    Facebook and other social media platforms give us a world without nuance, without bandwidth, without serendipity and without context. Further, it is a world that has been algorithmically altered and filtered specifically for a data-defined avatar of who we really are. We’re not even getting the full bandwidth of what is on the platform. We’re getting what happens to squeeze past the content filters that act as our own personalized gatekeepers.

    What the past three months have taught me is that when we rely on social media for experience, information or perspective, we have to take it for what it is. As a source of information, it is at best highly restricted and biased. As a source of social connection and experience, it is mercilessly flattened and stripped of all nuance. As a substitute for the real world, it comes up woefully short.

    Perhaps the biggest restriction of social media is that everything we see is planned and premeditated, either by humans or an algorithm. The content that is posted is done so with clear intent. And the content we actually see has been targeted to fit within some data-driven pigeonhole that an algorithm has decided represents us. What we’re missing is what life is: the unplanned, the unexpected, the unintended. Rant concluded.

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