Life In 140 Characters Or Less
Posted by Jamie C. Baker
The way we communicate with each other has evolved over the years and is now at the point where most of our interactions that are not face-to-face are through online social networks. My preferred poison is Twitter, mainly due to my love of text messaging and the fact that Twitter can act like a mass text message to dozens of people at once. It’s an easy way for me to stay in communication with people I don’t normally see on a regular basis, plus it’s amusing. One of the perks is also that lately, breaking news seems to hit Twitter before any other medium; current events are constantly updated and comments are posted about various things that are ongoing. I was against Twitter in the beginning, but it grew on me quickly and I’m sorry to say I’m a Twitter addict.
As with any social network, there are people who exist for no other reason but to give others a killer migraine. When I encounter one of these people on Twitter, they are gifted with an Unfollow, because I simply can’t deal with it and I’m not all that concerned with offending people I don’t know that well. It sounds cold, but I shouldn’t feel obligated to put up with someone’s nonsense simply because they choose to tolerate mine. These people exist everywhere, but since the majority of my time is on Twitter, I only speak for there. Here are a few of the worst offenders:
This person is king or queen of TMI tweets. They will tell you what they had for breakfast, when they went to the restroom and what happened there, the weird rash they discovered in the shower, and other details better saved for their family doctor. These people post a play by play of their daily life, whether it’s interesting or not. On the extreme side, this person will share details of their sex life (or lack thereof for the creative ones out there) and come off like a reading of a letter to Penthouse. Trust me, no one wants to hear it.
THE NANCY GRACE
Men or women can fit into this category, despite the name. Their timeline is filled with nothing but commentary on all news events and their “expert” opinions. Dare to disagree and you should prepare for the barrage of insults peppered with vague reasons why their view is correct. I saw a lot of this when the Casey Anthony verdict came down. Sure, express your opinion, but then let it go. If you feel so strongly about getting Obama out of office or fixing health care, either take steps to make an actual difference or write a blog and simply tweet your link to it once written.
THE REPEAT OFFENDER
Some people have a little voice in their head that says “Hey, maybe you should tone it down!” This person does not. The most recent offender I deleted from my follow list spent an entire day commenting on lady parts and various ways they are disgusting. Rather than tell him that men’s balls aren’t exactly always in tip-top shape hygienically, I unfollowed him. They’ll drop racial slurs, sexist comments, and enough insults to go around. These folk don’t seem to understand the difference between a racy joke and an obnoxious and hurtful comment.
I’ve never been on Foursquare. I have zero desire to let the world know exactly where I am at all times of the day, making it easy for murderers to track me, stalkers to spy on me, and thieves to rob my house when I’m away. Nothing against those who are on it, BUT don’t clog up other social networks with “I’m At Work @link.to.my.address.com.” Oh, wait, I just ousted some poor soul as the mayor of McDonalds! Now I unlocked a badge! If this is all you’re doing, why be on Twitter at all? Opt out of sharing it on other social networks and keep it on Foursquare.
THE ATTENTION WHORE
This person bases their self-worth on the amount of followers they can accumulate and how many people they can get to acknowledge them on a daily basis. They constantly post hashtags and retweet celebrity tweets with their own comments, hoping for a reply. Their profile usually includes “Follow me and I’ll follow you back, LOL!” They’ll tell you about all their accomplishments, even if it includes “Toasted the best waffles! LOL!” Many posts include slight criticisms of themselves in the hopes that they will get responses telling them that they are not fat at all, are SO pretty, and will definitely get a promotion soon. Anything that can potentially attract sympathy, congratulatory remarks, or any type of response will be posted and posted and posted……
THE BALL OF NEGATIVE ENERGY
Similar to the attention whore, only this person thrives on the bad side of life. They always feel sad and have something to complain about. Work sucks, home sucks, their bank account is empty, people are mean to them, traffic is awful, the weather isn’t right. We all complain, but this negative whiner does nothing but complain. Even when things are good, they find something bad. They exist for no other reason than to destroy your good mood.
I’m not talking about the accounts that are in fact spam accounts, as I expect these anonymous folk to message me with a link for a free iPad. I’m talking about the real friends and acquaintances who, on their personal account, serve no purpose but to pimp out their private projects or various businesses and events they love. A friend of mine has a jewelry line and she did the right thing and made a separate Twitter account for the business rather than clog her personal timeline with links and discounts. No one wants a friend who acts like a permanent infomercial, flooding you with links for discounts like they’re Groupon. I already follow Taco Bell, I don’t need anyone else sending me links and pimping beefy stuffed burritos.
One night, my husband had one shot of Crown too many and tweeted the alphabet, one letter at a time. Thankfully, this isn’t a behavior he engages in on a regular basis. The drunk loses all inhibitions and turns to Twitter for entertainment or comfort. Their timeline consists of “OMG SOOO DRUNKKKK!” “At the bar wit my girlzz!!” and so on, usually posted at 3am, giving you some wonderful literature to wake up to.
THE LITERARY FAILURE
One of my least favorites is the person who ignores everything that is right about the English language. Typos and honest mistakes aside; we all occasionally misspell a word or make a typo. These failures are those who still don’t know the difference between “there,” “they’re” and “their.” ThE pEEplE wHO tYp LyK THiS. Tha peeps who thank it’s coo to tawk dis way. Or ths tht abbrv evry wrd. I’m not on Twitter to test my brain power and try to decipher any of this garbage.
Oh great… now I have a migraine……