When I first joined Twitter in 2009 I had no idea what the whole Twitter experience was all about; hell, most of the people on Twitter were not as active. The timeline was barely functional and I had no idea what DM, subtweeting or Blocking was. Fast forward to 2013 and it seems like everyone I know has somehow made it to Twitter. Those who are not yet there are simply waiting for the right mobile telecom promotion with free MBs on offer and they will be on. The past 2 years or so have seen a real explosion on Twitter. Ugandans have embraced this thing so much one cannot be faulted for thinking there is some kind of extra salary earned from being on Twitter. If you are new on Twitter, you might want to enjoy this really awesome orientation about how people on Twitter behave; both the sane and the insane. And if you have been on Twitter for a while, you should be about to see a description that probably suits you.
Ladies and gentlemen, I give you, the Twitter storY
Of course when you have just joined Twitter, you will be referred to as a newbie. As much as you will want to stay away from this title, the things you do will simply sell you. For instance you will be seen asking the verified Donald Trump account (@realDonaldTrump) to “Please Follow Back because I am your Biggest fan” even when you can clearly see that the filthy rich sucker follows just 26 people. The newbie will also be seen sending Tweets like “Now eating”. To be followed closely with “Now Through with eating” and then “Now doing the dishes”. You my friend are the newbie. And there is no crime in being that; after all, some people are Twitter newbies for life! Just be careful when you are asking people to follow you. People watch enough reality shows to want to follow another reality show on Twitter – it’s too much work.
It may be true that Twitter is largely a platform for people with wit, humour and abnormal levels of sarcasm to go about their business while spreading and sharing a laugh. However, Twitter is also an avenue for folks who are plain bored, completely dull and entirely clueless about what humour really is. So if you join Twitter hoping to laugh your way to the Emergency Room for Rib cases, you might want to calm down and probably sip on a lukewarm cup of tea. Many people try so hard (and miserably fail) to be the funny people that their bios say they are. But that is not a crime, right? After all, if everyone is a comedian, who will laugh at the jokes? So worry not, there are loads and loads of unfunny people on twitter, and guess what, people actually think they are funny. If they can pull it off, so can you. As such, if you too are bored, make your way down to Twitter Avenue and chillax with the rest. No need to be a comedian.
In the past, if someone made you mad, you picked up a phone, called them up, ranted to get it off your chest. In the very least, you sent the message through someone. Today, all you have to do is subtweet. I have not yet personally gotten round to using the #OOMF (One Of My Followers) hashtag but the way things are going, I just might consider it. Everyone is doing it! The only worry though is pouring out your heart to #OOMF when indeed he/she is offline. Now that would be a bummer! Give it a shot though, see if one of those followers can get the subtweet and act accordingly.
If there is anything I have learnt about Twitter is that when the FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) grips someone, it will not let go until it has squeezed them clean and dry. Now when a seemingly juicy trending topic falls on your timeline, you will be tempted to join in. And if you get a couple of retweets, there is a chance you could change your bio to “Superstar”. However, I have learnt that for one to actually pull off a couple of substantial Retweets over a period of time, they’ve got to have a hint of humour in there somehow. That said, sometimes you don’t need too much humour, just access to the internet and a trending topic and the world will be yours for the taking. I often indulge in these Trending Topics, after all, what harm is there in sharing a few smiles and grins on the Timeline?
While still on the subject of trending topics, it has become apparent that a good number of Tweeps will very gladly rob Tweets and claim them to the death. That should not be a really big problem considering the majority of the people I know who come up with really creative tweets never run out of humour. However, it would look really dumb for you to steal someone’s tweet, claim it and then folks discover later that it is actually not yours. Fact is, they will discover at some point – Twitter is a small world you know. There is no crime in Retweeting something. Besides no one is paid for having too many Retweets. Using the word Twitter “ethics” would probably be stretching it too far but I’m sure the point is home.
Stress Free Tweeting
I have always maintained that if I find someone’s Tweets offensive to me, I am going to simply unfollow and continue with my life, unless the person is attacking someone or something that I am directly linked with. For instance if an Arsenal fan says Manchester United pays referees, I am likely to get back at them in that same perspective. I’ll probably say they should sit down and stop drinking from plates coz they don’t have cups. I am not under any circumstances going to start dragging their mother into the argument. And I will definitely try not to take it personal; we will remain friends on Twitter. However, if someone says something like they hate all Africans. I will probably try to engage them in a discussion to find out why they think so. If they are abusive and refuse to be cordial, I will unfollow them; END OF STORY! Not too much time must be wasted on Tweeps when you can reach for the UNFOLLOW and BLOCK buttons easily. Life is too short to be offended when you can stay away from the offense.
Four Square Fight
I haven’t yet gotten the guts to get onto the foursquare thing even though I think I have an account but if my Timeline is anything to go by, everyone is either checking in at a church here or being crowned a mayor at a brothel somewhere. It’s crazy! This Four Square thing also made its way onto my “to finally get” list although for now you might see some #ManualFourSquare Tweets on your timeline (assuming you follow me). Who said I need to be crowned when I can crown myself! Manual it shall be for me!
The Anticipated Tweetup
So you have followed this person for a while now and somehow they seem interesting, funny, even sexy. So you stalk them till they agree to a Tweetup (meeting of Tweeps). A couple of minutes into the Tweetup and you are thinking, “maybe this wasn’t such a good idea.” First things first, people you meet on social networking sites should not be assumed to be who they are not. It would be awesome if before you met a Tweep you actually allowed yourself to get to know them afresh because then, there would be less judgement. That said, I have been to a number of these Tweetups and I must admit, people are definitely not what they Tweet. The Twitter AVI system does not allow for you to see too much of someone as compared to the facebook profile picture thing which gives you a chance to flaunt your skills at photoshop. So essentially Twitter is more about what you tweet and not what you look like. It is important to keep your hopes as low as possible whenever you are going for Tweetups because brilliant, funny, hilarious and sarcastic Tweeps are usually, just simply guys and girls in real life.
For Tweeps who have been on Twitter for a while (especially the bored ones), the words “Check DM”, “CYDM” or anything in that perspective mean one thing – Thirst (a period in one’s life when their sexual libido and urge is so high it can no longer just be called libido but rather thirst). Of course a “CYDM” message between two male Tweeps is most likely to say “have you met that other Tweep?” or “have you secured tickets for the show?” but overall, the assumption is that when someone says “CYDM” it means things are getting steamy. Now, without necessarily disputing this, I’d like to think that there are many reasons why one can be told to “CYDM”. Very recently a very gorgeous and sexy female sent me a “CYDM” tweet. Naturally, me and my boys were grinning. The boys thought I had finally jumped out of the friend zone. Turns out I was still very much stuck in the bogus friendzone. The DM said ““Hi Beewol. Do you know Chris? Can you please give me his number? Thanks.” I almost blocked her! Anyway, the point here is “CYDM” is not always about the thirst. Sometimes it is useless disappointing messages asking you about details of someone else.
Please Follow Back
I may have briefly mentioned something about asking celebrities and verified accounts to follow back. The fact is, I do not follow everyone who follows me and there are some folks I follow who do not follow me. The logic here is simple; I follow you because I think your Tweets will make me smile or because we have a connection somewhere. Maybe because we both post absence pictures or we both support the same team, there must be a connection somewhere. I am not fond of following back people instantly. I give it sometime and oftentimes I end up following them after a while. I mean if I run into your Tweets through Retweets and metions that fall on my timeline, it is safe to say we have something in common. I shall definitely follow you. But if we have nothing in common, truth is, when you send the “Please Follow Back” Tweet, I am likely to ignore it. If eventually I follow back, it will be because I think I might enjoy some (even even if not all) of your Tweets.
Any other Garbage
A couple of friends of mine and myself usually say that all the other garbage can be found on Facebook. Needless to say, we have a bias and we prefer Twitter to Facebook. And this has nothing to do with the fact that we trust our words more than our looks but because facebook usually degenerates into unnecessarily long conversations overlapping into useless rumour mongering and often bordering on useless time wasting chat. Besides, on facebook you cannot be putting up a status update every after a couple of minutes unless you are a moron, in which case you shouldn’t even have access to the internet. On the other hand, you can have a whooping 53,000 Tweets like someone I know and people will still not think you need psychiatric help.
Well, I am looking forward to the time when Ugandans on Twitter (#UOT) will take over Twitter like folks in other places have. The Kenyans have done it rather well and whether it is because they have cheaper internet I have no idea but it is safe to say that we have to lead and let the others follow.
Now close this window, log into your Twitter account and have a blast!
The Talkative Rocker