Friday, June 7, 2013

Where's my retweet? Ten ways to function humanely on Twitter

Painted Lady Butterflies communing Photo, Holly Massie, all rights reserved
Recently, I  was  frustrated with people who didn't retweet my content even though I was following them and retweeting theirs. I didn't get it. Why weren't they retweeting my fabulous tweets?

Lacking any social skills growing up, (I was so spoiled ) when it came to dealing with people I would just state what I wanted or needed -- no "good morning", no "hello, how are you?" People thought I was aloof or snobbish or full of myself. In reality, I was shy and lacked self-esteem. Boo-hoo. I often didn't get what I wanted or needed because I was perceived as rude. 
Penny, our dog, didn't like me either

I grew up. I'm not like that anymore. It took a long time, too.

Damn, if I didn't repeat the same mistake online.

You know, this is weird, because as a drama teacher, for years I've been teaching kids that the most important thing is self-awareness. Awareness of self, awareness of the world around you, awareness of others, awareness of your situation, your emotional state etc. and here I'm making the mistake of being unaware, blind and kind of callous to other people online.  

My Twitter revelation -- try to be an aware, polite human being online...

1. Retweet with an @mention if you want someone to retweet your content. @mention them with the content and then pay back with a retweet.  You'll soon discover who wants to actually have a conversation with you and interact with reciprocity. You might even root out some of the bots that are following you. 

He may not be interested in your content
2. @mention with discretion. Don't @mention people that aren't going to be interested In your content.

3. Follow back.  It's only polite -- follow back.  I follow manually so that I can avoid following porn sites and robots. I am reticent to follow people who only follow a small number of people back.

4. Say thank you.   It doesn't hurt. It's only polite. It costs nothing. It's nice -- just do it.  then go retweet something to your followers that your compassionate tweep cares about.

5. Write relevant replies and don't overstay your welcome. The old saying "guests and fish smell after three days" can also apply to replies. Make sure you're not just replying, replying, replying just to keep the conversation going. I hope you're not that lonely.
pals forever

6. Be Nice. If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all. I know a lot of comedians thrive on the opposite, but you're dealing with people on Twitter. This shouldn't be your forum for being clever, or showing off your intellect, or making fun of someone else. If you have to criticize, Send a DM.

6. Create relevant lists. Wouldn't you rather be on a list that's called cool Canadian bloggers or great musicians then a list called everyone who followed me list number 15? BTW, Twitter has increased your allowed number of lists, so now there is no excuse. Nuff said...

7. Don't automatically automate.  Watch that your timeline doesn't get too repetitive and self involved. Since it represents you online, you want it to represent you the best way it can.

Summer Lilacs Photo copyright Holly Massie

8. Give others some space! If they don't follow you, or retweet your content, or answer your question after you @mention them -- stop bothering them -- have some self- respect. Twitter is a public forum -- everyone watched you stalk that person and will remember it.

9. Be honest. You don't have to give out your address or phone number or measurements, but lying about accomplishments or whether the photos you use are really yours will come around and bite you in the Twitter feed some day.

10. Rinse and repeat. Try this with Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest and all of your other online interactions.

So tell me what you think. can I do better? Do you have something to add?  I'd love to know What you think.


  1. a real teacher, hey!

  2. Thank you for linking up to Say G'Day Saturday. I just tweeted about this post!

    Best wishes for a great weekend,
    Natasha in Oz

  3. Thx Natasha. See you soon at your next Say G'day Saturday!

  4. GREAT post! I have pinned it to my "e learning" board on Pinterest.

  5. I am loving this, Holly! So true. I've followed so many people that I'm now dealing with the 2000 following limit. Sharing on Pinterest and Facebook. Thanks!

    1. Thanks for commenting, Kim! And, of course, thanks for sharing -- I'm glad it was of use to you :)


You can also email your questions to me - info (at) stairwellcarollers (dot) com.
Holly :)

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