August 11th, 2011

26 Things Twitter is Not

We have all seen them. The Twitter clueless. The tweeps who refuse to accept Twitter or social media for what it is and what it is not.

I am not talking about the newbies. I am referencing the folks who have been to the classes and read the blogs, yet still think Twitter is a way to republish the decades-old corporate brochure in compact installments.

If you work with business-to-business clients in any area of marketing, strategy, brand, or social media you’ve probably had similar discussions. Here are the top 26 things that Twitter is not.

1. Twitter is not a medium to share the website content you wrote for your flash-based site that matched your printed material for the annual shareholder meeting in 1992.

2. Twitter is not a medium for you to hire a transcriptionist to break your content from 1987 down into 140-character segments for tweeting over the next five years.

3. Twitter is not the best medium to vent about your boyfriend, mom, or terrible boss. If you feel the need to vent, head straight to the water cooler and do not take your smartphone loaded with TweetDeck or Hootsuite!

4. Twitter is not
an activity for the car. Put down the phone, and keep your dang eyes on the road. I am sickened by the people I see texting and tweeting while driving in rush-hour traffic. Or any traffic.

5. Twitter is not what you should be doing at a red light while in your car. I am proof of this as I was recently rear-ended by a woman who was texting and driving. Yes, I was sitting at a red light minding my own business. Luckily, I saw her coming and was able to drive forward a little bit to lessen the impact. But both of our cars were totaled anyway.

6. Twitter is not
a replacement for family engagement time. Put down the phones and talk to one another, even if the other person is in the other room.

7. Twitter is not a self-promotion tool. Spend more time giving the social love and helping others than you do bragging about yourself.

8. Twitter is not a piece of collateral. No, your tweet timeline does not need to look neat and perfect. It’s a conversation and should look like one.

9. Twitter is not
designed in a way that those new to it “get it” and can easily understand why the tweet timeline shouldn’t look like a perfectly laced table at Grandma’s house.

10. Twitter is not the best tool to yell at someone.

11. Twitter is not private, not even in a TweetChat. Even though you may be filtering your tweets using a tool such as TweetChat, the tweets are still public. What happens on Twitter goes public forever.

12. Twitter is not to be used as a conversation agent if you are a compulsive liar. Don’t blame it on the tool; go see a doctor. Your multiple lives are eventually going to catch up with you—sorry.

13. Twitter is not
the right medium to decide you want to “be real” at 2 a.m. while at the bar on Saturday night. If you are using Twitter for business, remember there are probably current clients, prospective clients, and partners who may read your tweets the next morning. I have had numerous leads come to us due to the unethical way several local Twitter peeps behave. They said they watched tweet streams for weeks before making a decision.

14. Twitter is not the right medium on which to go silent if you are afraid of No. 13. Going silent after being loud for a period of time can also be a problem. You need to find a balance.

15. Twitter is not
the place to hang out if you are scared to death of sharing information.

16. Twitter is not the place to hang out if you don’t like people.

17. Twitter is not a medium where being on the sidelines will benefit you. Get in the game. Join the conversation, or don’t bother.

18. Twitter is not a medium designed to spend all day asking for people to “like” you on Facebook or get linked with you on LinkedIn. If people “like” you they will click like, don’t worry.

19. Twitter is not the medium to post the same boring quotes, blog posts, and tips every day. At least come up with something new and relevant.

20. Twitter is not the medium to grab the attention to arrange the marriage of Justin Bieber and your daughter. Sorry.

21. Twitter is not the medium to beg for nonprofit donations. Instead, engage with real people who have a genuine interest in your cause. If they want to donate, they will.

22. Twitter is not the medium to post all your dirty secrets all day and night about where you live, what you’re wearing, what time you’re leaving, who you’re leaving with, who is with you, how drunk you got, and when you got home and then complaining that you have a stalker.

23. Twitter is not a safe place where you can say and do anything you want with no fear of anyone using the information in a negative way. Yes there are creepers and competitors who will watch you, listen to you, and steal your good ideas. Get use to it. Facebook, LinkedIn and every other platform are the same way.

24. Twitter is not the same as Google+.

25. Twitter is not
the best medium to get out of doing the dishes, doing the laundry, mowing the lawn or feeding the kids. Eventually everyone needs to eat, the kitchen needs cleaning, and the clothes get stinky.

26. Twitter is not an excuse to miss work, ditch school, or lie in bed all day with your iPhone. Even if your eyes are bloodshot, your head hurts, and your fingers are numb, get out of bed and get a life! What are some of the funniest things you have seen people do—or not do—on Twitter? What Twitter truths can you add to this list?

About the Author

Socialtik Mag
Socialtik Mag is a progressive platform for young, aspiring professionals to express our views on the issues and ideas in the world around us. It’s the Gen-Y perspective of life in the new decade. In addition to the original content we produce, we post from sites around the internet to keep our peers aware of what’s positive, what’s fresh, and most importantly, what’s progressive.



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