Tweetiquette: Or, How Douchenozzles Use Twitter

True fact: some people just don’t “get” Twitter. And that’s okay. I don’t get The Big Bang Theory. (Ever seen that clip of the show with the laugh track removed? The joke is that it’s funny how unfunny it is. See? Get it? No? Shut up. ) Not everybody is into everything else. Pronoblem.

Except — except! — some of those poor confused people who don’t “get” Twitter continue to use it wantonly. They use it day in and day out. It’s like watching a monkey play with a handgun — it makes everybody in the room very uncomfortable, and everybody is swaying their heads this way and that whenever the barrel wavers and the monkey diddles the revolver’s hammer. I don’t get The Big Bang Theory, and so I don’t join its fan clubs. If you don’t get Twitter?

If you don’t know how to use it? Learn. Or go take up another hobby. Macrame is popular. So is drinking under highway overpasses until you befoul your britches.

Because if you continue to use Twitter like an asshole, then you’re an asshole.

Or, as the title suggets, a douchenozzle.

How do douchenozzles use Twitter?

Let me count the ways.

Play The Follow-Unfollow Tag-You’re-It Game

Let me paint a picture for you. Some dude follows you. He’s got 9,898 followers, and he follows 9,912 people. He is — well, who cares? He could be anybody. Who knows how he found you? Similar interests, maybe. Could be he threw a dart at a dartboard. Right now, he’s just an email alert. That’s it. That’s the sum total of his existence to you. Maybe you look into his tweetstream — “Do I know this guy? Should I know this guy?” And you see that his tweetstream is full of what I’ll call “legitimate spam.” It’s 90% links. And they’re all links on one topic or two. They feel orchestrated. Perhaps even faux-professional. He’s got very minimum engagement with others. He is nothing but a broadcaster of what he feels to be relevant information, but really it’s just irrelevant noise.

He’s a fisherman, this dick.

He casts bait — the “Follow” button. Then he waits for you to bite — a reciprocal follow. Not because you like him but because a lot of users auto-follow without a moment’s hesitation.

When you don’t, he realizes that he doesn’t have one “on the line” and he drops his bait and bobber somewhere else. Bloop. You might think, “Well, that’s the last of that dude.”

You’d probably be wrong.

He’ll be back. If he’s a low-level douchenozzle, he’ll come back in four months and try it again but probably won’t realize he’s tried this before with you and that you’re just not a bait-taking fish.

If he’s a high-grade, rocket-fueled douchenozzle — the kind that sprays hot douche in the eyes of all who gaze upon him — then he’ll do it again and again over the course of a week. It’s like a dog nipping at your heels, a child tugging on your apron strings, “Mommy Mommy Mommy Mommy Mommy pay attention to me Mommy Mommy.” Get away from me, annoying human.

Solution: block.

Become A Social Media Guru Who Isn’t Very Good At Social Media

Once more on the subject of “legitimate spam” are those people who declare themselves social media experts. You gaze that their Twitter page and it’s some hot sexy Internet logo (from the late 1990s) and they list their “credentials” (which are essentially invented) and once more they offer a tweetstream full of link porn and so-called expert advice.

Ironically, these social media gurus demonstrate that they couldn’t handle social media if it came in a picnic basket and wrapped in a pretty pink bow. These douchenozzles — nay, douchewaffles — don’t know social media from a strap-on dildo. (And, given the quality of their tweets, they don’t know their mouths from their assholes because all they do is poop out a river of shittiness.)

Let me explain a few things.

Social media isn’t hard. It is, at its core, talking to people using a medium different than, say, your mouth and their ears. That’s it. Twitter is a conversation. It’s a big giant globe-spanning conversation. Imagine that some dickbrain steps into your conversational circle and loudly proclaims that he wants to help you have better conversation. He doesn’t want to have a conversation, mind. He just wants to interrupt your conversation to somehow, mysteriously, make it “better.”

Now, I get it — social media still offers nuance. And it offers opportunity for human beings to engage in their field and for creators to gain audience. Obviously that leaves some room for education (like me educating you with a karate kick across the bridge of your nose via a post like this one, though I don’t claim to be an expert in anything), so I’ll thus leave room for people who can do this and do this well. Example: Marian Schembari, who a) engages with other human beings and b) talks about a wide array of topics rather than merely pimping her own loudness. She also has a very targeted approach toward how she’ll help you with social media and isn’t just a vague, stammering, stumbling “Buh-buh-but I’m a goo-goo-guru!”

Engage In Vengeful Unfollowing

“You unfollow me? Then I unfollow you! Cur! Mongrel! Vile specimen of humanity!”

I don’t unfollow out of revenge. I unfollow because I no longer want to partake in your conversation. And that’s not a slight against anybody — you know how at a party you float around and land on the people with whom you want to communicate, and sometimes those participants come and go? Twitter’s like that. It’s okay. I’m not upset if you unfollow me. I mean, if we’re supposed to be friends I guess I might, but even then — hey, maybe I was just being noisy. Or being a jerk. Or having some long-winded conversation that drowned out your other tweeps. I don’t blame you. Hell, I’d probably unfollow me.

Obviously, why someone unfollows another human being is something that cannot be determined — that’s between you and your god (or between you and the Almighty Fail Whale). But in your heart you know if you unfollowed as revenge for them not following you. Remember: this shit ain’t Facebook. Reciprocal relationships are not necessary. You do not require a perfectly balanced follower/followee ratio, you dig?

Decide That Following People Is For Assholes

Okay, I know I just said that Twitter isn’t reciprocal, but will you at least follow somebody? Like I said, Twitter is a conversation. It isn’t a bully pulpit. It’s not just you standing by the punchbowl yelling so loud that it drowns out all the other conversation. Do you use Twitter just as a broadcast channel, a one-way street where words leave your mouth but none reach your ear- and eye-holes?

Then you might be a douchenozzle.

Now, some people follow zero, but still respond to others, or use Twitter lists. Okay. You’re engaging. Good. You’re probably fine, then. But seriously — partake in the conversation. You are not a mouthpiece.

Vomit Up A Turbid Broth Of Follow Friday Recommendations

Ever seen the EFFing project? The “End Follow Friday” project?

Essential thesis is, “Follow Friday is Spam, so quit that shit.”

I half-agree.

I agree that it’s spam when it’s just a ceaseless tide of #ffs: “#ff @bonerjack @kiley729212 @monsterturd @W3ird0 @pillpopper @badgerface @wifeofbadgerface @picardsnipples @doctorhymenbreaker @sewerbilly @roderickmanmilk” etc. etc. Who the fuck are these people? I just should, what, follow them all without any comprehension of why? I should look to them and care nothing about context? I want to know why I should follow @badgerface and @wifeofbadgerface. Do they say funny things? Are they writers? Performance artists? By god, are they social media gurus? Why do you follow them?

It’s even worse when people vomit up not just one of these tweets but like, 70 of them. They basically tell you to follow everybody they follow. Well, just say that, then. Say, “Hey, #ff, follow everybody I follow because I’m the smartest douchecannon in the room.”

Do you really think you’re helping anybody?

Do you think you’re getting anybody any followers?

You’re not. You’re just throwing up on the floor and making everybody else look at it.

Tell People How To Use Twitter By Using Words Like “Tweetiquette”

See what I did there? I’m telling you how to use Twitter? Using a word like “Tweetiquette?”

Are you daft? I’m calling myself a douchenozzle is what I’m doing. Sheesh.

Nobody can really tell you how to use Twitter. Twitter is a conversation and you can join it as you like. That’s the joy of it, and that’s the hell of it. Sure, I think the things I said here are true, but I can’t make you do differently. However you want to enter the conversation is up to you. My only suggestion is, do it. Have the conversation. Engage. Be social — “social” is the key word of “social media.” Don’t just be a mouthpiece. Don’t just contribute to the tide of flotsam and jetsam; spam is spam even when it’s not produced from the telescoping sphincter found in a spam-bot’s clanking haunches.

Feel free to tell me I’m a douchewaffle. Or douchenozzle. Or der dooshmaschine.

Alternately, feel free to share your Twitter pet peeves.

Or, tell me about your new social media guru business you got going.