Top Ten Biggest Tools on Twitter
7. Mrs. Inspiration
Unless you're a direct descendant of John Bartlett, there's simply no excuse for sending out a nonstop stream of quotes on Twitter. But that's precisely what our next Twitter tool, Mr. Inspiration, loves to do: bombard us with quote after quote, minute after minute. We get it, dude: You just discovered Bartleby.com. Don't make us suffer.
To be clear, I love being inspired as much as the next guy. But seeing 77 Mark Twain sayings every hour doesn't inspire me to do much besides bludgeon myself with an oversized rubber mallet. And you can quote me on that.
8. The Forced Engager
Following a Forced Engager is kind of like having lunch with that 87-year-old aunt you see once every four years: The questions are corny, the conversation's generic, and neither one of you is really paying attention.
The Forced Engager is typically someone who read an e-book suggesting she build a rich social network. The key to doing this, of course, is "engaging with followers" and "gaining valuable connections." This translates roughly into "asking clichéd open-ended questions in painful attempts to start conversation."
Tweets from a Forced Engager read like an interview for college admission:
"If you could meet any celebrity dead or alive, who would it be and why?"
"What's your proudest moment so far?"
"Who's been the biggest influence in your style?"
The better question might be: "Why can't I come up with anything less tool-like to say?"
9. Johnny Abbreviations
With a 140-character limit, abbreviating is sometimes a necessity. Other times, however, words are condensed on Twitter for no discernable reason.
The people behind this curious condensation are a breed known as Johnny Abbreviations. Johnny Abbreviations -- or J.A. for short -- throw out terms such as "wut," "gd," and "ur" more often than Apple throws out iPhone apps.
If these abbreviations were being used in occasional long-winded tweets, they'd be easier to forgive. But when you send out a message that says "hope ur hvng a gd day ppl!" -- well, ur abbrvtns rnt rly srving any prpse, r they?
10. Tommy Tries-Too-Hard
Our final Twitter tool is an amusing little creature known as Tommy Tries-Too-Hard. Tommy Tries-Too-Hard is incredibly excited about Twitter. He wants to get in on every single facet of the experience, usually all at the same time.
Some of his telltale signs:
- Overuse of hashtagging. When every #tweet has at least two #hashtags, or #every other #word is #hashtagged, you know you're dealing with a T.T.T.H.
- Uninventive responses to trending topics. Tommy Tries-Too-Hard has to jump on every trending topic he sees, even when he has nothing original to add. If nothing else, it gives him an excuse to use another hashtag.
- The regular use of terms such as "tweeps," "tweeple," or any other made-up words involving the letters "tw." One of these every four months is permissible; any more puts you in Tommy T. territory. (Unless you're Elmer Fudd. Then we'll look the other way.)
- Follow-gaming. Tommy Tries-Too-Hard is all too aware of his Twitter follower count, and not in any quiet fashion: He'll constantly let you know how close he is to his next major milestone and how you can help achieve it ("About to hit 500 #followers! Help me get 10 more! #I'veNeverTouchedAWoman").
I could twax on for hours, my tweeple, but I have trending topics to attwend to. I look fwd to reading ur comments and learning more about u, tho, just as soon as I finish this Filet-O-Fish sandwich.
JR Raphael is a syndicated writer and part-time Twitter philosopher. In his spare time, he flosses.