Nine ways to win at Twitter
There’s an art to it, pal – it’s not as simple as logging in, telling everyone what you’ve had for your dinner, and then soaking up the plaudits. Comedy writer Andy Dawson has somehow amassed more than 18,000 followers on the social media platform so we thought we’d ask him for some tips…
Get an avatar pic
How hard can it be to upload a picture of something… anything, to illustrate your fledgling Twitter account? If you don’t, you’ll be stuck with the default ‘white egg’ avatar, and no one takes eggs seriously on Twitter due to their pic-upload deficiencies.
It doesn’t strictly have to be a photo of yourself either, but as I’ll explain later, you won’t be doing yourself any favours if it isn’t.
Oh, and try not to change your avatar every few days – no one will have any idea who you are and confusion will reign.
Don’t be yourself
Time for a spot of rigorous self-analysis – you might be socially awkward, perhaps your tongue lolls out of your mouth when you speak, or may be you have a chronic body odour issue. Forget about all of that on Twitter – focus instead on becoming the person you’d really like to be. After all, you’re on the internet so none of it is real, is it?
Leave celebs alone
When your tweeting odyssey begins, you’ll be tempted to follow all those showbiz stars you idolise, but you’ll soon wise up that they’re mainly the dullest ones there. The celebs are the exact kind who’ll commit the heinous tweetcrime of posting pics of their dinner or boasting about their rarefied existences. They probably won’t engage with normals like you either – but that doesn’t stop scores of folk from sending sycophantic one-way tweets to their heroes. Idiots.
Don’t meet anyone from Twitter in real life
Well, you can if you want to but be warned that escalating Twitter into real life is fraught with danger. Projecting yourself as someone who you know you’re not? Maybe the person you’re chatting to every day is doing the same. Are you swapping friendly messages with a fellow Game Of Thrones fan named @Hayley99933 or is it a burly 56-year-old lorry driver called Brian who enjoys wrapping his naked body up in cling film at nights?
Ignore anomymous Tweeters
While some people are anonymous for a good reason, you’d be best off steering clear of anyone who has that Guy Fawkes mask from V For Vendetta as their avatar pic.
Chances are that they’ll also describe themselves as a ‘libertarian’, are heavily into ‘telling it like it is’ as well as being a ‘firm believer in free speech’.
What this means is that they’re actually firm believers in making sick jokes without any comeback – which is why they mask their true identities, the cowardly hypocrites.
Or, argue the toss with them
Hey, perhaps you’re into a bit of online argy-bargy, fancying your chances as a devastating debater and possessor of caustic wit. Twitter is the perfect place for you – the place where you can literally start an argument in an empty house. Twitter is littered with angry, embittered nobodies who need to vent their spleen against the world and the aforementioned anonymous, mask-wearing libertarian oafs are perfect fodder if you’re into winding up strangers or even just roundly abusing them.
Block idiots at will
It’s your Twitter and you can pick and choose who you follow so curate your timeline with care. That said, if someone repeatedly gets on your wick, don’t be afraid to press the block button. Et voila, they’re banished from your Twitter feed and it’s like they never existed in the first place. If only real life came with a block function as well…
Imagine you’re in a café
Not everyone’s a troublemaker though and Twitter isn’t the Wild West – there has to be some kind of etiquette involved otherwise you’re looking at endless cybercarnage.
The best way to enjoy your tweeting experience without ending up in a war of words with hordes of strangers is to use the café rule of thumb. Try and display a little bit of decorum and don’t say something to someone on Twitter if you wouldn’t say to them in a crowded real life café as well. Unless, of course, you’re into having your chin punched halfway up your nose in a café.
Get away from your Facebook rubbish
Twitter is a vastly superior space to Facebook, and quite rightly sneers at its blue, confusing rival. Take your images of sunsets with motivational quotes plastered over them in Comic Sans, take your cryptic ‘Heart hurts’ attention-seeking updates, and take those hundreds of pics of your kids that no one wants to see, while you tell us how blessed you are and get them away from Twitter.
We come here for edgy cynicism, not cloying self-adoration. Be gone!