DISCLAIMER: This post may or may not be tongue-in-cheek.
When you’re fairly active in the blogosphere you tend to see a fair few car crashes on Twitter, forums and blogs. Of course everyone everyone’s entitled to a mini-meltdown from time to time but the problem with doing it in a public space is that everyone can see it. Hindsight/experience is a wonderful thing, although I have seen even veteran bloggers/tweeps lose their cool over the past few months. So here are my top 5 tips for avoiding toe-curling mistakes on social media. I’d love to hear yours.
1. You can’t please all of the people all of the time, and not everyone will like you, your blog or want to follow you on Twitter. Once you’ve accepted that, you’ll feel much happier.
2. People unfollow you on Twitter for one of two reasons. a). The weird glitchy thing that means Twitter unfollows someone on your behalf because you haven’t interacted with them for a while (NB: this may or may not be an Urban Myth). b). Because they don’t want to follow you. They’re not interested in you, or what you have to say, they don’t like you, or feel you have anything in common, or they don’t like the people you talk to. Take it on the chin. Asking them publicly on Twitter why they’re not following you anymore – particularly if you do it in a whiny, needy tone – is the social media equivalent of drunk dialling an ex, and it’s never a good look. If you’re really that bothered, email them.
3. And while we’re talking about drunk dialling… it’s worth bearing in mind that Drinking + Social Media can be lethal. Unless you’re a shiftworker who does unsociable hours, avoid commenting when you’ve had a few and are tired. Those rants/nasty comments left on blogs after midnight just make you look silly, bitter and sad.
4. Twitter is great for interacting with celebrities, but tweeting them links to your blog = pointless. Trust me, they’re not interested. Worse still is tweeting the same link to endless celebrities. That’s just toe-curling.
5. Pick your battles. Avoid @-ing someone with a negative comment unless the circumstances are really extreme/you feel really strongly about something (and referring to someone as ‘she’ or ‘he’ and @-ing them in the same tweet just makes you look like a bully). Unfortunately Twitter is a microcosm of society, and that means it does attract some people with a playground mentality. In those instances, the block button is your best friend.
Oh dear, I often have a glass of wine in the evening while I tweet, but would hate to think I send of offensive tweets as a result, though I am aware it as a detrimental effect on my spelling! So much of what you say makes sense though, I need to take your advise and stop feeling put out when I am unfollowed.
Thanks for sending me the link to this post for the Britmums carnival. Very wise words and did make me laugh too.
Brilliant. I’ve seen some shocking drunken commenting quite recently. Hilarious!
I was thinking only the other day that the altercations on Twitter now seem to be the rule rather than the exception. Although my gut tells me that often it is a lot of sheep in wolves’ clothing and where their ‘power’ is coming from the shield of a computer screen.
If something said is deeply upsetting – which it can be – contact the person privately and ask “Did you mean that to come across unkindly, because I was really hurt by the comment.” This tends to clear up a misunderstanding quickly – or at the very least diffuses the situation behind the scenes without the rest of Twitter shouting “Fight. Fight.”
And we have all witnessed the car crash that leads on to.
I’m sure we’re all guilty of the self-righteous tweets occasionally, trying to get a lame message across to someone in particular and making it look like we’re addressing everyone – I’ve done it myself and felt like a muppet afterwards! But It is pretty pathetic, and I do think if you are genuinely upset about something it’s much better to either DM (if you can) or find another way to contact them. Open disagreements are all very well but too many turn into personal attacks and end up with blog posts being written that subsequently escalate and makes both or all parties look like they’re hiding behind a computer screen, in other words, like cowards.
I think it’s become common for people to have an unfollow fest then blame it on Twitter’s new-found bug. I unfollowed about 1,000 people about a year ago and some asked me why. I admit that I made a cock up and hadn’t intended to unfollow some of them so refollowed but there were some that I just shook my head at and thought “who are you?”
Great post, as always.
Very VERY wise words… let’s hope that a LOT of people read this post…. 😉