Five most annoying Twitter habits

July 6, 2009

Now that everyone I know seems to be flooding every corner of the Interwebs with tweets, I can’t help but notice some well-nigh universal annoying habits that make my teeth grind with ire every time I see them. The top offenders:

Tweeting about coffee. I score high in my devotion to coffee in all its forms, and yet I have no interest whatsoever in your efforts to make it, order it, drink it, or hang around in places where it is made, ordered, or drunk. Even YOU probably don’t care that you’re going out to the cafe on the corner to get a latte this morning, if you think about it. (Oddly enough, I quite like hearing about what people are eating and drinking otherwise.)

Bitching about transportation. I don’t care if your plane is late. I don’t care if your commute is shite today. I don’t care where you are on the freeway. This goes double if you’re en route to some major geek confab like SXSW — because if your plane is delayed, rest assured two dozen other morons on the same flight have already so informed me. Obviously this constraint does not apply to Twitter accounts that were explicitly set up to pass along transit info, like the fabulous @bikecar.

Song lyrics. This went out in junior high. It’s especially irritating when someone starts quoting song lyrics that sound alarming but have nothing to do with anything that’s happening in their real life. If you put a song lyric out there about breaking up with your boyfriend or something, it’s lame to then say, “Oh I didn’t mean anything, I was just listening to the song on the radio.”

Cryptic statements. You’re trying too hard to seem misterioso and intriguing and yet discreet. If you don’t have the balls to plainly state what’s happening, it didn’t happen in a broadcast medium. Call up an actual friend if you have one, and discuss the matter privately.

Automated location notifications, especially cutesy ones. I guess in theory I can see why someone would want to broadcast that they’re sitting in a Borders right now, although I think people tend to overestimate (or want others to overestimate) how much they function as social beacons. But what’s up with being the MAYOR of Borders? It’s infantile without being in the slightest bit adorable.

Bonus: Unrecognizable headshots. This is a universal gripe of mine, but it’s especially bad on Twitter because of the small image sizes, over-fancy background designs, and wacky usernames. Use a photo that gives people a fighting chance of differentiating you from the other 1,724 users they’re following. And seriously you’re not fooling anyone if you use a photo taken more than a year ago. You look fine, just get over the vanity and use a current pic.

Next time you’re tempted to pull one of these maneuvers, please stop yourself — because if you have to resort to this crapola, it means you actually have ABSOLUTELY NOTHING worth saying… not even 140 characters worth. Lie down and chill until the urge to tweet passes or inspiration strikes.

5 Responses to “Five most annoying Twitter habits”

  1. Jeffrey Says:

    Since you brought it up, my pet peeve is when people think that other people owe them entertainment via Twitter. If somebody’s bugging you, there’s a very easy remedy — unfollow!

  2. thesethings Says:

    I loved this post.
    Totally disagreed with it, but loved it.
    Still LOLing…
    You’re Mayor of the Wrong Side of the Bed, and that’s why we keep tuning in 😀
    More please.

  3. Tim Converse Says:

    Cranky cranky. Actually, I find there’s a local&realtime vs. global divide w.r.t triviality on Twitter. if someone far away from me and famous says that they’re having a nice croissant, I’m not very interested. But if one of my co-workers says that they’re having fabulous coffee right now at the Creamery, I’m like 1) hmm, X is at the Creamery, 2) maybe the Creamery doesn’t suck as hard as I thought, 3) maybe I’ll drop by on my way to work. This doesn’t have to happen too many times before the croissant seems more forgivable. It would be nice to have a way to filter out long-distance local-interest tweets though….

  4. Quora Says:

    What is lacking in social networking now?…

    To put it another way, there might be some information in your Twitter feed that you actually want but it’s surrounded by insignificant stuff, misinformation, and crap. Enough crap to make Sturgeon’s Law feel like we WISH 10% of Twitter was decent tw…


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