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Miss Mary’s Guide to Twitter Manners

Disclaimer: By all means I am not a twitter expert not have I ever been. I have no authority in the matter. Zero. Nada.

Ahhh… do you remember the days when ladies wore hats and gloves and gentlemen tipped their hats to you as you walked by?

Yeah, me neither.

Maybe its my old-school upbringing that included an all-girls Roman Catholic school that makes me yearn for a simpler time.

I got to thinking the other day, about how our online interactions could be so different from our face-to-face interactions. What is it about online that makes us less polite or thoughtful? I came up with my top 8 twitter offenses:

1. The difference between a twitter friend and a real friend

No matter if a friendship is born in cyberspace or over coffee, a real friendship takes time and effort to cultivate. There’s trust that needs to be earned and a common ground that needs to be defined. Just because someone follows you or you follow them, does not automatically makes them your besties.

2. Just because you have 140 characters doesn’t mean you have to use them all

Sometimes a difference between a 140 characters and 145 could be the difference between looking like an idiot or not.

3. If your name is not Daniel Sedin, why are you pretending to be Daniel Sedin?

Now I know that all of us wishes for those magic 15 minutes, when the whole world will be focused on us and people will discover how unique and special we are. Until then, Let’s not pretend to be someone who has earned his celebrity by hard work and talent… if you are talented and work hard, someday you too will have thousands of followers and will have earned the respect and admiration of your tweeps.

4. Be yourself

… Because eventually your followers will figure out that you are not a millionaire heiress. You’ll be surprised at how fast your “little white lie” will go viral and you will lose all the credibility you have worked so hard to achieve.

5. If you’re not being tagged, why are you forcing yourself into the conversation?

Now this one is a bit of a grey area – but I think I got it figured out. I feel when you are including an individual person in a conversation is the equivalent of having a conversation with a person in a crowded bus. You wouldn’t simply interrupt a conversation would you? even if you know the people involved you simply wouldn’t. It’s rude. It is obvious that comment was made to the person following the @ symbol.

6. Are you the grammar police? well, are you?

Why do some people have the need to criticize other people’s spelling and grammar? what does that achieve? if you’re incredibly bothered by it why are you following? Let it be! and BTW trying to tweet on an Iphone is INCREDIBLY hard!

7. Unless you’re brave enough to put yourself out there, don’t be negative of other people’s efforts

Putting yourself out there takes guts. Twitter could be a wonderful experience or the equivalent of a bad High School flashback. And just like High School there are people out there that are judging you on a regular basis. Simply ignore them. They are bullies trying to intimidate you. Be proud of your twitter efforts and ignore the tweeps that are bringing you down.

8. If you have to tell others that you’re an expert – well, that just means that you’re not.

I love how some people go on and on about their credentials and how important they are. If you feel that you have to defend your credentials in every single tweet or post, you may want to ask yourself why are you doing that? are you writing because you’re passionate about a topic or subject, or simply to be noticed? Trust me, if you’re an expert, it will show – not simply in your interactions with others, but with the quality of your tweets/posts.


  1. Best post yet. Couldn’t have said it better.

    My first computer was a Z80 8-bit microcomputer with 128kb of RAM…it took 30 minutes to load a program using a standard tape recorder. Who would have guessed that 20 years later our social world would be so embedded with bits and bytes…but the “old rules” still apply. I’m glad you’ve reminded us what those are and why we had them to begin with.


  2. What did we do before computers, Facebook & Twitter? I can’t remember a time before we had all that we do now. And we thought we were busy then, we really had so much free time compared to how much time Social Networking takes us know. Great Post Mary!


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