The Bird Is The Word: My 6 Years on Twitter

We’re on Twitter with one side of our personality, and Facebook with another, and LinkedIn with another side of our personality, and we’re toggling between them. That’s just a version of what an impostor does: shifting from one side of their personality to another with lightning speed’ – Walter Kirn

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I joined Twitter on 10 May 2009, this was my first tweet:

Since then I have tweeted 17.4K times under 7 different twitter handles . I love twitter way more than Facebook because it suits my short attention span. Info you get is in reel time and limited to 140 characters so no massive long rants or albums with 200 pictures in. It’s quick and accessible and easy to ignore anything you don’t want to read or aren’t  interested in. It also gives you access to your favourite celebrities and find out what they like for breakfast.

Here’s what I’ve learnt in my twitter lifetime:

The Follow: Getting a new follower is always excities me. The excitement is usually short lived when I realise that it’s just a marketing bot following me because I tweeted the word ‘diet’ or ‘run’ or a Taylor Swift lyric. I have a rule that I will always follow back apart from these exceptions: 1. You don’t have a profile picture 2. You try and sell me something 3. You tweet quotes from the bible 4. You ask me to follow you

The Unfollow: Followers go up and down more often that a bride’s nightie sometimes and normally it’s the above mentioned spambot who will unfollow me when they realise I’m not following them back. Apps such as ‘Who Unfollowed Me’ are great because you can see (as the name suggests) who unfollowed. What I will never know though is why. If I see someone’s unfollowed me who wasn’t a spambot I often contemplate on whether I may have said something that has offended them. They’re clearly not a fan of 90’s boyband lyrics!

The Retweet: I’ll be honest, I love it if someone retweets me. It’s like a virtual way of someone laughing at your joke or saying they agree with what you’re saying. I like to retweet people too for that reason, it’s a way for me to say ‘look how funny this person I follow is, you should follow them too’ or ‘this verbalised exactly how I feel about X, Y or Z’. Too many retweets can be annoying though, so i try not to do it too often. There’s a theory I’ve heard that people who retweet praise or a celeb tweet (see below) are arrogant or attention seeking. I see the point, but come on, we’re on twitter, if you really were that private a person and all demure, you wouldn’t be on there. Twitter is the home of self indulgence, if someone’s praised you I don’t see any harm in retweeting it if you’re chuffed about it!

The Favourite: A Favourite is a smaller version of a retweet and i’m not a massive fan. I guess it’s for when you like something but not enough to bestow it on to your own followers. I’ve noticed it’s a way of people saying ‘I’ve seen your tweet, i agree, but i’m not responding’ it’s quite pointless in my eyes.

The Hashtag: I use hashtags on a regular basis particularly for my #lyricoftheday which is try and tweet everyday and pick a lyric that will denote how I may be feeling that day or dedicated to someone if it’s their birthday or whatever. I also love a comedy hashtag, or when hastags go wrong (for a brilliant example of this google #susanalbumparty)

The Trending Topic: LOVE things that trend they can be the most random thing ever or major news stories depending on whats happening in the world. I found out that Michael Jackson had died through what was trending on twitter (US News seemed to pick it up first since it was late in the UK when it happened).

The Celebrity Tweet: Following celebrities is one of the main reasons i’m on twitter. I’m not a fan of celebrity twitter accounts that are run by their PR people and just endorse their latest movie, album, TV etc (I’m looking at you DiCaprio) I want them to tweet for themselves, I want to know what they drink at starbucks or that they’re obsessed with Made in Chelsea as well! A celebrity feud are also brilliant entertainment (for examples of these, following Katie Hopkins @KTHopkins is a must!) I’ve even gotten into a few twitter spats myself (don’t piss off the Directioners or anyone affiliated with Mumsnet would be my advice!)

More than anything thought it makes celebrities more accessible and I’ve been lucky enough to have some tweets from celebrities my self and after digging around in my twitter archive have been able to find some:

Kimberly Wyatt (former Pussycat Doll) after I sent her a picture of my limited gymnastic ability!

Kim Wyatt2Kim Wyatt

That brief 24 hours when ex Newcastle United player Rob Lee followed me:

roblee

Huey Morgan from Fun Lovin Criminals:

huey

Comedian Adam Hills:

adam

What is now known as ‘Mick Quinn Gate’ in my family after the ex Newcastle United star retweeted me and I got a barge of witty responses:

quinn1quinn2 quinn3

And most recently, UK rapper Sway:

sway

I’ve actually made some quite good friends through twitter, it’s a good place to find people with similar interests as you and have a banter about you’re favourite music or TV shows, it’s also enabled me to reconnect with old friends from school and stay in contact with friends who don’t live near me so for me, it’s the perfect social networking tool. Here’s to the next 17.4K!

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