Why You Suck At Twitter

If you've been following along for a while, you might remember me talking about the value of Twitter. I really do think it's a great tool for honing your writing skills, especially the prospect of condensing an idea to its simplest form, but not everyone seems to think of it that way. Some of my friends who use it are, well, quite boring. I hope that doesn't offend anyone. There's a lot of people who don't think about Twitter in the same way I do, and that's fine. I just feel bad when the people I know in real life are the ones I want to follow the absolute least.

So, if you happen to be interested in what I hope to never see again on Twitter, read on. If not, here's a picture of a bunny. He'll keep you company while the rest of us get to the good stuff.

1. I don't care where you are Forgive me if that sounds rude. It's really just that, if I wanted to know where you are, I would've asked. If I wanted to follow you on Foursquare, I would have. Go ahead and unlink those accounts. Really. It'll be okay if no one knows that you just unthroned the king of your local gas station. I think the owner of that establishment, in particular, would probably be concerned if he knew you were claiming his business in the name of whatever crappy country you're ruling.

2. I don't care what you're eating This is along the same lines, but whatever's on your plate is almost certainly of no interest to me. Even the people I love the most, the ones for whom my heart beats, couldn't interest me with a description of their sandwich every day. And a picture of it? Doesn't really help as much as you'd think.

3. I don't care who else you're talking to There's a reason that, if you put a mention at the very beginning of a tweet, it doesn't get sent to all of your followers. The Twitter gods, whoever they may be, deemed that most people wouldn't care about your four hour back and forth with Timmy about the tire you saw lying on the side of the road and what you think it says about God and the value of man. Use this to your advantage. If something is directed at only one person, do the rest of us a favor and keep it off our feeds.

The same goes for tweeting any of your inside jokes. And if all you do is constantly retweet others.

As long as you love me Yeah, if you go through the titles of these, you'll see a parallel to a Backstreet Boys song. I'm not ashamed to admit it. I was always an 'Nsync man, myself — and wow, is that wording questionable or what? — but I basically grew up on pop music.

There's a point to all this boy band nonsense though. The thing is, when all of your tweets cover the things I mentioned above, it doesn't feel like you're even considering what I'd care to read. Tell me about your life, sure. If you go somewhere interesting, snap a picture. If you eat something crazy, give me the details. If you just talked to someone interesting (read: famous), show me the conversation.

But when you start thinking that it's okay for every single tweet to cover you going to places within five blocks of your house, or eating at the same places you eat every day, or talking to the same people you always talk to, you stop taking my feelings into consideration. "But Michael," you may say. "My Twitter account is about me and about what I want to talk about. I don't do it for anyone else."

Well, then don't expect anyone else to follow you.