Twitter. I love Twitter but it’s only as good as the people frequenting it. After an automated DM tonight from a person I followed, who hasn’t yet followed me, I decided to vent (although I’m giggling too). Some of the scenarios on Twitter are annoying but would be even worse if it were equated to something that could happen in our physical ‘real’ lives.

The automatic DM came through straight after I followed this person (as they do) and it politely said “nice to meet you, blah, blah, blah” I responded with “Nice to meet you too” but my message was blocked because, of course, they weren’t following me so I couldn’t respond. How stupid. It made me feel like someone ‘special’, maybe a famous actor or singer, had yelled hello at me from across the street and when I went to answer, the minders surrounded me, their beefcake, black-clad arms pushing me away, shutting me down, “No talking to the celebrity. They can talk to you but you can’t talk to them. You’re not special enough. You’re a ‘follower’ they’re the ‘followee’. I would of course say “But, what…?” They would put their hand over my mouth and threaten to take me to the Justin Bieber concert that’s playing down the street, all while the celebrity in question walks away and says hello to the next unsuspecting follower.

The person who follows you. You follow back. They unfollow. This happens because people want to appear to be one of ‘the special ones’ heretofore knows as TSOs. They end up with a ridiculous follower/followee ratio. I weed these people out with Yes, I’m petty and I’m watching you; all of you. So don’t act like you’re better than me cause that just gives me the shits. The scenario, if played out in real life, would go something like this: there’s a large group of friends, they all take turns hosting a dinner. TSO turns up to all the dinners and drinks the most, vomits on your carpet, pisses on your toilet seat and goes home. When it’s their turn to host the dinner, a postcard turns up in your letterbox. It’s a photo of TSO, who’s waving from a camel while riding past some pyramid or other. Bastard.

People who aren’t even following you tweet you a “Hello, nice to meet you” with a link to their book attached. WTF? I don’t know you, I don’t give a shit about your book. I want to write this, and I also want to say piss off, but I don’t because I’m too polite. This is like being accosted in the street by someone asking for a donation or wanting to tell me about the end of the world while shoving some colourful brochure up my nose. While the paper is attacking my face like a swarm of moths looking for the nearest light bulb, I’m politely backing away while holding my hand up in a gesture of defeat. I smile and run. That’s what I’m doing to you on Twitter, I’m running away and you know how I said I’ll check out your book? I won’t.

Hmm, the alcohol’s wearing off now so I’d best go. Hmm, here I come.

52 thoughts on “What if Twitter Were ‘Real’ Life?

  1. I may be the only one who doesn’t know what a DM or a TSO is, but I enjoyed this. Whatever you drank allowed something inside to come straight out without being filtered by the outside “you,” and it was heartfelt. However, to me, Twitter is quite removed from real life, or just a hair’s width on life’s vast plain.
    I started tweeting only after being advised that writers should acquire followers to help publicize their books. Twitter, however, is crawling with writers seeking to publicize their books, and you can spot their tweets at a glance, ignore them, and go on to the next tweet. It’s like speed-reading. But I’ve “met” some interesting people, and they may, at some future time, decide to download my book. If not, I still enjoy tweeting with a few good folks.

    1. I joined twitter for the same reasons Jerry and I’ve met so many great people (the good outweigh the bad). A DM is a direct message. I guess no one should send them to you either lol.

  2. The DM from someone who doesn’t follow me is a major pet peeve of mine. I just wrote about it on my blog a few weeks ago too! It basically says, I want to tell you something but don’t give a rat’s ass what you have to say to me. Hate it.

  3. Love this post! And I totally agree with you! Who do they think they are? The real problem is, they just don’t know who you are yet. Otherwise they would know what an honor it is that you are even follow them. πŸ™‚

  4. oh my, you have nailed it right on Dionne. I must have 80 percent of my “follows” who don’t follow me, I cull them out every chance I get, but its a daunting task. Great post and some very useful info for us Tweeps.

  5. LOL – Oh, I couldn’t agree more, Dionne! I use ‘’ to periodically check who I have followed that is no longer following me. I then promptly ‘unfollow’ them and cast them into oblivion – very satisfying… πŸ™‚

  6. Dionne, it’s so great to wake up to your new blog post email (one of the first blogs I ever subscribed to way back when) and get to laugh at the annoyances in the Twitter system. They bug me too — black flies swarming πŸ˜‰

  7. I love the rant. I don’t follow anyone I am not interested in following – I check what they tweet about before I decide to follow them, and if someone follows me, that’s great! But I don’t follow anyone back just because they are following me. I also don’t DM people automatically. I have received automatic DMs, but they are so blatantly automatic I ignore them – usually delete them. I don’t get the whole automatic follow/unfollow thing, it’s just BS really. I like to consider my followers as ‘genuine’! But it all depends on your reasons for being there in the first place!

  8. Absolutely fantastic blog post! After a couple on months on Twitter I’m almost ready for the funny farm. Trouble is, it’s harder to kick than heroin (although it’s much cheaper). Right at this moment I no longer feel the need to vent. You’ve done it for me vicariously. As a reward, I promise not to try to flog you one of my books. My felicitations, Dionne. @JohnDolanAuthor

    1. Ha, ha John, I feel your pain. I am addicted (I think most of us are). I’m so glad my venting has been beneficial to you and thanks for not demanding I buy your book – that’s so refreshing :).

      1. Hi Dionne, thank you for the follow. It is much appreciated. Dammit, I’ve got to stop this. Every one of my sentences now runs to 140 characters or less. If Twitter had been around in John Milton’s day, he’d never have written ‘Paradise Lost’. That’s for darn sure.

  9. I have one Tweep who @mentions me with her blog post every day. She doesn’t follow me, I don’t follow her. It annoys the hell out of me. I haven’t blocked her yet, because what I REALLY want to do is give her a piece of my mind, but think perhaps it’s not diplomatic to do it in a public forum. So I just kind of hover in purgatory, decision unmade.

    1. There’s also people who list you in a follow friday hashtag but they don’t follow you, they’re just hoping you’ll follow them because you mentioned them. It’s like the window washers who try to guilt you into paying them at the lights. I have windscreen wipers, I don’t need you to wash my windows! When people have done the FF thing to me I’ve told them to take their own advice and follow me lol. One guy did!

  10. Thank you for saying everything I’ve been wanting to say. I’m just learning about syndicating posts from Amberr Meadows, can I pls pls repost this one ? πŸ™‚

      1. I’ve never syndicated a post before, and Amberr has taught me this in the last 10 minutes.

        Your post says every word and syllable I want to say, so, syndicating it is the best idea:).

        Thank you for your permission, and I’ll let you know once it is up!

  11. This is hilarious! It’s like you wrote out everything I think when I receive yet another generic DM. “Hi! Let’s connect on Facebook too!” Um, you mean let me follow you on another social media site so you can again NOT return the favor? Unfollow! Lol

    1. Thanks, Stacey! It’s so true, though. How can they not know that they’re annoying hundreds of people? And yes, the Facebook ones make me want to scream. I don’t know you; why would I want to be ‘friends’ with you on 50 different sites?

  12. Maybe I should use it..tho I tend to unfollow all those DM promos anyway. And as for followers…FAMOUS people may have 100,000 followers, but how can Mr/Ms Ordinary Writer have so many? Me thnks a buy out has been going on! If you check some of the ”followers/following lists for these people you find a lot of ‘buy followers ‘

    1. I totally agree, Carol. I know a couple of people who have a lot of legitimate followers but that happened for unusual reasons but a lot of not-famous people do buy them. I don’t see the point. It’s not going to make me want to follow them because they’re popular; I’m more likely to think “Oh, they don’t follow back” and avoid following them lol.

  13. Oh, Dionne, you hit this one squarely. Thank you!

    I never DM anyone unless I want to inititate a conversation apart from the public one; for me, that takes engagement with that person in the public conversation first. Seeing that ‘via’ in DM is annoying enough, but that royal wave of a DM which I am disallowed from even saying ‘Thank you’ . . . that burns my biscuits.

    It is rude to DM someone one does not follow. Just plain rude. I want to shout, “NEVER DM me if you don’t follow me back!” I’ve learned silently unfollowing is far easier. Even if they notice, their actions prove they do not care.

    I don’t have a Facebook author account, which I have said more than once, so auto-asking me to follow on Facebook is the height of knowing nil about me. I loathe advertising tweets directed at me by people who I do not follow and who do not follow me; they and the “BUY 10K followers NOW!” get blocked with prejudice.

    If someone follows me and engages with me, then I will follow back. If someone engages with me, then I will follow them for a time. I wait for their follow-back, and use the same tool you do, Dionne, to glean them from the folks I engage with.

    I apologize for this long rant in your comments section, but I agree that these rude people need to remember that the first word in social media is social. Thank you for addressing this fundamental rule of Twitter etiquette so many people sorely need to know.

    Kudos, Dionne. πŸ™‚

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