Category Archives: Twitter

Why We Creep

Social networking sites, including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and LinkedIn, have all contributed to the creepiness of the Internet. Now we can cyberstalk people to our heart’s content. Whatever happened to that girl who threw pudding at me in the 7th grade, you may wonder. Oh, where did that dude end up who dumped me after our third date?

Now, instead of hiring a private dectective or thumbing through the phone book for a last name, we can simply use the search engine on Facebook. And bam! We find out that Debbie is a mother of two living in Delaware and Johnny is still doing keg stands at his parents’ house in Freehold.

Why do we find the need to cyberstalk? What makes us so interested in the lives of other people, people who don’t even really matter to us, that we spend hours combing their Facebook pages, looking at pictures, status updates, and more?

The even weirder part is that people have a fascination with the folks who were mean to them. We downright hate these individuals in real life and never call them to make a play date, and yet we visit their Facebook page, blog, and Twitter account multiple times a day. But why?

The Internet is like the rose colored glasses of real life. Everybody’s existence seems so much more exciting than it really is. Molly can post something about her recent trip to England and all of the exciting stuff she saw, when in reality she sits in a cubicle for 40 hours a week and has never been out of the country until now. Timmy can “check in” to all of these fabulous bars every night of the week and we think he’s a popular social butterfly. But instead, Timmy’s checking in to these bars by himself and passing out on his neighbor’s front stoop.

By nature, humans are curious and dependent pack animals. In the times when Ug was still beating Oog over the head with a stick and dragging her by the hair back to his cave, humans have been social and family oriented beings.

Our Facebook “pack” allows us to be part of something bigger than ourselves. When we hate people in real life, our pack instinct still pulls us to them, like the sea to the moon. Throw in the distorted reality the Internet creates and it gives us that “grass is always greener” complex.

How to be a Twitter Pro

Twitter is one of those things that isn’t going to be going away anytime soon. Unlike Myspace (BTW if you use Myspace, you might as well still be using GeoCities to host your webpage or gabbing on a Zack Morris phone), Facebook, or any other kind of social media platform, Twitter offers its users ultra-specific social networking and microblogging services. Users can generate 140-character messages called “tweets” and display them on their profile pages.

If you’re new to Twitter, you may think that this website is pretty easy to navigate. You can simply click on the “Follow” button located on different people’s profiles and start building your “following” list. You might also think that common courtesy calls for those same people to start following you, thus enabling you to build a “followers” list.

You may go about your day and tweet about different thoughts that occur to you (“I like pie.”) or different activities that you may be doing (“I’m eating pie.”).

Soon enough though, you’ll realize that your “followers” list is down to 11 and that your “following” list has ballooned to 143. Believe it or not, there is a golden means to followers vs. following on Twitter that you should try and stick to.

So what went wrong? Why have you become a Twitter outcast?

Many first time Twitter users usually end up making the same mistake, which is a big one. They turn their Twitter page into a minefield of pointless and stupid tweets. Honestly, nobody really care if you’re eating pie.

Content is everything people. The same rules apply to the NYT. If the Times started writing articles about how much they liked to eat pie, their circulation numbers would definitely drop.

To be a Twitter pro, concentrate first and foremost on the content you tweet about. If you find an unusual or funny article you enjoyed, go ahead and tweet it. If you have a favorite literary quote that inspires you, tweet that too.

Try to avoid tweeting about mundane things. If you see a dude on the side of the highway performing CPR on a deer, definitely tweet about that. That’s gold.

Authenticity is everything. If you have a Twitter that contains unique and original tweets, people will start wanting to follow you.