The interweb is fraught with how to use social media. Google quickly hands over a least a thousand billion quick-and-dirty notes on how to get powerful and famous. All you need is your iPhone and a rudimentary grasp on hashtags.
I may only have one of those things, but I feel that a rational and removed appraisal of the current state of the Twittersphere has left with me with the tools to teach you how to live your social media life. Also, I go to school for it, so let’s hope I know a thing or two.
Now, I think we can all agree that it is really hard to concentrate on anything that doesn’t involve the unveiling of Lady Gaga’s bathroom scale digits or Taylor Swift’s latest bemused muse. Lucky for you, dear reader, I have kept up with the Kardashians. And armed with a Twitter following that doesn’t even at all compare to the legions of celebrities that I follow, I give you, What Not to Tweet: Celebrity Edition.
Aside from all the obvious, self-esteem-draining differences between you and a celebrity, you must understand that you are not selling yourself on Twitter. At least, you shouldn’t be–that’s what LinkedIn is for. A celebrity’s twitter account is supposed to be ridiculous because ridiculous is entertaining and that’s what celebrities do.
This checklist is regarding the Twitter account that is going to matter to your colleagues and friends, not the secret account where you send those delightfully mean subtweets. This is the account that you should be using to network and entertain. It should be true to your style and your humor and your interests. It should be something that Future You can pull up on your fancy futuristic hologram computer without dying of embarrassment for Youthful You.
So, pay attention, Millennials, because there are a lot of people you should follow on Twitter. But there are more people whose examples you should not follow. And most of those people are celebrities. If Us Magazine started a “Who Tweeted It Best” column, you know that celebrities pull it off nearly every time, in a way that we the regular people simply cannot.
Regular people cannot pull off tweeting crazy nonsense.
Don’t take it from Jennifer Love Hewitt. Know what you are trying to say and say it well. The difference between a thought and a tweet is equal to exactly the number of your followers checking the timeline in that minute. So make it matter. Also, try not to be random. Make those 140 characters productive and purpose-driven.
Regular people cannot pull off tweeting their social media illiteracy.
Come in with your game face on. If you don’t know how to tweet, learn. Then tweet. In that order. It’s just common sense; don’t pull a Cher.
Regular people cannot pull off tweeting obvious and embarrassing inebriation.
You might think that you’re being so coy in not tweeting the blurry, red-eyed picture to which you just set the hippest filter, but trust me (and the examples Ke$ha and Rihanna) when I tell you that your drunkenness is noticeable. This is where that secret account or diary comes in. Or, better yet, just be content with not cataloguing every moment of your life. Maybe just live it for a little.
Regular people cannot pull off tweeting awkwardly personal feelings.
No subtweets or personal listings, thanks. It is embarrassing to read and awkward to tweet. Just don’t, okay? If Serena Williams can’t pull it off–which is a definite first–neither can you.
Regular people cannot pull off acting like celebrities on Twitter, because, when it comes down to it, regular people cannot pull off tweeting clueless narcissism. You’re allowed to be vaguely narcissistic–I mean, we are on Twitter, after all–but some self-awareness is imperative. Loading nearly the entire Twitter feeds of of Kim Kardashian, and Tyra Banks would have been entirely too difficult.
Above all else, regular people cannot pull off being Miley Cyrus. Just remember that Twitter is not your diary, and the world can only take a certain number of Instagrams of your dog. Have a life and use Twitter to enrich and showcase it.
Leave your unremarkable or embarrassing parts to a private Facebook album and keep tweeting the good stuff. If all else fails, you can just do what I do–tweet these revision ideas to the celebs themselves until you are hated enough to be powerful and infamous. At least, that’s the plan, though Justin Bieber has yet to notice me or my helpful grammar suggestions
Right this second (and for all subsequent seconds of summer 2012), Jeni Prats is interning for Mobilize.org as a social media medium. A rising junior at American University (AU), she is majoring in Public Communications and Graphic Design and minoring in Cinema Studies. Jeni lives for her annual world outreach trips to Guatemala and India. Other activities include involvement with the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA), the DC Read’s Life Pieces to Masterpieces program, and the public relations/graphic design department at ATV (AU’s television station).