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Twitter-quette (The etiquette of Twitter)

Expressing yourselves in 140 characters can be a challenge sometimes, especially if you have a lot to say, but the seven-year old Twitter has created that option for communicators of all kinds. Twitter has become one of the ten most visited internet sites and with close to 340 million ‘tweets’ a day, there is a lot of things being said. Twitter has no filter. Twitter is a no-holds bar space, so the question is – is there an etiquette for Twitter? 

Twitter uses range from the A to Z types…the introverts, the extroverts, the followers, the tweetaholics and so much more. Who uses Twitter? Some breakdown was done in 2009 and the users ranged from self promoters, pointless babblers, researchers, news junkies, sport junkies, and a range of smaller groups. I was particularly interested in the definition of pointless babblers. Twitter defines them as those “who just want to be up close and personal and want to feel to be a part of the Twitter World i.e. those who follow stars of all kinds. They want to know what other people are thinking, saying, about to do, what they did and even what their friends did. Does that leave space for rules and regulations of Twitter?

Twitter is largely about followers. Your timeline is an example of those you follow. You are connected (or feel connected) to those you follow. 

  1. Do you therefore think they should ‘follow’ you too?
  2. Do you expect a RT or even a response?
  3. Do you feel lead to say anything to those you follow?
  4. Do you think it is OK to rant on Twitter?
  5. What is an appropriate language for Twitter?
  6. Do you feel Twitter has lived up to its game?

If so, is there anything else Twitter should be doing that it isn’t?

These questions have come up from time to time as the space has been used to “cuss”; expose, trace others while not thinking of the repercussions. Had an interesting discussion with some Tweeps a few days ago about censorship & regulations…how alike or different they are and I thought it was important for me to pen this piece. 

Here are some tips which should help you how to use Twitter more effectively

  • Think before you Tweet 
  • The person you offend today, could be your potential employer tomorrow 
  • Be clear and concise in your tweets
  • Do not stalk a personality on Twitter – Twitter Jail is not the best place to be
  • Do not use the space as a rant spot
  • We do not need to know everything you eat, drink and do at home 
  • Use Twitter to connect to your customers, business partners and friends
  • Do not use to discuss private family matters
  • Create tweets that can enhance your profile 
  • Keep your tweets short & simple (simple & stupid) 
  • Follow your interests
  • Reply with @
  • Be the best at all times when you tweet 

If you haven’t started tweeting yet, sign up at and become a Tweep today.

Twitter issues are endless, but is a space where the use is multi-faceted. Some of us are skilled enough to conduct a lecture on Twitter or even share tips on “How to”. Twitter is for all. News recently surfaced that people are moving from Facebook to Twitter as the space is far more dynamic and provides for greater interaction. 

Women are heavier Twitter users, but only by a margin – 53 to 47 per cent over their male counterparts. It is also reported that 63 per cent of Twitter users are under 35 years of age. While Caucasians rank as the highest set of users by race, Blacks are ahead of Hispanics. The hashtag format though is used most heavily by Blacks. Strange but true. 

Follow me on Twitter @carolebeckford 



A sport aficionado who writes, researches and presents on everything sport. A second book is out to prove her work's reach. She reads in her spare time.

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