I’ve started to develop an allergic reaction to Twitter lately. Not everything about it, just some of the specific types of tweets that seem to be tainting our stream with the unwanted taste of urine and self-importance. Although most of us have been guilty of at least a few of these from time to time, it’s the habitual offenders I’m taking issue with. Overusing these 8 types of tweets is a quick way to get yourself classified in a group you might rather not be a part of.
1. The Validation Seeker
I like to call this the attention whore. It’s usually someone who thrives on having other people inquire about their life so they can tell everyone how great things are while simultaneously receiving that special little “I’m important” feeling. It would be just as easy for them to write the actual news, but doing that would take away from the extra attention they get when someone finally decides to indulge them and ask the question they’ve been desperately waiting for. Plus, it’s a good way for them to test who their “real” friends are, and who actually has a life of their own.
2. The Perpetual Victim
Rarely stemming from legitimate hardship, this style of tweet typically centers on something so trivial that the rest of us probably wouldn’t even give it a second thought. Things like long lines at Starbucks, slow service, or a disappointing meal aren’t nearly the tragedies some people make them out to be. Everyone’s entitled to a bit of complaining now and again, but sometimes you need to nut up a little bit and pick your battles.
3. The Existentialist
There’s a fine line between being thought provoking and being a douchebag that tries too hard. While there’s always a place for a well-quoted song lyric or literary passage, trying to dress these up as a showcase for your depth of thought and incredible insight is questionable at best. Just because you’re quoting Thoreau on a regular basis doesn’t mean you’ve found some deeper meaning that we’re all lacking. You’re not the only one who’s read Walden, and the fact that you’re also on Twitter tells us you couldn’t have found it that inspiring.
4. The Too Cool for School
There’s a huge difference between informing people of what you’re up to and bragging about how awesome you are. We get that we should be envious of your carefree lifestyle and VIP status, but the fact that you’re Tweeting about how you’re shopping for a Ferrari makes us wonder whether you’re not actually sitting at a stoplight in the backseat of your parent’s astro minivan. What’s the deal, are you trying to compensate for something?
5. The Negativismo
Named for the fictional superhero that incapacitates criminals simply by bumming them out, this person thrives on sucking the fun from people on a daily basis. Although slightly less annoying than the people whining about their own (often imagined) hardships, you can still rely on this joyless soul’s tweets to put a damper on even the best of moods. Sure, there are a lot of sad things going on in the world, but sometimes we want to forget all about those things with amusing pop culture references and comical video links. Thanks for keeping us grounded in despair.
6. The Baller
Seemingly breast fed on hip hop, despite growing up in a cozy suburban home, this user is tweeting at you straight from the hood. His updates consist mostly of over-the-top-trying-too-hard-ebonics that are barely discernible to even the most studied linguists. Although there’s nothing wrong with tossing around a bit of slang from time to time, The Baller operates on a completely different plain. Fortunately on Twitter it’s easy enough to ignore this confusingly chest-beating macho gibberish once you’ve pinpointed a repeat offender…now if we could just find a way to keep him from commenting on YouTube.
7. The Self Promoter
Usually someone with the word “guru” in their title, the shameless self promoter sees Twitter as their own personal medium for evangelizing their products and/or services. The updates usually consist of projects they’re working on, projects they plan to be working on, and the occasional update on projects they have recently accomplished. It’s like an RSS feed of minutia about a business you have no interest in learning more about. You can usually spot these people by the auto-DM you receive the moment you’re foolish enough to start following them.
8. The TMI-er
Taking the concept of micro blogging to embarrassing heights, this is the person who doesn’t understand where to draw the line between public and private. Just because you have the ability to tweet something while you’re sitting on the can doesn’t mean anyone wants to hear about your most recent contribution to the Regal Cinemas men’s room. It’s bad enough that there’s plenty of noise on Twitter as is, you don’t need to go around adding your flatulence to the mix.