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The 10 Tweet Commandments: Twitter Do’s and Don’ts for Beginners

by Starrene Rhett Posted Nov 9th 2010 2:00PM

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Have you ever been harassed on Twitter to retweet, follow back, or DM your digits? Maybe you’re wondering why people never follow you back or respond to your Twitter-ed advances. Well, we’re here to help you. Social networking has made people more socially awkward so before you make your next 140 character faux pas here are 10 tips for Tweeters.

1. Don’t Beg For Follow Backs

How many times has someone you didn’t know from the stripes on a zebra’s back followed you and incessantly begged for a follow back? If you are that person, then stop! Clicking the follow button on anyone’s page — provided you don’t know them in person — suggests that there was something else on their site, like an attractive avatar or an entertaining stream that piqued your interest. Don’t silently lurk for days before making your presence known with the ever annoying (and thirsty), “follow me back” Tweet. Open up dialogue first and then maybe you’ll gain a new follower. If not, then unfollow them if you’re that sensitive about it.

2. Don’t Argue With KatStacks

This is especially meant for celebrities. She likes the drama and the attention she gets by retweeting your negativity, just to show other people how much she has gotten to you. There’s an old adage that goes, “He who angers you controls you.” Not to be all philosophical but that makes a lot of sense. Just don’t feed into it (word to Carmelo Anthony).

3. Be Mindful Of Your Avatar

Why is it that half-naked women and shirtless men seem to take themselves the most seriously? These offenders are usually the ones trying to convince everyone else in their 140 character or less bios that they are to be approached with dignity. In the words of Ed Lover, “C’mon son!” The bottom line is, there’s a fine line between raunchy and sexy and when people can’t get past excessive flesh and T&A, everything else is a lost cause.

4. Don’t Twitter Beef

Tweeting hateful diatribes back and forth is like the Special Olympics: No matter who wins, you’re still [insert R-word here].

5. Don’t Get Caught Cheating

True story: *Mia (who doesn’t have a Twitter account) and *Dante were dating for about a year when Mia began to suspect that Dante may have been cheating. He seemed to have had a clean record on his FaceBook page so lurking there didn’t help Mia’s cause. One night, after an unusually late Dante came strolling into the house hours later than usual and intoxicated, Mia’s women’s intuition kicked in and she demanded answers for where he was. According to Dante he was kicking it at his boy’s crib and catching up. When Dante was asleep Mia spied his public Twitter stream and noticed a lot of dialogue exchanged between one young woman in particular [insert stereotypical raunchy name here]. Upon further back tracking she found a tweet that read, “I can’t wait to see you too boo, wear those panties I like.” Long story short, they are no longer together and Mia now has a restraining order against her.

(*Names have been changed to protect the stupid)

6. Don’t Share TMI

No one wants to read about random venereal diseases, arguments with your significant other or that you have the bubble guts. You will be judged. So, unless you’re not looking for a job, not friends with your boss or co-workers, have a private page, or don’t want people giving you the side eye in person, it’s not advisable.

7. No Timeline Holleration (Save it for Direct Messages)

The Internet has made it a lot easier to get a date because you can find people with similar interests faster. However, timeline holleration along the lines of, “@GangStarrGirl Hey ma, you’re looking sexy,” is lame especially if that’s your intro to a stranger. We are only as good as our first impressions so instead of cutting to the chase in an open forum, develop a rapport with the person and hopefully you can get to DM status so the rest of your timeline (and your intended target) doesn’t have to see how wack/open you are.

8. Ditch The GPS (Or At Least Minimize Usage)

Abusing the “My Location” function on your phone/Twitter is pretentious and dangerous. Sure, it’s cool to be seen or known for attending the hottest parties and events but keep in mind that stalkers and burglars want to know where you are too.

9. Don’t E-Stalk

The Internet has stimulated everyone’s inner voyeur but bringing up things someone Tweeted days ago-word for word-every time you see them in real life is creepy. Tone it down.

10. Don’t Be A Dumb Criminal

Tweeting about gang activity, assaulting someone, selling or using drugs (and yes, weed counts) or making incendiary remarks along the lines of a bomb threat can get you arrested or at least help to sway the jury against you in a court case. Even Tweeting what moves law enforcement is making can get you locked up. Be smart.

Starrene “GangStarr Girl” Rhett is the creator of award winning blog GangStarrGirl.com, where she muses about pop-culture, lifestyles and women in hip-hop–but with an edgier less vapid voice than most women’s websites. Her goal is to find a happy medium between entertainment and education. When she’s not ranting on Twitter or pretending to be a shotgun toting b-movie heroine, she’s probably writing for other outlets like VIBE Magazine, BET.com, Juicy Magazine, XXL Magazine and here on The BVX.

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