“Twitter has destroyed me. You have to join, you’ll love it!!” –Me to my sister just about every time I see her.
I am a Twitter addict, but I’m not so far gone that I can’t recognize my own problem. It’s gotten pretty bad. And by “pretty bad” I mean “completely healthy and normal and I CAN QUIT ANYTIME”. I just don’t want to.
I’ve analyzed my own downfall for all of you still in the early stages. (This is way too many words for true addicts.) Do you recognize yourself in this?
STAGE 1: #experimentation
Much like a child first seeing themselves in the mirror or making sounds just to hear their own voice, the early stages of Twitter use are innocent and harmless. It’s about testing the water, quietly chirping into the abyss and whispering, “Is anyone out there?” This stage also a total snoozefest. Frankly, its a miracle anyone ever gets enough followers to get past this stage, myself included. Take, for example, two of my earliest tweets:
STAGE 2: #misuse (and lashing out)
Complain, complain. Inside the head of a misuser:
“You Guys! I think people are listening to me! In fact, I think everyone is listening to me, including every single stranger/inconvenience/issue/etc that gets in my way! Now I can just tweet how upset I am and twitter will deliver that message for me! Now I’m talking to YOU: slow-walkers, calories, talent show judges, chores, EVERYTHING.
STAGE 3: #abuse. (If a thought goes untweeted, did I really think it?)
I am in this stage right now and lemme tell you, it is exhausting. If my thoughts are longer than 140 characters, I stop thinking about whatever I was thinking about and try to edit my thought down. This is HARD and consumes much of my day. It takes me hours to unload the dishwasher as I ponder each dish. What is interesting about this pan? I mean, I bet @shelbyfero would get a kick outta this pan… I’M NOT EVEN A COMEDIAN. Or even a real writer, for that matter. My heart truly goes out to actual writers. They must never rest.
Like most addicts, Twitter abusers regress to their early developmental stages. The boring topics come back with vengeance. But, see, now they’re ironic and really funny. Lets try this tweet again:
This is also right about when Twitter just becomes public instant messaging. My husband and I have, many times, sat on opposite ends of the couch, tweeting each other about the very show we’re watching. This is a sickness, people.
STAGE 4: #dependency (gettin’ needy)
Welcome to the seedy underbelly of Twitter. Some people jump straight to this stage, which is truly tragic. Mostly because they missed out on the complaining stage, which is a blast. Suddenly, just being followed by your friends isn’t enough. It becomes a numbers game. This is when you start tweeting things like “F4F???” to strangers. (translation: “follow for a follow?”. I had to look this up.) Please, stop begging!! You’ve gotten sloppy and desperate and if you don’t watch it, the Twitter paddywagon is gonna come scoop you up. (I wish.) Remember when Paris Hilton said “Diet Coke is for fat people”? I don’t know exactly how that relates to this, but I swear it does. Begging for followers is not something worth following. Just tell more jokes about your dishes and people will flock to your twitter feeds!
ps. please, please: when I reach this stage, stop following me immediately. Its so shameful and I know its coming, but I don’t want you to see me all wrecked, begging for RTs from the twitter-ditches. I’ll probably be happier than ever though, so don’t, like, stage an intervention or anything, k? (really, I’m FINE.)
p.s.s. F4F? @katehrmr .
(jk!) (kind of).