25 Signs #yourenotreallyontwitter

Twitter Is Pencil and Paper


Don’t get me wrong. I’m a first grade teacher. I see Twitter as a 21st Century version of pencil and paper. I do believe that we can invent millions of ways to use paper and pencil. No rules are the right way to use it … draw, write, scribble, make circles over and over, be a poet, be a novelist, make a journal. Twitter is just as open and flexible.

I’ve never been one for rules.

What prompted this list was not a rant.

Here’s what happened.

About a week or so ago, on a Saturday, I was going through the people I follow on Twitter — people I’ve met at events, people I’ve talked to on Twitter, or people who follow me that I follow back. Over the course of a few hours, I reviewed 61000+ accounts to find those who were no longer active. I started by sorting out those who hadn’t tweeted for 90 days or longer. Then I started looking at their tweet counts — some tweeted less than once a day. That’s less than 365 tweets in a year!

As I was deleting the Twitter Quitters, I started thinking of people — some of them on TV — who say

  • “I tried Twitter and I don’t get it.”
  • “No one would talk to me.”
  • “It’s stupid and silly.”

or things like that. Which led me to think, they weren’t really ON Twitter, meaning some people leave Twitter before they figure out what all of the excitement is about. They never get the Twitter experience. And that happens because they approach thinking it’s supposed to be something different than conversation.

And at some point memories of Jeff Foxworthy’s litany of ways to tell “You’re a Redneck” popped in my head and I was suddenly channeling him and tweeting with the hashtag #yourenotreallyontwitter and some folks joined in.

  1. If you average less than 1 tweet a day, #yourenotreallyontwitter
  2. If you haven’t tweeted since 2011, #yourenotreallyontwitter
  3. If you never tweet about anything but yourself, #yourenotreallyontwitter
  4. @mikeyb95 pointed out: If you haven’t connected 2 total strangers #yourenotreallyontwitter
  5. If your avatar is still an egg 6 months after you got here, #yourenotreallyontwitter
  6. @jfouts noted: If you don’t reply to mentions. Ever. #yourenotreallyontwitter”
  7. If your avatar is a picture of someone else, #yourenotreallyontwitter
  8. @ValaAfshar added: If you use twitter as a megaphone, instead of a telephone, then #yourenotreallyontwitter
  9. If your only follower is an account you also own, #yourenotreallyontwitter
  10. If someone else tweets for you, #yourenotreallyontwitter , they are.
  11. @Tivitamivita added: If you never tweet about anything but #social media bla bla, #yourenotreallyontwitter
  12. If you’re only talking to certain people because you know it will raise your klout score, #yourenotreallyontwitter
  13. @MaureenAlley contributed: if all you tweet are Pinterest-only tweets #yourenotreallyontwitter
  14. If your every tweet is 1 link and 9 hashtags, #yourenotreallyontwitter
  15. If you think of your follower group as your “list” my guess is that #yourenotreallyontwitter
  16. @CraigFifield cited: if you tweet a large % of famous quotes #yourenotreallyontwitter #youareactuallyboring
  17. If your last 40 tweets went to strangers you don’t follow and all say “buy from me,” #yourenotreallyontwitter , you’re a spammer
  18. @Theatresaurus made the observation that: if you think you know the rules of twittering #yourenotreallyontwitter
  19. @erin_mcmahon threw in: If you think you can make one-size-fits-all rules about what it is to be on Twitter, #yourenotreallyontwitter
  20. and I replied: and if you think there aren’t any rules #yourenotreallyontwitter — treating people like people counts here too. :)
  21. @CarltonHawkins remarked: If your every tweet is 1 link at 9 hashtags, #yourenotreallyontwitter
  22. If you only ask for retweets from famous people #yourenotreallyontwitter
  23. @mikeyb95 stated: If I can’t learn about you from your bio #yourenotreallyontwitter
  24. And finally, if you unfollow someone as soon as they follow you back …. #yourenotreallyontwitter but you already knew that.
  25. And one for those who already know all of those –

  26. @NarissaTweets reminds us: If you’ve never made a #TwitterTypo #yourenotreallyontwitter
  27. Now of course if you have a Twitter account and a password that hasn’t been hacked by a phishing scam link you clicked in an AutoDM discussing the nasty things being said about you, you’re probably on Twitter.

    What I hope is that you’re talking to folks, finding great content, learning things you wouldn’t find anywhere else, and building a neighborhood on the Internet that reflects you most uniquely and doing it just the way you find right.

    After all my Twitter isn’t your Twitter and you get to pick. :)

    But I hope you won’t be a Twitter Quitter until you find out what it could be about.

    Be irresistible.

    –ME “Liz” Strauss
    Work with Liz on your business!!


  1. says

    If you’ve never deleted a Tweet so as not to offend someone. #yourenotreallyonTwitter

    If you’ve never had someone challenge your views or opinions. #yourenotreallyonTwitter

    If you’ve never taken a great conversation and moved it offline. #yourenotreallyonTwitter

  2. says

    Liz, I love these… every one of them is spot on : )

    What people don’t realize is not only does this make them look pathetic on Twitter, but can lose me as a blog reader as well. Nothing more frustrating than to go to a blog I have discovered, and click their “Twitter connect” icon only to find out how pathetic they are on the platform. Or worse, yet, see if in a sidebar on a Twitter widget stream.

  3. says

    Hey there-

    OK,I am ROLLING on the floor here because I have only been on Twitter for like 2 months. So I set my phone up to send me a text if anyone was following me (my bf does that but she is into that vampire stuff and had a huge following). Well I got up the second day and there was a text that YOKO ONO was following me. I hadn’t had my coffee yet. So I said, “No fucking way.” to the dog, the only life form present at the time. And I went and made my coffee.

    I then signed into Twitter and sure enough, there she was, with the official little sign. She is way at the bottom of my Followers. I guess she caught my tag or something, liked the bio? Who knows? Have I heard from her? Nah. I sent her a thank you for following me. I send everyone a thank you because I am a Southerner and a slave to convention and a dork.

    Anyway, adored this blog list. I abhore all of the self promotion. I realize it is a necessary evil and if and when I finish my writing, I know I shall do the same. Also the pontification. Good God. And the quotes, who knew dead people were so chatty? Thanks again. I look forward to reading your tweets. Peace K

  4. says

    This is awesome and timely and wonderful, as I’ve been missing ‘the twitter that was…’ a lot lately. Trying to liven it back up for myself by dropping some and chatting up others.

  5. Kate says

    What if you tweet every five/ two /1 minutes? What if you twitter every last little thing. What if it is just too much irrelevant information. What if your tweets become visual/mental clutter? What if its boring? What if you just tweet too darned much? Maybe you’re not really on twitter…maybe you’re just annoying. Maybe you should just get to work. Anybody??

  6. says

    Hi Liz,

    I was away when you posted this and just wanted to say thanks for the mention!

    Good idea for a post – it’s nice to see that to see that others are with me noticing the Twitter BS.

    I don’t care how (automation) or why (dreams of riches) someone ‘works’ Twitter but I do care when they don’t use their brain.

  7. says

    Great post Liz… as always. And I agree as far as the engagement and interaction part of Twitter. But I think it is important to point out, and make people aware, that Twitter has tremendous value as a real-time search platform and many use it this way without ever tweeting or interacting in any way, in addition there are a tremendous amount of lurkers who suck up conversations, content, and info without ever tweeting themselves. In my opinion, there is great value in those masses and they should not be overlooked. I not only interact and engage on Twitter, but I publish a great deal of original thought as well as information about things I am passionate about or working on, and want all those who are simply absorbing content, searching for something interesting or valuable, and watching, to see be able to have access.

  8. says

    In the last couple weeks, a huge percentage of my tweets have come from pinterest.com, which should break a rule here. But that seems to be the sort of thing my followers like; at least one in ten of those tweets is favourited.

    If that were the only thing I ever tweeted, it would just be an advertisement for pinterest.com. But I also tweet a daily link to my webcomic, and usually a smattering of random thoughts and replies.

  9. says

    Thanks Liz for sharing this great list with us!

    Twitter is an early warning system, our personal modern style telegraph that connects us to the world and enables us to switch from the first and second fundamental interactions in physics, Newton’s gravitation (your offline world) and Maxwell’s electromagnetism (once you switched on an electric bulb or an electronic device) to the third, strong interactions of quantum mechanics (your personal network of your strong ties) and fourth fundamental interaction of physics, the weak interaction (your social network of your weak ties).

    And as you mentioned in point 3 (If you never tweet about anything but yourself, #yourenotreallyontwitter) twitter isn’t about me, it’s about us!

    Have a great Tuesday!



  10. says

    Great post. All true. As an added note, along the lines of @jfouts note, “If you don’t reply to mentions. Ever. #yourenotreallyontwitter” – a continuation is:

    If you claim to be a social media “expert” and don’t reply to mentions #yournotreallyontwitter and #yournotreallyanexpert.

    The unfortunate part is I can think of about 5 so called experts selling their “expertise” that rarely if ever engage with their followers and mentions. A few of the most sought after, highly respected ones at that.

  11. says

    Liz, you are constantly irresistible am only practicing harder because of you.

    Twitter is still somewhat of a mystery though i use it a bunch everyday.

    The Social Media circles and methods are daunting to master, and obiviously take time, content, connect-ability and readers, but that never stopped me before.

    Thank you for your valuable voice.

  12. says

    Thanks for saying what so many of us were (and are) thinking!

    It’s amazing that this far into the “Twitter Experience” people still don’t get that it’s all about relationships…

    What if people treated offline networking this way all the time?

  13. says

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts Liz. I don’t get the whole “rules” thing either. I like the pencil and paper analogy. When did anyone ever tell you how you were supposed to use them?

    So, who gets to make the Twitter rules?


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