Twitter: Who’s on your timeline

Twitter by Tom NashTwitter, like Facebook, is a social network but unlike Facebook, you are restricted to using 140 characters to inform people of things nobody else cares about. It also makes it easier to interact with wonderful creative types, such as the musicians you listen to and writers whose books, television programmes or films you enjoy, as anyone who thinks they’re anyone has an account.

A few months ago, the British press lauded Twitter for its part in spreading the word about protests in the so called ‘Arab Spring’ demonstrations across the middle-east and Africa. Then as recently as last week, it was denounced as a tool for disorder while parts of England burned, before Blackberry’s BBM became the latest social network to reach pariah status. But we’ve covered that already.

Not familiar with the tweet phenomenon? Here’s what you can expect:

The critic
Lives to tell people who play sports professionally or write or sing or rap or act that they don’t like what they do. Not only that, they will explain why it is they don’t like it and offer useful tips on how to improve in the future…

…This would be where I’d usually do a whole bit along the lines of ‘we don’t tell you how to scrub a toilet, do we?’ But I won’t this time, as that’s not nice…

The pointless retweeter
A variant of the person who posts song lyrics as their Facebook status. ‘This person said something that I agree with but I wasn’t quick or witty enough to vocalise the point myself.’ That or it’s something that anyone who gives a shit will have on their timeline already, as they probably follow the same stuff.

The trend twat
When a subject is trending, if you search that word or click the hashtag, 95% of the tweets you’ll see will be ‘why is #pointlessbullshit trending?’ Or variants of.


You. You’re the fucking reason it’s trending, you fucktard.

The trend whore
Do you follow me on Twitter? See that thing I do when I mercilessly promote my new blog post by awkwardly wedging the url into a tweet that features a trending topic? Yeah, it’s that… Fuck you, it gets hits.

The spambot
Will be called some random collection of letters and numbers, like @dfdg34534653 for example. They’ll bombard you with dodgy links if you mention a brand name in a tweet and will generally use a picture of a hot young laydee to try and lure you in. The more cunning use photos of munters, to try and throw you off the scent.

The dummy-spitter
This person will follow accounts en-masse in an attempt to get people to follow them back. Out of politeness, many will return the gesture but after a few days realise that their timeline is now clogged with ramblings about this person’s boring life, horrible-sounding children and in-jokes with their friends. So they are removed.

They never take this well and will always ‘unfollow’ you right back, sometimes even dropping you a passive-aggressive ‘fuck you’ tweet as they do.

Bet you fancy signing up now, right?