Top 10: Tips for Twitter

The Scoop

Mark Townsend enters the undignified world of the 'Twittersphere'

At the last Twitter count I was following 505 people, a slight decrease on my December figure given that the cast and crew of Strictly Come Dancing and Downton Abbey have now been bid a seasonal and reluctant adieu. 


My visits to the world of the timeline are consistent; first thing in the morning in order to be brought up to speed with some Stateside college basketball from a host of PGA Tour luminaries and last thing at night when everyone is winding down.



’Night tweeps’.



Some would easily point out that I’m not getting the most out of the medium and it’s all too easy to ridicule something that you don’t really get but, given that it’s so easy, here are my top 10 Twitter faux pas. 

1) ’HEY RORY, IT’S..ER..GRAEME BRIGGS?’

You’re not mates with the boy wonder so stop cluttering up his inbox with rubbish like ’Me too!’ or ’Enjoy buddy!’ This is not a conversation between you and him.


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2) ’HEY LEE, IT’S VERNON KAY’


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Where the professional golfer will interact is when his fellow players/manager indulge in a bit of ’banter’. Or even some ’craic’.



Yes, I’ve also got no idea why they’re not just texting one another but just sit back, retain your dignity and stay out of things. And then keep checking every 10 minutes to see if anyone has added anything.



Quite often a (wait for it) ’celebrity’ comes aboard to say thanks for something. If we’re being lenient then phone numbers probably haven’t been exchanged so a text is out of the question but, let’s be honest, it’s toe-curling crap and all done for a bit more self-promotion. #greatday #newfriend

3) ’WHAT DID I MISS?’

You have to possess one huge helping of self- importance to come on, out of the blue, and throw in this sort of nonsense. 


If you’ve got nothing to say then hush your beak.


More likely you’re just being a bit needy and have already logged off before Tom, Dick and Harry have brought you up to speed with their version of the day’s events.

 

4) ’TIRED’


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One-word tweets are pretty much reprehensible on every level. 


If you’ve got nothing to say then wait three minutes until something happens. 


Don’t merely put ’fuming’ when, at the very worst, your bags haven’t joined you from Hawaii. 


Made even worse by the accompaniment of a smiley to demonstrate said annoyance.


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5) ’STOP WISHING FOR IT… AND START WORKING FOR IT’



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You might think that the very nature of ’inspirational’ quotations would mean that you keep them to yourselves.

Or just share it with all your followers to prove that you are horribly out of form and that we can write you off for another season. 

6) ALL GOOD THINGS TO THOSE WHO WAIT

One of the most nonsensical things about Twitter is to hang something out there and leave us all dangling – ’Got some pretty exciting news to share..’



And then say nothing. The big (small- minded) part of me now does everything to avoid checking back to see what this revelatory update was. 


All of which never lasts more than a day and I am quickly au fait with a new (and unfamiliar) sponsor.

7) RIP (INSERT CELEBRITY NAME)

Going on record to a) post your awareness that someone has died and b) to do it as early in the process to act as some sort of news agency is not why we are following you. 


Add a further lack of dignity by including their @handle in the vain hope that, should they come back from the dead or their publicist is keen to keep the account going, you might get a retweet.


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8) ’ANY CHANCE OF A RT?’

Look, I’ve written something about you and, at the absolute very most, 128 people will now get to read it.

Don’t suppose there’s any chance that you could, you know, just pass it on to your 80,000 followers? Much obliged.

9) ’WHO ME? PLAIN OLD, LITTLE OLE ME?’

False modesty is the very lifeblood of Twitter and, while it might sound coy in your head, we can all see through your silly little boasts.

Fair game if you’ve just won a tournament, boo and shame if you’re blowing your own trumpet in what you might think is a dignified manner. #chickendinner

10) WHY DO I EVEN BOTHER?

The favourite button? There I am, having saved an image for your amusement or squeezed my very best efforts into just 140 characters, and all you can do is pat me on the head and hit the star key. 


RT? 

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