Wit is not taught; you have it, or you don’t. You can’t order it from Amazon or develop it over time like a tolerance for The Bachelor. It is part of you, a primal instinct, a blood seeking beast trolling for prey and social media, my friends, is chum.
I’ve had a long week, one I’d not soon repeat, and in the midst of job loss, death and a multitude of parenting challenges I found myself turning to Twitter’s momentary oblivion.
Jesus Christ, why didn’t I just open a bottle of scotch like my grandmother taught me?
Sure, I’ve tweeted inappropriately, who hasn’t. Regrettable, yes, but entirely human – good, educated people occasionally share Paleo oatmeal recipes with celebrities and openly debate man-buns. It happens. However, there is an alarming trend burning its way through Twitter like a rampant UTI – I call it T&A – Tweet & Attach.
You know it, you’ve seen it, hell, you may even be one of the repeat offenders; one of the well-meaning but often misguided souls convinced each tweet is read, cherished and committed to memory if not tattoo by the initial celebrity recipient. And then…the thread of terror begins, the 80+ comments hit his or her innocent inbox like a Xanax laced freight train.
Please, stop it. For the love of God, STOP! I’m going to share something not in my best interest professionally, but I feel an etiquette lesson is due.
I’m a writer, this is my primary income, however way back, before I started bleeding over the keys full-time I was a musician, an athlete and *gasp*, a politician. No, not really. I was a social media ghost, a shadow persona behind the cyber curtain managing overwhelming web traffic for a small, select group of clients intimidated by the seldom blinking public eye; with notoriety comes complications – I’m a complex gal, sludge sorting is my superpower.
Twitter is a fierce marketing weapon in PR arsenals, a veritable Christmas morning for those tasked with prettying up tarnished images. It is 140 characters of concise dialogue and fast blasts of information. It is an avenue to new opportunities, friendships and reconnections with old loves, and in-turn, a boost to the sagging divorce industry. What it’s not, is an open invitation for useless.
Before publicity burnout, when I was still scouring countless, manic threads for hot points, rarely was it because a client requested a summary of follower sushi preferences or how “super-hot our kids would be together.” (Hand to God, daily.) Primarily I looked for three things; relevance, urgency and charitable opportunities – you know positive things, grounded-in-reality things. What I immediately discarded were rude, relentless and above all, speculative comments.
Commit this to memory, make a t-shirt, whatever works: Speculum and speculate; both end with ugly smear.
Here’s the root of my rant. If you are a fan, a true fan, make life simple for celebrities and the forces behind the scenes attempting to keep their careers out of the crapper and isolate what needs to be seen. One “I love your work” tweet, great, two, eh OK, but beyond that – no. Rip him or her from the barrage of subsequent banter like a good leg wax and snark-on with your like-minded group of misfits; misfits’ rock! Share killer cosmo tips, make memes and yes, be inappropriate if you’re so moved; your feed, your right, no judgements from me, but leave the unrelenting tags at the door. (They can hang out with the naked selfies until you sober up.)
Life needs two things; humor and restraint. The first isn’t so funny when you’re strapped in the latter.