Social etiquette in social media
25th August 2010
... Comments

Are you one of the millions of people who love twittering? I don’t mean jabbering away about nothing like my mother-in-law on a long car journey but using the social media phenomenon that is Twitter. Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn have revolutionised the internet, how we interact with each other as people or businesses or both.

The downside is perhaps it’s killed the art of conversation. How often do we pick up the phone these days? Is it easier to direct message someone, tweet them, Facebook them or even use old fashioned texting? My landline bill is about 5p a month these days and I’ve noticed I’ve somehow lost touch with friends who aren’t on Facebook. Sad really. Especially when working long hours already gives me the social life of a hermit with halitosis.

Like with most new media, there are early adopters, those annoyingly cool people who pick up things before us mere mortal have even heard of them. Brilliant TV programmes on some obscure satellite channel, funky websites and so on. Then there are people who gatecrash the party much later and, in a blind panic to catch up, do it all wrong. Think how Big Brother went from a simple yet interesting social experiment to a parade of "zany" characters desperate to get noticed.

So Twitter and Facebook users can grow snobbish, almost protective of their baby. And, yes, I’m one of them. Mr Angry of Shrewsbury. I get annoyed when business owners hard sell me via Twitter, for example. No relationship building, no “How are you?”, just “Oi, Andy, switch your mobile to me”. I asked a few of my fellow Twitterers what their pet hates were and you can read the common threads below. (Apologies if they’re talking about you, but I don’t make the rules.... I have also given thanks to the original Twitter posters – your input is much valued.)


“Some twits seem obsessed with telling the world how much coffee they drink - is this remotely interesting to anyone?” @fieldsearch

“Reams of automated tweets that fill your twitter feed - no engagement, why bother as it’s a complete turn-off?!” @JanMinihane

“Asking for an RT but not leaving enough characters for the RT.” @iolalimited

“Walls of "uplifting" quotes. Sharing a quote once a week or so is fine, a solid block of eight or ten within a minute is obnoxious.” @valdary

“My biggest peeve is Sales Sales Sales. Twitter is not a sales tool!” @ahpdesign

“Swearing & ranting, people moaning about not having a job etc, but spending all day on Twitter.” @TootSweetsShrew


I guess, as ever, it’s a case of everything in moderation. I like going to the gym but not every day. I like Star Trek but I didn’t get married dressed as a Klingon. I like Twitter but being on it eight hours a day and not finding out some of the etiquette behind it... not so much. Whatever, feel free to join in the fun (and snobbery) at Please don’t sell me anything though.

About the Author

Emma R

Member since: 10th July 2012

That's our team, L-R Emma, Louise and Andy. We run thebestof and our sister marketing company, Key 3 Media. With over 40 years' combined marketing experience, we help promote local businesses through our...

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