What in the wide, wide world of sports is Twitter? Twitter is a social tool that lets you tell your friends or the entire world what you’re up to at any given moment. Similarly, and obviously if you think about it, Twitter is a social tool that lets you know what your friends or the entire world are up to at any given moment (like June of last year if that’s when they last bothered to log in). In the century of suppression to come it will be your civic duty to let your government know what you are doing at all times and Twitter is the first, friendly-faced, voluntary shuffle towards that glorious goal. So you may as well embrace Twitter now while you still have the freedom to filter your notifications and while your preferred username is still available.
People who use Twitter are called Tweeple or Tweeps or People Who Use Twitter and the updates they send are called Tweets. So what sort of Tweeple (sigh) are there?
People Like You
That is to say "people similar to you" rather than "you’re popular, you!" because you sure as hell wouldn’t be here if the latter were true. People like you – or normal(ish) people – use Twitter to talk to people, chat about current events, ask questions, answer questions, or engage in some harmless, racist fun on Insult Random Users Tuesday.
People With Over-Inflated Egos
You’ll find people in the media industry are well-represented here but it applies across the spectrum of Twitterer backgrounds. People with over-inflated egos can usually be identified (though not always) by having a large number of followers whilst they themselves follow few, with those they do follow tending to only also be from the same class of egocentricity. In a sense they are saying "Look, I am here and online and have deigned that you – yes, you lower people – may listen in on my conversations better suited for email with other superior people so that you may grasp some sense of what a fantastic feeling it would be to be me but don’t think to engage me in chit-chat for I haven’t the time as I’m such an important person and by-the-by there’s something I’d like you all to do for me now, hop to it adoring sub-people." Or something like that; I haven’t really given it much thought. And I’m not any more bitter about this than I am about everything else in life so you shut up.
People Who Aren’t People At All
Yes, faceless corporations have faces on Twitter so that you can know when they’re releasing products or doing something businessy. News outlets let you know news headlines. Media outlets and sports-oriented organisations keep you abreast of the latest developments. Websites let everyone who hasn’t heard of RSS know that they’ve updated. Twitter is great for these sorts of one-way notifications.
People Called Robert Scoble
He’s everywhere on the internet so you can be damn sure he’s on Twitter too (that’s him!). Yes, he’s got a lot of followers but yes, he’ll also actually follow you too if he can and yes, he might even spot your tweet to him if both of his eyelids are in the up position at the precise moment it cascades through his binary stream of consciousness. If you’re wondering if Scoble’s a prototype Cylon Hybrid then the answer is yes, but not quite as hot (also, not as gooey).
Utter twats (or tw@s if you want to confuse Twitter) fall into two categories: the first is that old scourge, spammers, who set up fake accounts, trying to entice in followers who are intrigued by what genuinerolexwatches209 might have to say, or auto-sending spam messages when they are followed. The second are twunts who appear normal on the surface but spend an inordinate amount of time following people, waiting for a reciprocal follow, then unfollowing. The purpose of this is to appear to be popular in order to make up for a lack of functioning genitals and a predisposition towards nose-picking or so as to hover in the shadow of People With Over-Inflated Egos hoping to be mistaken for one and allowed access to the exciting circle jerk party therein. Use Qwitter to find and expose these twats.
Assuming you’re one of the normal(ish) lot who’s not on Twitter already then you might now be wondering: how does one use Twitter?
You could use the website – twitter.com – and type your short message there. You could use your mobile phone if you don’t suffer from that debilitating affliction that renders your digit dexterity akin to that of the fabled lummox of lore (sadly, I am one such cripple). And there are any number of online or desktop tools that can provide the Twitter updating service too. I, for example, primarily use Tweetdeck because it’s pretty and shiny and I have the dominant magpie gene in my DNA.
If you’ve been noticing that @ symbol cropping up a lot in emails, on Facebook status updates, in public toilet graffiti, or on websites and wondered just what was going on and was there some sort of global disease that made millions of otherwise normal (relatively speaking) people flail around when typing, most often hitting the necessary keyboard combination to produce the character in question then why didn’t you just ask somebody? Seriously, you just can’t help some people. Anyway, you didn’t and you’re an idiot but I’m still going to tell you because deep down I’m a kind old sod. It came from Twitter. Possibly somewhere else before Twitter too but if you think I’ve got the time or inclination to research this sort of thing then you really don’t know me at all. The @ symbol prefixing a Twitter username is a means to alert that user that you’re talking to or about him or her such as in a conversation or during Insult Random Users Tuesday. For example: "Anyone else bought anything from @genuinerolexwatches209?"
The # symbol is used to tag a Twitter comment with a keyword for clarification. For example: "That was awful!" is a fairly meaningless status update but "That was awful! #my_first_anal" is simpler for the general public – most of whom are pretty dim, after all – to comprehend. Remember to tag all Insult Random Users Tuesday tweets with #irut to avoid prosecution.
You can also follow other users’ updates, block users, send private, direct messages to friends and receive updates straight to your mobile phone so long as you’re not in this country. Third party solutions for pictures, URL-shortening, and auto insult-generating exist by the bucketload too allowing Twitter to bulk up to pointlessly-complicated form if so needed, but its beauty lies in its inherit simplicity at heart.
Twitter is free, easy to use, and you won’t really get what it’s for or why people like it so much for at least four months of occasionally checking it out but since that will eventually happen you may as well experience it now and get a head start.