Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Twombies, Twampires and Twidiots......oh my!

Sometimes I feel like I am glued to an uncomfortable chair, watching a really bad movie…..as if I am an unwilling ticket holder in a theatre of hysteria featuring “Attack of the Twombies”.

Yes….you guessed it…I am reading my twitter timeline.

On a normal day it is a mixture of news from around the world, pithy comments from witty friends (and by friends I mean, mostly people I have never met but feel like I do), annoying automated tweets from jogging apps about someone’s daily jog including the time and distance (you people know who you are), blog post links…..and the occasional Kardashian reference.  But recently…..my twitter timeline has been taken over by Twombies, Twampires and Twidiots!

Darnit people! You see…..this is why we can’t have nice things!

What am I talking about?

“Twombies” are folks who seem normal, but as soon as they log onto Twitter, it is as if they become someone else entirely. They completely lose perspective, their sense of awareness and a will of their own. They say things on Twitter that they would never, ever say at home, at work….in their so-called real life. 

“Twampires” are humans who feed on the misfortune of others – a group primarily comprised of media types around the world. Twampires believe that the volume of information trumps the value and can spin hours worth of coverage from very little information. The recent Boston tragedy created an army of Twampires – many media outlets who forget the rules of journalism: tweeting and retweeting without fact checking, and feeding hysteria.

Sometimes I worry that the Twombies and the Twampires are going to take over…….

Recently we have witnessed first hand of just how powerful and irresponsible social media has become. Honestly…it should come with a warning: Irresponsible tweeting can cause vocabulary leakage and spelling dysfunction, ill advised and misplaced finger pointing, stock market crashes, public humiliation and the loss of potential political careers.

Believe me….would I joke about leakage and dysfunction?

As a self-proclaimed social media junkie, this saddens me. Experts keep telling people: “Tweet responsibly” but many still don’t seem to grasp the concept.

It is bad enough that we have to protect ourselves from Twombies and Twampires…..but there is no kryptonite against Twidiots and I fear they will be the downfall of western civilization.

Twidiots are people who don’t think before they tweet; who think they are funny when they aren’t. 

There is something so……Darwinian about Twitter. I can’t help but think that at some point, a misplaced Twidiot tweet might be responsible for the downfall of Western Civilization: that 140 characters might initiate some kind of launch sequence that could spell disaster.

Don’t be a Twombie, a Twampire or a Twidiot. Remember the rules:

EVERYTHING you tweet or post will remain out “there” forever and ever and ever…..

NEVER tweet in anger. Think before you tweet.

REMEMBER that your personal brand can and will be affected by what is out there on social media. It is very difficult to remain anonymous on social media. Always assume that a picture, comment, or tweet will become available to everyone.

THINK about what your mother, husband, child, employer would say if they knew what you were posting on  social media.

DO NOT contribute to the “theatre of hysteria”. During times of crisis, be careful about engaging on social media. It might be in your best interest to log off/turn off.

QUIT feeding the Twombies. Do not engage with them.

VALUE before volume – think about each and every post or comment you make; ensure that it has value.

REMEMBER to S.M.I.L.E.™ because Social Media Impacts the Lives of Everyone.


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