By Kelsey Weekman
So you’re not the spring chicken that you used to be.
Actually, you’re not sure you’re even a dope O.G. at this point (if that’s the decade from whence you came.)
While you were working, studying, or just absorbed in more important real-life things, the trends of the Internet escaped you.
It’s not just forwarding emails and googling potluck recipes anymore.
The kids are at it again. This time, they are tweeting. They’re on the Tweeters.
Luckily for you, I’ve got a few tips and tricks for how to get jiggy wit it on this hip-hop cool social networking site.
Get ready to enter the world of angst-y song lyric quotes, vapid complaining and relentless fangirl-ing.
Make sure you’ve recently shampooed your rug because you’re in for a whole new world.
1. Know the name
It’s not an online bird community or even a playful nickname for the Minnesota band “Deep Fried Tweeters” that you may have come across on your fruitless google search.
(Sidenote: Harris Tweeter would be a great name for a specialized bird food store. Dibs.)
I’ve strung you along this long. I’ve had you thinking it was called Tweeters.
If you haven’t figured that out by now, the name of the website is actually Twitter.
Posting on the site is called tweeting.
Thank you for trusting me. I will not steer you wrong again. Sarcasm is an ugly trick used by angry teens on television shows to fabricate conflict and I would never abuse it…
Now that you know what it’s called, it’s time to make an account. Think of a snarky twitter username. Maybe borrow the same one as your yahoo account. Or pick something original that shows off your personality.
Then introduce yourself to the Twitter world. Here’s a sample tweet:
@TweeterTina67: HELLLLLLOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOoooo IT”S ME!! TINA JOHNSON! (Abby’s mom) — Tina
The more excited, the better. You’re tweeting now. You’re in. Look out world, and friends of 15-year-old Abby.
2. Face the facts
You are behind.
People have been tweeting since 2006, which doesn’t seem like that long until you realize that Britney Spears and Kevin Federline were together then and Hips Don’t Lie was still shaking up the charts.
That was eight years ago. This site could be in third grade. It could be learning multiplication and reading Charlotte’s Web.
When you tweet, essentially you are saying what you’re up to in 140 characters.
Got a hefty paragraph about your troublesome weekend? Take it to Facebook.
A heartfelt book of poems about how much you love your mom? Leave that to Instagram.
Drinking coffee? Fire up your Twitter.
@coffeecarpoolcats74: Drinking #coffee at my kitchen table. This stuff is #amazing! #coffeeaddict
Whoa whoa, why are there tic tac toe boards in the middle of that sentence? Or is that the keyboard alternate for a waffle spicing up your early morning tweet? And those definitely are not numbers.
It’s not any of those things. We’ll get there with the next tip. Lace up those sketchers because the next one is a long one.
3. Learn the lingo
Twitter has its own language. Kids are fluent in it. Crazy right? You’ve been telling your 10th grade son that he needs to focus in Spanish class when all this time he was mastering social media speak.
Here’s a rundown.
Hashtag: # — tic tac toe, pound sign, number sign, keyboard waffle — it goes by many names, but here, it’s a hashtag. That’s Twitter’s special “thing.” Spice up your Twitter by combining words after the symbol, using it to emphasize important words, and linking to other tweets with the same hashtags.
Your hashtags will turn blue and you can click on them to be directed to other people who have tweeted the same things.
The best way to how to hashtag is by example learn is by example:
@2blest2bstrest: feeling #good today #HollaPraise
@2blest2bstrest: Can’t believe I saw my kids at the mall! #yolo
Follow: If you follow someone, you get their updates on your Twitter screen.
There is no limit to people you can follow. Follow everyone. Follow relentlessly. It’s a less stalker-y, not-punishable-by-law-enforcement way of being very involved in someone’s life.
Favorite: Like something you see? Click the star button. Stars all around. Throw out stars like you are an overeager elementary school teacher or the sidewalks of Hollywood or a ninja.
Retweet: Really like something you see? Click the funny button with two arrows going around. That will put what someone else says on your profile.
It’s a cool way to take what someone says and use it to fluff up your page, if it’s getting a little slow. Mild identity theft, nothing illegal.
Identity borrowing, perhaps.
Mention: You can talk to people on Twitter. Hit the single arrow button to respond to a Tweet, or simply tag their username in a Tweet of your own.
Here are a couple examples of how you can mention people.
@SeriouslyMandy: You’re gonna hear me roar.
@MandysDad: @SeriouslyMandy Just keep it down, mom is trying to sleep! #LOL
@MandysDad: Hope @SeriouslyMandy doesn’t “Roar” too loud tonight! HAH! #SongLyrics #DadKnows #ThatsTwitter
4. Trés Trendy
You’ll notice on the left side of your page that there are several hashtags that are constantly circulating.
They’re called trending topics.
Those are the key words and hashtags that people are tweeting about right now. All around the world. It’s a cultural hodge-podge of crude jokes and reality television.
This will get you more favorites from your friends and
This is the paramount of relevance.
Here’s an example of what your trending topics could look like:
Why is Kanye sad
Lorde is a vampire
And here they are in action:
@WholeFoodsDrollFoods: #bootyhadmelike Beautiful weather today!
@MinivanMaster: #replaceasongtitlewithfarts Farts!
@GreysAnatomyNut1: Why is Kanye sad? Because it’s #womancrushwednesday haha
@Bob_Karen_Jones: Celebrity Catfish Netflix
And there you have it. That’s how you masterfully conquer the world of Twitter. (Twitter, not Tweeter. Remember.)
Follow these rules and you will be the Ferris Bueller of your kid’s Twitter feed. Free to push the envelope on the Internet.
Buying organic produce this time around? Tired of the bubble gum pop on the radio? Tweet it loud, tweet it proud. You have the power.
Good luck to you, and good luck to your followers.