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The New Golden Rules of Twitter

Over the last few weekends I have attended and participated in two new / social media conferences. Both were educational, fun, included great speakers but also had a few “distraction” moments in some form of social engagements via Twitter or another similar tool. Regardless of the situation it seems that some people have forgotten that we are all human and have feelings too. In this era of using social media to have a “voice”, be heard or social change, sometimes we don’t need to be heard at the expense of individual feelings or in some cases people’s careers.

When Twitter was first launched at SXSW in 2006, the early adopter community primarily used it to share information around events, new desktop / web applications and communicate with other geeks who “got it” at the time. Now fast forward three years, Twitter is still being used the same way but now that it’s the darling of spammers, gossip sites, news media and celebrities it seems people have forgotten that Twitter is still a communication tool that represents you as an person or brand. In other words how you behave or Tweet on Twitter can be seen as online version of you the person offline. To some this means if you’re a controversial person on Twitter we’re assuming you’re a controversial person offline or nice, or mean or crazy or sweet … you get the picture.

But regardless of how you are online or offline there have always been a few general people / courtesy life “rules” that you follow when interacting with others. These rules are priceless, they have not changed with time and they apply for Twitter, Facebook, blogs and anything else you want to throw in the social media space. The rules are for brands and people even if they’re using Twitter for personal reasons.The rules apply even if you have a disagreement with others or even if you don’t like someone or if you don’t agree with how someone is making a living. The rules are not just Twitter rules but life rules. All of us are guilty at some point of breaking these rules, my self included at some point. Also I believe if major corporations / brands tweeted like some of us have, we’ll have a lawyer on phone faster than someone could tweet “you lie” .

Nevertheless, the “new” Golden Rules of Twitter are:

  • Tweet to people online like you want to be tweeted.
  • Don’t Tweet anything online about a person that you wouldn’t want Tweeted about you or to you.
  • Don’t Tweet and drink or Tweet while you’re drunk. (I’m a non-drinker) so I may be bias/
  • Don’t Tweet when you’re mad or mad at someone. Take a break and count to 140 before you respond.
  • If you can’t Tweet anything good about a person, don’t Tweet it at all.

Sounds familiar? It seems like between, town hall events or Twitter conversations we’re losing our respect for one another. I’m not sure when we as a society started to go down hill but personally I would like to see us it come back up. Does this mean you shouldn’t use your social media “voice” to express how you fill online? No, but there’s a proper way to handle every situation and handling it with a little dignity and respect for others is always better in the long hall.

In closing, are these rules new? Not really but it seems like a lot of people don’t remember them. What would you add to list?

Disclaimer: These rules have not been approved or endorsed by @Ev or @Biz and according to Twitter’s official terms of service, you own your Tweets.

PS: If you go there, I’ll close or delete the comments… it is my blog.

BTW: The best thing about blogs, they just keep going

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