Mental Floss

Tweeting Too Hard: a Gallery of Self-Important Tweets

Ransom Riggs

It's hard enough navigating the ins and outs of all this rapidly-changing social media technology: Friendster was popular just a few years ago but it seems like decades past now; MySpace has become the leisure suit of social networking sites seemingly overnight; Facebook has reinvented itself a few times already and even shiny new Twitter seems to be losing some of its new car smell (montages like this one make me want to Just Say No.) But in addition to the sometimes-bewildering array of ever-expanding social networking options out there, there's the subtler expansion of the unwritten rules of jargon and decorum one has to become expert in to successfully participate.

For instance, you can reconnect with old friends via Facebook, but there's a certain way to go about it; "friending" your best friend from high school who you lost touch with and haven't talked to in ten years -- and then not sending them a proper "here's what I've been doing for the last ten years" message -- could be considered a brush-off. (This is why Facebook can become exhausting.) And now there's a new faux-pas in town: tweeting too hard. I'm not sure what Facebook status updates or Tweets are for except to make the updater/tweeter look cool (because really, no one wants to hear about what you had for lunch), but there's a fine line between gentle bragging and tweeting too hard. I've probably crossed the line a few times myself, dropping starry-eyed updates from distant internet cafes while traveling in Vanuatu like "I could get used to this bathing in waterfalls thing" or "Ransom Riggs found a typewriter at 100 feet on a shipwreck this morning." (I can see how those would get annoying. But go ahead and follow me on Twitter if you don't agree.) Hopefully I can keep myself out of trouble, and off of tweetingtoohard, a place where boastful Tweets are collected and displayed, like the criminals of old, punished by kneeling in the stocks in medieval public squares, to remind the populace of social codes and what happens when you break them. But it's more than a warning -- it's also pretty hilarious. Here are a few favorites: