10 Things That Twitter Users Don’t Understand
In recent years, social media site Twitter has become renowned for its honesty as a social media platform.
Unlike Instagram and Facebook, where everything seems filtered to fit an ideal image presented to the world, Twitter is the honest, diary-like platform where users can find people who are equally struggling to get their life together. However, despite the website boasting 336 million active users per month in 2018, there are still many fundamental issues that arise from Twitter use, and several things that people simply don’t seem to understand about the site.
Here are my top ten:
1. Followers will see your tweets, yes, even those ones:
Whilst this sounds like an obvious place to start, it should be noted that if a user tweets about how their ex is trash… their followers see this, even if the said tweet is then deleted four hours later. The same followers will also then see later tweets about getting back together. Also under this heading, you cannot have ‘feminist’ in your bio and then tweet angrily about men being useless, especially when this comes directly after the ‘my ex is trash’ tweet. Whilst this is just one example of users not realising how transparent they can be, the moral is clear - you’re fooling nobody.
Vegans don’t eat meat or other animal products, for reasons varying from health to environmental concerns. In my experience as a non-vegan, other people’s veganism has never impacted me, nor is it any of my business. However, many Twitter users appear to struggle with this concept. There are, of course, the tweets about vegans letting you know that they’re vegans as soon as they walk into a room, (which, in all honesty, has never actually happened to me), and if you search ‘vegan’ on the site you’ll likely find at least ten angry Twitter users aggressively tweeting people for being too ‘aggressively vegan’, when they stated that they used oat milk instead of cow’s milk. Yet nothing has ever, ever divided Twitter as much as Greggs introducing their vegan sausage roll. For nearly three weeks it became impossible to scroll through your feed without seeing either praise for the new product or furious carnivores slandering the company, and videoing themselves binning food. Which leads me to the next concept that many Twitter users struggle with...
3. Celebrity trolls:
By celebrity trolls, I’m mainly talking about Piers Morgan, who pretended to vomit his vegan sausage roll on day time television in order to protest against the supposed ‘political correctness’ of veganism. Another culprit is Katie Hopkins, but thankfully, she seems to be decreasing in relevance with every passing day. I’m sure I could make another article of things Piers Morgan doesn’t understand (many of them are also on this list), but Twitter users themselves don’t seem to understand him, or at least how to deal with celebrities like him. Users fail to realise that by retweeting, commenting, liking, and responding to deliberately controversial tweets they increase the offender’s presence on Twitter and overall relevance. Let’s be real, if Morgan didn’t have access to Twitter, he’d simply present Good Morning Britain and nobody under the age of 25 would a) know who he was or b) care what he said. However, whilst we can’t ban celebrity trolls from social media, what we CAN do is report and block tweets and accounts. If you are bothered by the things that anyone says (and you have every right to be), report the tweets that have offended you, and block the account. There is even a function to mute any mention of the account/celebrity.
I am genuinely convinced that either a) the entirety of Scotland is on twitter, or b) there are many, many people pretending to be Scottish for retweets. Either way, whilst it’s entertaining if everybody began tweeting in their individual accents, I don’t think Twitter would last very long.
5. Fake news:
Twitter is a hotbed for fake news, which spreads a mile a minute, so please, please actually read the article you’re sharing before you retweet and share that ‘news’ with your followers, and before you panic and tweet furiously that your favourite 90s sitcom is being removed from Netflix, maybe fact check first, as these rumours are more often than not fake.
6. That ‘likes’ appear on follower’s feeds:
If you just had an argument with your friend and then ‘like’ a tweet about toxic people, they will see this. The same goes for any videos or images you decide to ‘like’ and it doesn’t even require people to actively search your profile anymore, it appears on follower’s timelines. If more users realised this, many Twitter spats could be avoided.
7. That tweets are there forever:
As well as likes and retweets on Twitter, user’s tweets dating all the way back to their initial sign update are still there. If users want to check through old tweets and remove any they wouldn’t want an employer to find, it’ll take a whole lot of scrolling. However, Twitter has now introduced a way to request your archive from the settings tab in the top right-hand corner, under the content section. You’ll receive an email, which then asks you to download a spreadsheet containing your tweets. Warning: 2012 was not a good year.
8. That ‘retweet for good/bad luck’ should have been left in 2011:
Users have recently reincarnated the prank of tweeting ‘retweet this in ten seconds or your mum dies’ prank, and frankly, it’s just plain weird at this point.
Much of what is posted on Twitter, like this article, is opinion. Unfortunately, many users do not seem to grasp the concept of choosing their battles wisely. If you really feel the need to argue about which band is better, or who should pay for the first date, you can Direct Message the person who tweeted the provocative tweet and discuss it privately, rather than retweeting it with a comment- beginning an outright war.
10. Where the block/report button is:
However, if that opinion is harmful, racist, homophobic, transphobic, sexist, violent or encouraging rape culture or toxic behaviour, many users forget that reporting this to Twitter immediately is one of the only ways to hold the offender accountable. The site allows you to add up to five tweets which exemplify your concerns and encourages users to block the offending account afterwards.