Friday, April 3, 2009

The Five Stages of Twitter

Twitter’s all the rage right now, and while pop culture’s trying to wrap it’s puny little brain around exactly what it is, let me answer the question everyone should be asking - what Twitter does to you. I have been to the Twitterdom, and I have seen the light.


STAGE 1: Confusion

For most newbies, first interaction with Twitter can be confusing.

What are you doing right now?

Well, I’m staring at the screen and wondering what the hell I’m supposed to write.

But we all know that’s an inappropriate response to the question (for some unforeseen reason, stating the obvious never works online). So most people’s first tweets are something to the tune of this:

“So what’s this all about?”

Followed shortly thereafter by:

“This is stupid.”


“I can’t get it to work from my phone.”

For the undetermined, this will be the end of their short, uninteresting, and 3 tweeted life. Rest in Peace, @flyystlyz88.

STAGE 2: Denial

Many, daunted by the complexly simple technology, will quit at stage one. But the select few who press on will struggle through the awkward first steps of twitter: Finding friends, choosing a picture, comprehending the language and courtesies, and of course, the horrid Fail Whale.

At the denial stage, twitterers will find themselves cautiously and critically trying to enter and navigate the world of Twitter. They will aloofly note to acquaintances “Yea, I’m on Twitter, it’s not that cool.”

But secretly, they will strive to understand this binary behemoth. They will begin the first unsteady baby steps of tweeting, with such short and infrequent tweets like:

“Going on lunch break.”


“Cheetos! Yum.”

Again, many unfaithful will fall at this level. It is the way, and is the only means to determine the truly dedicated to the Twitterdom.

STAGE 3: Obsession

At some point along your solemn pilgrimage to Twitterdom, you will realize you are not alone. You will Follow, and be Follwed. You will engage in replying, Direct Messaging, and the holy grail of retweeting.

It is at this point that you will become obsessed.

Twitter has become the ear you rush to whisper into whenever something interesting happens in your life. You tweet at rapid fire, full of witty commentary, pensive observations, and thoughtful questions… about a squirrel. This continues to the extent that you are no longer living your life in real time – you live your life in spurts of 140 characters stretched out over 18 hours of your day. Your existence is validated by each message you softly tweet into the twuniverse.

STAGE 4: Anxiety

Unfortunately, your relationship with Twitter is getting out of control. You’re anxious, and you can’t focus at work “Can’t you see that I’m trying to tweet?!?!?!?”

Your fixation for followers has driven you to worry about why so and so isn’t following you, and why does this person have more followers than you? You get caught up in spinning your own PR on Twitter, truly believing everyone needs and wants the play by play of your day, so by all means it has to be fabulous, witty, intelligent… You’re desperate for attention, begging for re-tweets like a homeless hype.

You want to be the best on Twitter. A God amongst men in the Twitterdom. And speaking of God, Goddamn that Fail Whale!!! If I don’t tweet right now, people are going to think I’ve been watching infomercials for three consecutive hours!!

STAGE 5: Acceptance

After 48 hours in Tweetox (thanks to a Blackberry malfunctioning application), you are humbled into the reality of what Twitter is.

It’s nothing, and anything you want it to be.

Want to tweet endlessly about the divinity of Cheetos? Knock you socks off.

Want to tweet two times a day, and only in limericks? There’s an app for that.

Want to Ghost Tweet for @iamdiddy? You should get in line, because I called shot gun.

You realize that like a healthy relationship, you make your own rules with twitter. There are no “winners” nor “losers” (even you, @flyystlyz88). You find your own journey to Twitterdom. You make your own path.

As a wise man once said, the journey is the way (or something). So go forward and Tweet in peace my child. You have seen all five levels of Twitter, and you are strong because of it.

Now re-tweet this in 140 characters, or else… I will curse you to eternal FAIL WHALE DAMNATION!!!! mwhahahaha


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