Things happen with some predictability on twitter. Take for example: conversations that (d)evolve into “debates” about the most mundane or purposeless of topics. But those topics will all have their root in one of four “beings”: being seen, being right, being popular (getting followers) or being smart.
There are also stages of events or events that happen like clock work. Luvvie hipped us to the Stages of Twitter Grief and Steenfox explained to us how Holidays on Twitter work and now, I present to you: What Happens To A Person When Twitter Finds Out They’re Not That Bright…
At the first point, a person has to actually do something to indicate their knowledge of general things (like when to use “you,” “you’re” or “your”) isn’t quite where we generally anticipate. They tweet something stupid. The most applicable tweets to this are typically in question form and are very serious. A question like “What kind of meat is lamb? Beef or pork?”
At point two, the tweet receives some helpful responses, because initially the only people who see the tweet are people who follow the individual and I’ve found that in cases like these, as opposed to people who can’t spell or don’t know the King’s English, most of their followers are people who actually know them. So for the first 59 seconds, the person gets some helpful schooling and their replies are pretty even-keeled and lowkey. Responses like “thanks” or “I had no idea” are par for the course at this point.
But then the third point happens. Many people are like myself and try to give context to their followers by RT’ing the tweet to which they want to respond. And one of those helpful followers will inevitably RT and respond so now all of THEIR followers have seen this wayward tweet, and my dear friends, it is AWWLLL downhill from there.
At our next point, the asker’s mentions light up with RTs and responses that are NOT friendly. Things like “WTH is wrong with you?” and “why are you so stupid?” but mostly a lot of “stay in school” or “that’s what google is for” or “LMAO” (and all of its cousins). But there is no actual help. At this point everyone who RTs wants everyone who sees it to know that this person is stupid and they (the RT’er) is not.
At point 5, the original tweeter (OT) is pissed. It was all cool on those first shady RTs but now they’re tired of being called stupid and being made to look stupid. They don’t like having the entirety of their intelligence being called into question and so they resort to lashing out. ”I was joking!” or “Shut up, I already know” or “Get out of my mentions” are popular responses. This only further aggravates the problem because if you don’t know anything about people who tweet regularly, know that if they will step sideways into your mentions, your typing in all caps and with exclamation marks will not make them leave.
Point 6 goes one of two ways. The OT will either decide to ignore the RTs and the comments (not usually) or they decide to take a different approach: humor and self-promotion. They’ll crack on the people who RT their stupid question and they’ll point out how many RTs they have (and in some cases how many additional followers).
Point 7 is kinda like game 7 of the NBA finals each year: we may or may not ever get here. The individual may find that they’re being RTd so much and bothered so much that they shut down their account or lock it. Most folks realize that their tweet is only funny for 6 minutes (yes, all of this happens over the course of a few minutes) and that eventually they too will fall right back into twitter obscurity.
So that’s it. 7 points. My recommendation is that if you have a question that Sir Google can probably answer, ask there first. Sir Google will always just supply an answer. Sir Google will never question your intelligence.