12 examples of obnoxious behavior on Twitter

If you haven’t bothered to swap the default profile image yet, don’t expect us to bother following you. That’s just one of the things grating on our nerves. Check out the others.

1. Following someone without having sent any tweets.

Nothing says, “I’m new here,” like having no updates. People want to see a reason to follow you. Show them.

2. The default avatar (color doesn’t matter).

See No. 1. If it’s not worth the 30 seconds it takes for you to upload a photo, why should anyone give you two seconds to follow you.

3. Accounts that have all tweets starting with RT.

Yes. Twitter is about sharing, but an RT (retweet) only shows what others have created. Add your own thoughts. Provide some original content from you.

4. Private accounts.

Seriously? Let the few friends I have with private accounts explain it to you, but why would you even want to be on an open sharing platform like Twitter and not let people see what you’re sharing? Maybe you should stick with Facebook.

5. Tweeting only your own blog posts.

We all know you are the best writer in the world and create amazing work for us to read—or do we? If you do nothing except tweet your own stuff, no one will get a chance to know you as more than a self-pimping creep.

6. RT-ing yourself.

Got to admit, I do this on occasion—and cringe every time. Whether you RT from your own account or another account you manage, it’s bad form.

7. Mentioning accounts just to be noticed by their followers.

This is what killed #FollowFriday. Perception is what matters. So, if I post a tweet and include a Twitter celeb’s name, people will think I know them and then I’ll be a celeb. Wrong! There is nothing special about including someone’s name unless they reciprocate.

8. Every tweet asks for people to RT.

There are two schools of thought on whether you should ask people to retweet something. Though both schools are valid, neither one suggests doing it every time. Ever hear the story about the boy who cried wolf?

9. Auto DMs.

If you use Auto DMs (direct messages) you are either an Internet marketer, a spam/bot account, or a poor soul who doesn’t know any better. Now you have no excuse for the last one. (This post from 312Digital explains how to rid your Twitter life of Auto DMs.)

10. An incomplete bio.

Why are you on Twitter? If you want to connect with others for a specific reason, it’s just common sense to give them an idea of what that is.

11. Spam.

No, not this:


12. Putting ‘everywhere,’ ‘the world,’ or ‘the Internet’ as the location in your profile.

I get it! The world we live in today is connected no matter where we are. There will always be reasons to connect with those around you, so save us the time and just tell us. If you truly do travel all over the world and are never in one place, I bet your mail still goes to one place. Use that.

What makes you cringe when you see it on Twitter?

Tim McDonald is the Chicago Ambassador for Zaarly, a location based, real time buyer-powered market. He also serves as the director of communications for Social Media Club Chicago. A version of this story first appeared on the 12 Most … blog.


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