By the SFist staff
This is a tricky one. On the one hand, we'd like to see a modicum of grace and civility in your Twitter narratives. On the other, we like reading your whiskey-infused late-night rants. It's a complicated spot for us, dictating anyone's Twitter decorum. After all, it's such an insane free-for-all — a modern day AOL chat room but on an epic scale. And with that, here are some suggestions for behaving better on Twitter. (We should note that the entire staff here has committed one or more or all of these sins):
Don't be a mad @er
Especially when all your @s are to people, publications, or brands with which you have no connection. This is the Twitter equivalent of the person on the back of the 14 screaming random stuff at passengers.
If you're back and forth @conversation exceeds 5 exchanges, take it elsewhere.
Sure, it can be entertaining for our procrastinating, voyeuristic purposes, but do you really need to be having this conversation here? No, no you don't. It's not like you're famous. (No, you're really not.)
Know the difference between RT and MT
Anything said after "RT" should be verbatim. Even slight changes can alter the spirit the tweet's originator intended. If you need to change what they said, then it's MT. You'd think we wouldn't have to say this, but there's a prominent Bay Area media personality who confuses the two on the daily, writing her personal take after the "RT." (We won't name names!)
Carefully curated Twitter streams are for art projects and standup comedians.
RTing in praise of oneself
You've seen it. You've done it. You loathe it. You like it. RTing to praise oneself seems tacky — doubly so when it's a publication or business. RTs should be for when someone shares something that moves the conversation forward.
If people are mean to you on Twitter, and they will be, don't just bitch about it or start a war. Block them. And if people are unpleasant on Twitter, then don't follow them. I promise you that you are not important enough for it to matter if you block someone, and also that you will not miss anything if you unfollow someone.