How Not To Be Boring on Twitter

Just when you've tweeted that you had eggs for breakfast or the cat's been sick, some wise guy you're following on Twitter pipes up with a cracking one liner that has you laughing your pants off. How does he do it in just 140 characters? Here's how and here's how you can too.

Some Twitter users seem to have the gift of... well not the gab exactly but a way with words. A funny way with them. And not many of them either as Twitter, as you know, restricts you to using just 140 characters. And that includes spaces and punctuation marks!

Ouch, they are strict, aren't they?

Tweeting is a writing discipline perhaps like no other. Those 140 characters run out so fast. No real problem if all you really want to say is: "Just watched Friends again, the one where blah blah blah... "

You know the score. Twitter makes you feel obliged to say something, even when you have nothing to say! So you end up rattling off a quick tweet about the most mundane of things:

·          What you just ate.

·          What you are about to eat.

·          Where you have been.

·          Whether you're tired or not.

Yawn. And yawn again. 



If you're bored by what you write on Twitter, others will be.

So what about those Twitterers who always come up with something funny?

How do they do it?

Are they professional comedians?

Some of them might be, but don't be fooled, sometimes the tweets of professional comedians are either:

·          So obscure you're not sure if they're meant to be funny or not.

·          Or just as boring as your own tweets because the Twitter environment is somewhere certain professional mirthsters go to take time out.

Okay, we've established your tendency to be a Twitter bore (or a professional comedian on a day off) but what in the name of all that is good can you do about it?


The first thing to remember when you approach that little tweet box, your hands a-fumble above the keyboard, is not to say anything you wouldn't say to someone in person.

For example: If you ran into an old friend in the street would you pipe up with, "I've lost my scissors?" No. Not unless you wanted to appear strange and like the sort of person who shouldn't be allowed scissors or other sharp things.


Your old friend and the people who follow you on Twitter don't give a flying fig tart about your scissors or lack of them. The fact that you want a tub of Ben and Jerry's ice-cream is non-news. It says nothing about you other than that you might be depressed or be food obsessed and it offers nothing to your reader.


You've probably noticed that when you publicise the fact that you just had a shower no one bothers to reply to you and no one retweets your tweet. Why would they? Hygienic though you might be that's not what it takes to be the Twitter equivalent of the Pied Piper. The tune you're playing won't attract followers in verminous amounts.

You know the biggest thing you can do to stop being a Twitter bore? STOP TALKING ABOUT YOU!


Yes, that means you Mr. I-Just-Did-This, Miss. I-Went-Here.

Start talking about others. Pose questions. "Anyone ever been to...?", "Who of you guys knows how to...?"

Get the picture? People are interested in themselves (just like you) so turn your tweets around to include them and to encourage them to engage with you. Set tasks. Create games. Use threats! Threaten to un-follow anyone who mentions what they had for breakfast. Encourage debate. Do anything that doesn't involve giving the world the minutiae of your mundane existence piecemeal.





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