Twitter is a great place to receive breaking news updates, view the latest sports scores and is an awesome platform for engaging with customers. Unfortunately, it also tends to be a magnet for negativity. Just check the trending topics and you will find scores of hashtags inspired to irritate a politician or designed to begin a dialogue with a particular group of people that has zero chance to be positive. It’s extremely easy to get hooked into these unfavorable conversations that will leave you irritated and exhausted. So, what’s a tweeter to do? Here a few tips to help you sidestep the madness and keep your Twitter experience positive.
Stay away from politics
You may feel as if you are changing the world one tweet at a time when you bash the President, or zig a senator but in reality, very few people will see it. And most likely the only fellow Twitter users that will engage via a comment are the ones who disagree. Cue social media kerfuffle. Two hours later you are sweating profusely and cursing the world over an argument with a person you don’t even know. It’s not worth it. If you do decide to play the politics game on Twitter, try to keep it positive. But a piece of advice, if you want to exact real political change the best route is offline. Volunteer and get involved locally.
From sports teams to fast food restaurants, the zing game on Twitter is real. When it’s pulled off it can admittedly be quite amusing. Read again, when it’s pulled off. Very rarely are people as uproariously funny as they think they are. Taking it further, when you zing you are usually doing it at the expense of someone else. Being a big Twitter meanie just for a laugh sounds eerily like something else in our society. School bullying. You don’t want to be a bully—we hope.
Especially with your company Twitter accounts, stay away from being a wise ass and just put out great content, be humorous without hurting others and be responsive to your followers. Zinging isn’t necessary.
Fight the urge to attack
You just tweeted your excitement about your favorite team winning a big game or on your company account you let your followers know you are having a sale. Even though your content was positive, someone who is in a foul mood decides to sully up your tweet with a negative comment. If you engage, keep it positive or if it’s so bad it doesn’t even warrant a response, move along. The block or mute button is available if the response is exceptionally vile. Fight the urge to attack. No one wins.
Keep it positive
Follow only positive people, positive hashtags, positive topics, see a pattern? The chances you’ll see positive posts increases dramatically when you only follow positive topics and users. If you read the news on Twitter, read it without adding your commentary. That joke about a world leader that just popped in your head may sound funny but once you tweet it, you’re opening a Pandora’s box of hate and insults. Positivity leads to more positivity, it’s quite simple.
If you crave the drama at least set boundaries
We know some of you like the drama and we would never tell you to stop being you. Do your thing if you must but make sure you set boundaries. If you are using a company account those boundaries should be extremely stringent. Getting into a battle over the Giants first round draft pick on your company account might lead to you losing clients. Being overly political can do even more damage. You don’t want to tick off half of your clients in one fell swoop do you? Stop yourself before you hit send on that incendiary commentary on today’s political climate. Here’s a tip: when you think of a scathing tweet try to find a positive counterpart. It may save you thousands of dollars and plenty of headaches. Personal accounts can be a bit looser but still, set boundaries. Remember your family will see these tweets and if at some point you need a job, prospective employers will as well. Do your drama but do it under control.
There is plenty of negativity on Twitter but remember your experience on this super interactive social platform is up to you. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking it controls you, you’re the captain of your Twitter experience. Now go out there and make Twitter a more positive place.