Sheifunmi: Don’t be obnoxious, and other lessons on Twitter etiquette

Courtesy, Aaron Riddle

by Shei Yusuf

Your negativity and your rudeness brings you down every day. If I let it affect me, it will be in one way only: it will make me stronger and it will make me fight harder.

Welcome to the world of Twitter. Expect to be shouted at, abused, criticised and ignored. Not necessarily in that order but often all by the same person.

Sorry, no. I’m not going to put up with this.

The fact that we are conversing on the internet instead of face-to-face in real life does NOT mean that standards are lowered. Treat somebody the way you would wish to be treated. You know those things called manners? Yes, use them, please.

If somebody asks you a question; don’t overreact and assume they are criticising you. Consider the possibility that this person may actually be interested in what you have to say. If you dismiss them and assume that they were trying to be smart, and it turns out they WEREN’T, then you have been rude to an innocent person. You have dismissed somebody you potentially could have become friends with. You have thrown away the possibility of an intelligent conversation – and all because YOU were too harsh to consider that this person may have been genuine.

What is the harm in giving somebody the benefit of the doubt? Do you know what happens when you respond in a NICE way to people? It makes you look good. It makes you look like a better person. If worst comes to worst and you discover that person was actually being rude to you or being sarcastic, you can always type another tweet, if you really have to. You will not have lost anything by being nice initially. But if you are rude and cruel towards somebody who means well then what kind of person does that make you? Regardless of whether it’s true or not, it makes you look bitter, negative, unkind and rude. Don’t let your negativity outweigh the words that are written on your screen. Don’t make an assumption because of your experience with previous tweeters when the person you are currently faced with has done nothing wrong.

Power has gone to your head. Just because you have plenty of followers does not mean you are better than those who have fewer followers. If you want to be perceived as nice and friendly, you still have to actually behave in that way in order to be perceived as so. Having lots of followers does not equal trust and respect by those who do not know you. You still have to earn that.

I will aim to never ignore my followers. If you ask me a question, I will do my best to answer you. I will be polite and civil to you – even if you are not polite to me. I will not sink to your standards.

No matter how much negativity I find on Twitter, I will still be positive. No matter how many people are rude to me, I will continue to be polite. No matter how many people send me abusive messages and say nasty things about bipolar disorder, I will keep fighting the stigma and I will not give up.

Your negativity and your rudeness brings you down every day. If I let it affect me, it will be in one way only: it will make me stronger and it will make me fight harder. You will not bring me down.

Founder |

Writer: MTV UK’s The Wrap Up, Tru Spot, Pardon My Blog, Nigerian Entertainment Today, OK! Magazine, Attitude Magazine

Twitter: @SheiFunmi
Facebook: Shei Funmi


Editor’s note: Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.


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