Social media is now a pinnacle of our lives. People are even making a living from managing social media for companies. From MySpace, Facebook , Instagram , Tumblr the list is endless. Then there is the one , Twitter. Twitter is like a gated community and only those who get the drill will survive. Everything moves too fast and it is like being on the superhighway with an Learner’s sign and the Githurai buses squeezing you out of your lane. Twitter requires energy, attention and there is no time for spell check. If you are slow you will not survive here. A thousand people will be having a conversation that you try to catch up only to discover everyone has moved on. Kenyans are particularly very active on twitter just ask our fans like CNN,FOX News, TD Jakes or Jimmy Gait. There are also unspoken rules on twitter that may take some getting used to. Here are some of the Kenyan tweeps on Twitter you are bound to meet.
You have never met this person and they have no Avi so you cannot put a face to the name. Even worse they probably have a celebrity’s name as their handle. They will retweet you , like your photos and reply to each and everyone of your updates even the dumb ones. When you tweet something in the wee hours of the morning to kill insomnia they are waiting for it. It almost feel like they are stalkers. Chances are that you will have to block them and change your handle.
2. Sports Junkie
This lot has the DSTV premium package and they will let you know what team has won. You will certainly have no peace when their team happens to win. They plaster the twitter feed with links to sports related articles. Their Avi is probably them in a football jersey. They will offer unwarranted commentaries on each game, share the English Premium League fixtures and tweet scores for every game. They will fight with their opponents on twitter and unless you are a fan of any kind of sport you will swipe away fast as they tweet.
They are new to twitter , excited and they are not afraid to show it. It is a stage for everyone who gets onto the platform. They will tweet about everything. Their house , cats , dogs, parent’s car(s),their car, food and anything they see around their world. They get a culture shock when no one retweets their not so interesting tweets and their followers are stuck at ten. The rest of the tweeps can easily tell that they are freshers so they sit on the sidelines and have a good laugh. Freshers will occasionally try to ride on trends and those annoying follow trains to see if they get more followers and mostly to no avail.
Two things can happen after the fresher phase; survive and strive to be a bigwig or bow out. No-tweeters will ‘leave’ twitter with their esteem crushed. They will forget their passwords and never log in. They will have a smirk on their faces when #KOT make headlines. They will have numerous awkward moments when they colleagues are following up on twitter conversations. Most probably they are big on Facebook and they will often catch them say ‘Twitter is complicated , I do not understand how it works’.
5. Star Crazed
They will follow everyone they deem a celebrity and tag them with the selfie they took with them at an event. They will commend the ‘stars’ and ask them to follow back before they come to the realization that the stars probably do not run their own accounts. Even if they do, they have no time to follow back as there are thousands of star crazed people expecting the same.
6. Serial Picture Uploader
This lot has not discovered Instagram and if they have it is linked to their twitter account. All they do is upload photos. It does not matter whether the photos are in focus or clear, they will upload the photo. Another segment of this group will upload memes like there is no tomorrow. They wait for trending topics and troll the feed with memes. Some will be hilarious and others offensive but emotions are not allowed on Twitter, unless of course you are offering condolences.
7. The Bigwigs
You know the way Kenyans are classified into economic classes so are KOT. The elite on twitter are called bigwigs. They have thousands of followers, always online and they always know something the rest of us do not know. They will retweet you but not follow you. Some use their status for good for example Jackson Biko who used his influence to successfully fund raise for Jadudi, while others use it to mobilize for protests to agitate for change in the country. The other day I was seated next to one at a meeting and she sent a random tweet and her mentions went crazy till she had to put it on silent due to the constant buzzing. When a twitter bigwig follows you , rest assured you will get more than ten followers.
Twitter is not for the fainthearted. You will send a tweet of something that sounded genius in your head only to be bashed by #TeamNoFilter. They will reach out for your jugular and rip you apart. This sometimes leads to tweeps twiciding ( deleting your twitter account) but rather than be miserable just join in the fun and have a good laugh.
10. Let’s go to Church
They retweet all the pastors on twitter. Share a bible verse every hour. If their church is live on a Sunday morning, you will get updates of the sermon from the comfort of your bed. They will never be part of a controversial topic and if they do they will offer prayers. They are necessary because they maintain sanity on Twitter.
Change is inevitable the minute you learn the ropes on twitter you will learn that it is one of the best tools for you as an individual or a brand. It will also make you smarter and enable you to think on your feet. It will also keep you posted on local shows just in case you have not paid for your cable TV. Get on a twitter and you will have a good time.