I Hate When You Tweet about Yourself (and pretend not to)


Lots of digital ink has been spilled over Twitter sins. Tweeting what you ate for breakfast today, etc.  But that doesn’t compare to these three sins:

Making social plans in plain view of all your followers. Yes, I know, you want to show off that you are friends with important people. Yes, some will look up to you.  But ultimately — it is rude. Or as my mother used to say decades ago, if you aren’t going to invite everyone in the class, don’t discuss your birthday party in school.

Retweeting the nice things that people say about you. Isn’t it wonderful that they say nice things about you? Do you really have to tarnish it by retweeting it and horror of horrors, blushing? When people retweet and write “blush,” they are really saying, yes I know, what I am doing is obnoxious, so I will pretend to be embarrassed. Even if your list of followers is so much bigger than theirs is — you diminish the value of their fine work.

Publicly thanking important people for calling out your name/blog/site in their tweets/blog/video etc. Of course, it is lovely to thank them. A nice little email works. A direct message might be possible.  For that matter, “@bigshot, thanks” does the trick.  You can even use the bread and butter note that my mother taught me about so many years ago. But when you publicly thank a big name for a shout out, you are really saying, “Look who thought I was important enough to talk about me in his/her tweets/blog/video!!  Aren’t I important?”

Here’s what I don’t hate: People who say, “Read my post. Come to my webinar. Check out my new tool.”  While too much of that isn’t great, I really see that in a different class than the above three categories, i.e.not so awful.  So why are they different? First, they don’t say, “Read my post, the most excellent in the world.”  (Or at least, not that I’ve seen.) Second, they don’t wrap their self-promotion in the guise of humility, in the guise of just politely thanking bigshot for the shoutout, in the guise of just making plans. Those who tweet, “Read my post” are honest about it.


Our founder, Robbin Steif, started LunaMetrics in 2004. She is a graduate of Harvard College and the Harvard Business School, and has served on the Board of Directors for the Digital Analytics Association. Robbin is a winner of a BusinessWomen First award, as well as a Diamond Award for business leadership. In 2017, Robbin sold her company to HS2 Solutions and has since retired from LunaMetrics.

  • ha, i was thinking of writing a similar post myself, but you beat me to it!!

    i would also add that it is extremely rude to tell the whole world about fabulous vacations, expensive new gadgets, and how much money you just spent…no one wants to hear you brag, and not everyone is in your same position — remember that!

    if you wouldn’t stand up and say something in front of a random crowd of people, (some may be close friends, some may be acquaintances, some may be strangers) then don’t say it on twitter.

    otherwise, it’s *unfollow* for you!

  • Robbin

    The worst, Jami, is when I can’t unfollow, because they also say interesting things that I have to stay on top of. And, you know there is a website devoted to tweets like, “Darn, can’t take Daddy’s jet out today” and similar. It is in Jim Sterne’s book, have to get the name.

  • Great post Robbin. I laughed out loud. If you behave like this in the real world you will lose your followers in no time, strange that people don’t get that online.

  • Robbin

    Isn’t it the truth?

  • On the Internet, nobody knows you’re a dog. But they can all tell you’re a son of a bitch!

    Robbibn – the website is http://tweetingtoohard.com/ Today it includes these gems:

    We are young, attractive, talented, will be making six figures well before 30, and people buy us free drinks. Life is pretty okay.

    I don’t just make stuff. I make stuff HAPPEN.

    And – to prove your memory and reality are in sync – my favorite of the day:

    OMG i was saying how i couldn’t afford the gas to fly daddy’s jet to the riviera this summer, and this barista totally rolled her eyes at me


  • Great post. But i much more like twitter than fb. Hate peoples who all day spam my wall.

  • Thank you thank you thank you, a thousand times thank you! This is the first time someone has mentioned my primary pet peeve: Talking about all the fabulous things and trips you’re enjoying. I’m not sure when bragging became acceptable, but in my world, it’s still exceedingly rude.

  • Add to that the people on facebook that post a status and “Like” their own status.

  • Ohh, i hate all social networks. When i came online see 1000 requests for crapy mafia wars, farms, poker etc. Skype is just for enough 😀

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