Today is my 10th anniversary on Twitter. 10 years. An entire decade. Just a few more years and my first tweet will be a teenager. A tweetager? I wish I tweeted something more interesting for my inaugural post.
ok i'm trying to learn how to use this twitter thing by watching mikey and guitarchic dicking around. it's like national geographic.— Gino (@baddie) April 19, 2007
And so began a decade of rants, dumb jokes, pointless musings, and sweet nothings in 140 characters or less. I did learn a few things, though. Here are 10 of them:
1. Mo’ people, mo’ problems.
While I joined Twitter 9 months after it launched, I still consider myself an early adopter. OK, early-ish. Twitter didn’t catch on here in the Philippines until several months later. You’d know a thing has caught on if they mention it on TV Patrol.
Back in those early days, I had a very small circle of followers and followees, mostly people from The Man Blog (R.I.P) plus a few blogger friends and random people who came out of nowhere like an RKO. The thrill of saying anything — and I mean ANYTHING — was there. A stronger sense of community was also present.
One time I was late for work and I didn’t get to post my usual “Good morning! Fuck everyone!” tweet, so people were like:
- Hey, where’s Baddie?
- Yeah, what’s going on?
- OH NO IS HE DEAD?! CAN I HAVE HIS COMICS?!
It made me feel special, you know? These days, I don’t tweet for months and no one gives a shit. I guess since everybody’s on Twitter, it’s a lot harder to build a tight-knit community of internet sociopaths.
2. The internet never forgets.
Like all things on the internet, tweets are forever. Even if you manage to delete your old super embarrassing tweets about your ex from Twitter, it would still float around somewhere in the interwebs, waiting for the right time to ruin your delightful date. It will come out of nowhere. You know, like an RKO.
3. Don’t trust Twitter with your feelings.
Sometimes, you meet someone on Twitter and you just hit it off. You make each other laugh with dumb memes. You kill time by subtweeting infuriating people. And then it ends. Because it’s just Twitter, dumbass. And then you subtweet each other like a couple of jackasses. #cringe
Casual Internet acquaintances it is.— Gino (@baddie) November 26, 2009
4. People are strange.
With the amount of information people tweet about their daily lives, you’ll eventually figure out that everyone — every single person — is strange. And that’s good. That’s what Twitter is for.
5. Don’t @ me.
I started with the username “baddie” because back in the aughts, I started to have this weird fascination with supervillains. Bad guys. Big baddies. That’s where I got the username from. And then young African American girls started @-ing me out of nowhere (RKO!). They kept talking about their attractive friends and posting pictures of young women with big butts and they @-ed me in all of them. Because apparently:
Turns out I have a short fuse when strangers @ me with booty pics, so I changed my username. I changed it multiple times. Every time I switched back, thinking it was safe to go back to being @baddie, I got more booty @s. I even saw people openly discussing hacking my account so they could gain control of the “baddie” handle. I also got a few proposals from people who want to buy it from me.
These types of @s don’t bother me anymore these days, but still, DON’T @ ME.
6. I like to watch.
I’m not talking about sexual voyeurism. I’m talking about finding pleasure in seeing people fighting and having meltdowns on Twitter. Rants in all caps, subtweet wars, all-out 140-character smackdowns? Mmmm, delicious.
7. There are a lot of really smart and funny people out there.
One of the things I really loved about Twitter during its infancy was the emergence of ordinary people who are hilarious, smart, and creative. Some celebrities I wouldn’t normally care about also showed their human side by tweeting actual human thoughts and superb human one liners. That’s why I loved the whole #FollowFriday thing where you recommend people that your followers should follow. The joy of Early Twitter came from human beings finding and connecting with each other in the wilderness of the internet.
8. Anything has the potential to be funny — ANYTHING.
I developed a deeper appreciation for comedy because of Twitter. Levity and brevity combined is a potent comedy mix. The freedom to make jokes about everything using this tool gave me the drive to hone my skills in making fun of even the most tasteless of topics — and that’s OK. Right? Guys? Guys.
Come out of hiding and watch the fight, they said. It'll be fun, they said. RT @gmanews Terrorist Abdul Basit Usman was killed at 11:50 AM— Gino (@baddie) May 3, 2015
9. Your Facebook audience is waaay different from your Twitter audience.
I used to cross-post between Facebook and Twitter, but I realized these are two different audiences. You post stuff on Facebook for the benefit of your friends, family, and clingy classmates from high school. You post stuff on Twitter for the entire population of Earth. You post stuff on Instagram for yourself, you narcissistic jerk.
10. Twitter is your partner for change.
We can talk about all the things that make Twitter suck all day, but from my 10 years of tweeting, I learned that this little blue bird can also be a force of good.
It’s a super effective tool in information dissemination, especially during times of disaster. It’s one of the most efficient channels for sharing news and establishing communication between authorities and the people. It’s the best way to get your own ideas, feelings, and truths out there — even if they suck.
Dear fellow men, sit down. We need to talk. pic.twitter.com/2yLIZoH4oX— Gino (@baddie) November 22, 2016
Thank you for 10 years of brilliance, foolishness, love, and garbage, Twitter. Never change.
Well, your analytics needs some work, but let’s not talk about that right now. DON’T @ ME!