Twitter Rules: Friends and Followers | HumorOutcasts

Twitter Rules: Friends and Followers

August 13, 2013


Let me preface this post by saying that in the past three years, I have met some wonderful people on Twitter. In fact, some of these people I count among my closest friends. However, I will admit that some people scare me, and when I am scared, I do not initiate Twitter contact nor do I follow back. I have a few quick rules that determine whether I will be tweeting with someone or pretending he or she does not exist.


Rule 1.  I don’t follow anyone whose first sentence of a bio is: My ex is a prick, witch or any word that defines human body parts or waste material.  Okay, I get some marriages are bad and maybe the exes were all these things, and I don’t care if you tweet about it once in a while, but when it’s part of your bio and never goes away, that tells me your anger level has not quite subsided. So, either your followers are now your therapists or your next potential victims. Either way, it’s frightening.

Rule 2.  I am not a good translator so chances are if you do not speak English, Spanish or Italian you have lost me. Honestly, one day I would love to purchase all the Rosetta Stone language lessons but since these DVDs are the price of a small home (not a mobile home but a home with no wheels), I doubt that’s happening.  Let me stress that there is no race or ethnic issue here. This is the issue: I know that I will screw up in some translation and cause a major international incident and frankly, I don’t want to be the next subject of a Lifetime movie that centers on some middle-aged writer who is extradited to some foreign prison where they hate women who can’t speak their language, and so they decide to make an example out of me to avenge the crimes of all the ugly Americans who got away. (Wow, this is a script. Where are the Lifetime producers when you need them?)

Rule 3. If you look younger than 21, I am not your kind of Tweep.  Why? Because if we cannot have a drink together, we probably have nothing in common. You are also young enough for me to ground you which is another reason why I don’t want to know too much about you.  I can try to talk the language and understand your youthful angst but to be honest, I have enough of my own perimenopausal angst to deal with and since you think anyone over 30 is ancient, you will not be good for my ego or blood pressure.

Rule 4.  I will not follow if you are only about social causes and you don’t think humor helps those causes. What can I say except that we have no future together.   For the record, I get social causes. I can rattle off a litany of organizations and projects that I have helped out  through the years, but you have to have other life stuff going on besides these causes…like a job.  If you are on Twitter all day and have no job, my guess is your disappointment multiplies by the minute. So, rather than follow me or anyone, log out of all social media, turn off your computer and go for a nice walk somewhere. Better yet, go visit a puppy.  I know this sounds inane and silly, but nothing alleviates cynicism and hopelessness like a puppy, and I guarantee your tweets will be kinder.

And finally,

Rule 5.  I made the mistake of following several people who promised in their bios that I can earn a million dollars in one year, and guess what? They didn’t deliver. Fool me once, shame on you; fool me a dozen times, shame on me.

Donna Cavanagh

Donna Cavanagh is founder of (HO) and the partner publishing company, HumorOutcasts Press which now includes the labels Shorehouse Books and Corner Office Books ( As "den mother" to the more than 100 aspiring and accomplished writers, producers, comics and authors, Cavanagh's goal is to allow creativity to flow. She is a former journalist who made an unscheduled stop into humor more than 20 years ago. Her syndicated columns helped her gain a national audience when her work landed in the pages of First Magazine and USA Today. She teaches the how-to lessons of humor and publishing at conferences and workshops throughout the country including The Philadelphia Writers' Conference and Erma Bombeck Writers Workshop. The author of four humor books, Cavanagh hopes her latest book, How to Write and Share Humor: Techniques to Tickle Funny Bones and Win Fans, will encourage writers not only to embrace their humor talents but show them off as well.

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8 Responses to Twitter Rules: Friends and Followers

  1. Bill Y Ledden
    August 14, 2013 at 1:55 pm

    Rock solid advice Don Dons and I’m going to change my bio straight away!

    • August 14, 2013 at 8:18 pm

      Why? You don’t want me to follow you or you do? I am confused Bill Y!

  2. August 14, 2013 at 12:43 am

    I want to watch your Lifetime movie! Funny post!

  3. August 13, 2013 at 9:25 pm

    Ha! I’m only twelve, and my ex is a total nightmare! Gotcha.

  4. August 13, 2013 at 7:51 pm

    This is great Donna! I am now afraid that you will not follow me because I look younger than 21. I was just going to post that you can make a gazillion if you follow me,,,,,Thanks for all you do for the field of humor….you are amazing and funny too!

    • August 13, 2013 at 8:46 pm

      Thanks Mary Kay! Glad you enjoyed it!

  5. August 13, 2013 at 3:56 pm

    Cracking me up! My favorite is Rule 5, no wait…Rule 3!

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