Saturday, March 19, 2011

How to be a kenyan on twitter

Twitter is a great social networking tool and all that bull jargon that gets thrown around when "expert" analysts try to sound smart about about technology they barely understand.
Kenyans on twitter are an interesting lot and having been actively on twitter for sometime i could safely say i kinda have an idea of how they(we) function. So i can, with a degree of confidence, tell the newbies how to join and interact nicely with the rest of the masses.

1. This is not facebook
When you join twitter you say goodbye to the notifications and asskissery that we have come to know as facebook. In fact, facebook is frowned upon on twitter and is just called MKZ(mukuru kwa zuckerberg), yeah, it's some sort of slum with 500million people stoking the egos of a couple hundred.
I guess this transition is usually hardest on the good looking 'hot' chicks. No more putting up a question mark as a status update and getting 20 comments in a few minutes. But don't worry so much, on twitter we have dibs. More on that later.

2. Your timeline
Your twitter timeline is your lifeline, so to speak. Once you get the hang of tweeting, the refresh button(f5) will be your best friend. You will do it almost everywhere and if your battery isn't up to it, your phone will lose charge by the early afternoon.
Most importantly, you will learn to express yourself in under 140 characters. I know there are applications like twitlonger that try to stretch that out, but it's usually as a segue from facebook, so eventually you will find yourself in the 140 character or less region.
So far what i've talked about can apply to all other twitter users in the world except the mkz part that is unique to kenyans
Kenyans on twitter are brutal an merciless
This heading tells it all. Kenyans on twitter are like a pack of caged, rabid, hungry dogs just waiting for the latch to loosen on the cage door and all hell is unleashed upon the unsuspecting, though rarely innocent, victim. They will tear you up, then take the pieces and tear them up some more. People around the world WILL see the massacre and tsk tsk tsk. Your tatters will be picked up by google and cached for future last laughs by the slower ones among us. But don't worry, this rarely happens unless you're a kenyan celebrity, politician, midget radio presenter who incites(d) or belong to a clique ripe for mocking, like say female from a certain private university.

Kenyans on twitter are anonymous.
'Anonymity is synonymous to longetivity.' That air of mystery around somebody you know yet don't know lends power to the kenyans on twitter. Like i said before twitter isn't facebook. You can only describe yourself in 140char or less and put up a link to your blog or wherever you want to point it.
This means you won't know shit about somebody unless they tell you. Most of the time all you have to work with is the user handle(username) and avatar(profile photo) also called your avi.
Basically this means in case of anything, read defamation, copyright infringement, bullying, you can't do anything. Ok, you have sway in the bullying part because of the terms of service i'm sure nobody bothers to read, but barely.

Morals don't count for shit!
It's true! Your timeline WILL be bombarded with breasts on tuesday and asses on thursday. You will be exposed to the type of adult content that makes old ladies wail and cover themselves with sacks and ash. Somebody will probably call dibs on the old ladies covered with sacks and ash and everything will be turned into a double entrendre.

If you are an attractive lady and post a photo of yourself through twitpic or any other image service, somebody will call dibs. Hell, several people will call dibs. You will be DM'd and hit on from more sides than a bracelet at a blacksmiths. People will be bold and vulgar, and subliminals will be the order of the day.

Tweet smart
If you are in doubt of your intelligence, DON'T TWEET! Because you will be sniffed out, and remember about kenyans on twitter being brutal? Looks don't count here. You can say hi to guys/girls but keep it simple, you may never know who will turn you into a trending topic.

It's never that serious
Despite the lack in morality and deceptive brutality you have to remember this golden rule. Feathers will be ruffled, egos will be deflated, but extending a grudge beyond the timeline and into real life is really stupid. You should always take everything on twitter in jest. Don't lose sleep over something you may have been called because, unless you are a politician or public servant, most kenyans on twitter are there to have fun, bitch and socialize without the normal face to face social constraints of having to communicate with several people at once.

Who to follow
For a start, me! Just give me a shout out and i'll hopefully follow back....or anyone else. The important thing is to inform them you're following by interacting with them. Set your location to Kenya, or Nairobi, Kenya. It helps.

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