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How to use Twitter.  It’s a quandary that has plagued seniors, soccer moms, politicians, television news anchors and other technologically befuddled types for decades now.  And by decades, of course, we mean the couple of years that Twitter has been around.  But it feels like decades.

At any rate, none of this applies to you.  You’re a tech savvy traveler of the internet, well versed in all things social networking and such.  In fact, you’re so proficient at using Twitter that you’ve come to depend on it.  Without it, you feel lost.  Something about the ability to communicate in 140 character blurbs while stockpiling more followers than actual people you’ve ever met in real life really yanks your crank (or whatever other super hip term you want to use, but you have to admit, yanks your crank is pretty damn trendy).

But then, like the death of a beloved music icon snatched from the limelight by way of a fiery plane crash, it’s all gone.  The dreaded Twitter outage.  It doesn’t happen often, but when it does, you would swear the very world itself is coming to an end.  Debris falls from the sky, bottled water turns into pure gasoline and Zhu Zhu Pets the world over begin to cry tears of 100% genuine unicorn blood.  On top of that, you can’t use Twitter for, like, hours.  It sucks.  But the next time it happens, don’t suffer in a bottomless pit of cold turkey Twitter withdrawl.  Instead, use this handy guide to help translate your ninja-like Twitter skills into the real world.

Find Some Followers

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This is the first step in any good Twitter relationship.  The internet version just requires users to browse the millions of registered users and click one simple button.  Next thing you know, you’re privy to the innermost workings of their internet brain.  Unless they have their profile set to private, in which case you have to wait for them to approve you, which they probably never will.  No biggie, those people are usually terrorists or serial rapists or something anyway.  Who in their right mind would want their musings on the internet to be private?  A bunch of freak shows, that’s what those “privaters” are.

But there are no worries of that nature when Twitter moves to the real world.  Nope, just find some people and goddamn follow them.  Follow them on the subway, follow them around at work, follow them in the press, follow them to their door.  The possibilities are endless.  Deciding who to follow, though, is going to be a little bit trickier.  With the real Twitter, you have an endless barrage of witty one liners and offers to learn how to make millions from home to help you decide who deserves your attention.  But this is different.  A little more thought is going to have to go into it.  Here are some possible criteria to base your decision on:

  • Scent
  • Eye color
  • People carrying an excessive amount of cash
  • Young women walking alone
  • Celebrities
  • The homeless

Again, these are just suggestions.  Feel free to use your imagination.  Once you’ve made a few selections, try to get a feel for their daily routine.  It will make the actual following much easier.  As far as getting people to follow you, good luck.  Unless you have a huge rack or tons of cash, it probably isn’t going to happen.

Communicating

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Right off the bat, that sexless little guy in the picture has the right idea.  The whole idea behind Twitter is that you can communicate with the people you follow from long distances.  You don’t have to be face to face on the real Twitter, why live by any preconceived real world constraints in this new real world version?  Once you’ve tracked down someone you’re following, pick up a megaphone and start yelling.  If you don’t know your target by name, fuck it, give them a handy user name.  Is the person you’re following a woman with brown eyes?  Guess what?  Now she’s @brwniiz214.  And the @ is important.  If you just stand on a street corner shouting shit through a megaphone, people are likely to think you’re insane.  You certainly don’t want that.  So make sure you preface everything you say with @, or “at” if you’re a square who can’t figure out how to say @ in English.  That way, people will know for sure that, no, you aren’t crazy, you’re just tweeting.  If you’re at a loss for things to say, here are some potential conversation starters:

  • “at brwniiz214 Michael Bay is the suckz!!!”
  • “at homelezzloser get a job lolz!!!!”
  • “at donuts4pigz fuk da police!!!!”
  • “at donuts4pigz dont tase me bro!!!!”

Again, just some suggestions.  Feel free to come up with your own.  But remember, keep it under 140 characters.  You may need to practice that part.  Maybe speak a few example phrases into a tape recorder.  Play them back and write them out on paper.  Count the characters.  For each one that exceeds 140 characters, flog yourself with a large bicycle chain.

Retweets

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Of course, communicating on Twitter isn’t a one sided affair.  Sometimes you want to let the people you follow know that you appreciate their witty banter so much that you want to share it with other people.  This is no time for a megaphone.  You’re going to have to get close.  So really, if you’ve already used the megaphone thing, you might want to move on to the next person you’re following, because that last person has probably already taken out a restraining order against you.

Once you’ve tracked down another follower, keep them within arms reach.  Again, if you don’t actually know them, give them a user name, it’s essential.  Pay close attention to everything they say.  Once they say something you like, turn to the other people in the vicinity and shout it at the top of your lungs.  Make sure to include “at” and their user name at the beginning, it’s the law.  And at the end, yell “RETWEET!”  Yes, we know, that’s breaking with standard Twitter format, but trust, it will have way more impact in real world applications.  The 140 character limit will be harder to stick to in this situation.  If necessary, cut off your RT halfway through and turn and point at the person you’re following.  If they understand what’s going on, which they almost certainly will not, they should know to finish the sentence.  Think of you pointing at them as your own personal, real world version of a Tinyurl.

Hashtags

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Twitter is a lonely place if nobody gives a shit what you’re talking about.  During a Twitter outage, you should absolutely expect that there will be other people out and about taking their Twitter activity into the public arena.  But how are you going to find them?  How will you identify yourself as a real world Tweeter looking to connect with others?  Hashtags, that’s how.

Specificially, there is going to have to be a hashtag specific to the art of Tweeting in person.  Yeah, you could go with something mundane like #twitterinreallife or whatever, but that’s not very internet, is it?  No, no it’s not.  Instead, we recommend the way more hood #twitterforeal.  See what’s happening there?  At first glance, it looks like you’re saying “Twitter For Real.”  But nay, there’s only one “r.”  It’s “Twitter Fo Real.”  By dropping that superfluous “r” off the end of the word “for,” you’re letting people know that you mean business.

Implementing these hashtags will be simple.  They start with a pound sign.  So naturally, when you want to use one, just pound the shit out of something and yell out “TWITTERFOREAL!”  The savvy Twitter user will immediately recognize the pound followed by a seemingly random string of words as a hashtag.  Soon, they will be doing the same thing and just like that, you have a full on public Twitter festival on your hands.  Just make sure that whatever you pound on will have enough impact to actually get people’s attention, a window or door perhaps.

If you find yourself face to face with someone and have no means of pounding out your hashtag, fucking punch them in the chest.  If that sounds crazy, just consider this.  If you’ve actually done any of the things we’ve recommended leading up to this, you’re well on your way to being arrested or institutionalized anyway.  What more harm can a little physical assault cause?  You’re right, #none.  #trust us.