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We who are about to tweet: @ryancall.

July 14, 2011 \pm\31 5:30 pm

[In which we find out the Twitter philosophies of my most beloved follows.]

Twitter username: @ryancall
Real name: Ryan Call
Recent memorable tweet: “wife shouted ‘release the kraken!’ and took off her socks.”

How often do you tweet? Do you limit yourself to a number of tweets per day, or to a certain time of day? Any other OCD-like tweeting tendencies?

I don’t know how often I Tweet, really. Sometimes I Tweet a few times a day and sometimes I go for a few weeks without Tweeting. Looking back at my Tweets, I seem to Tweet in bursts every couple of weeks. My Tweet output depends, I think, on how many Tweets I have drafted and ready to go in addition to how often I have an immediate experience, such as an interaction with my wife, that I think is worthy of Tweeting about, well, immediately. I Tweet a mix of drafted Tweets and immediate Tweets. I usually hate many of my Tweets after they’re Tweeted, but I don’t like to delete Tweets. I think it’s usually better to Tweet later in the day, but I don’t have any real rule regarding how often or when I should Tweet. This doesn’t mean I don’t worry about it though. I worry about it a lot.

What is your ‘follow’ philosophy? Do you follow everyone who follows you? Do you follow celebrities, lit mags, ex-boyfriends?

I would like to have a feed that entertains me in the best way, so I don’t automatically follow people that follow me. If a person follows me, I’ll check out his or her Tweets and if I like what I’ve read, I’ll click the ‘follow’ button. I want to read Tweets that are funny and interesting and weird. I feel like I’m always adjusting the accounts I follow.

And yet, despite how I obsess over the feed, I have a few accounts I follow that I feel like I cannot unfollow, due to real life things. Maybe one day I’ll become less nervous enough to unfollow those accounts, but until then, I just let them sit there and I cringe every time I read a Tweet from one of them. Sometimes I go to the list of accounts I follow and hover the pointer over the ‘unfollow’ button of one of these accounts.

I think it would be nice to think of Twitter accounts as just accounts that Tweet things, but instead real people are behind those accounts that Tweet things.

I don’t want Twitter to be social media. I want it to be something else, though it’s probably just a really carefully disguised cemetery.

What is your @ philosophy? Do you tweet people back, engage in ‘chit chat,’ become annoyed when others do?

I have changed a little bit on this. I used to @ people, but as I started reading other Tweets, I found that the Tweets I loved best were completely inward and selfish, and consisted of narrow reflections and reports or funny aphoristic bits. So then I realized I really don’t like the ‘social media’ part of Twitter. Sometimes I feel bad, because people @ me about some thing or another, and I don’t @ them back because I feel like that’s what email is for. I hate it when people chit chat, and I have unfollowed people who chit chat too often for my taste.

What is your #hashtag philosophy?

I haven’t followed a #hashtag craze in a while. I think there are some really clever #hashtags out there, but most of them are muck. There was a #groceryrock bit that I participated in a while ago and I enjoyed it immensely, and I had a lot of fun, but afterwards I felt incredibly stupid, as if I’d sullied my Twitter account with Tweets that didn’t fit with my objectives and what I usually Tweet about. I really cannot stand #hashtags that are meant as meta-jokes about #hashtags. The #hashtag construction looks really ugly to me in a feed, so I usually try to avoid it at all costs, but, as with many things, there are exceptions.

Do you obsess about number of: followers / retweets / favorites / unfollows / other?

Not really. Okay, maybe I do? I don’t know. I really just want to read the perfect feed of other Tweets, so I obsess a lot about who I follow, but I don’t really care, right now, who reads my Tweets, who follows me, whether or not they follow me back if I follow them, who unfollows me, and so on. That whole part of Twitter can ruin a person if it the anxiety gets out of control, so I decided to try to ignore it, though I can understand why it is really interesting to others. What I do pay more attention to are reTweets and favorites. I think its fascinating to see which of my Tweets were RTed or favorited. Sometimes I’m really surprised by the results. It makes me happy to see that one of my Tweets got RTed. I think those sorts of things are nice. I admit that I feel good when something I Tweeted gets reTweeted.

How do you think you come across to your followers? How would you like to come across?

I’m not sure, actually. I think I come across as meek, harmless, and forgettable, which is probably close to the truth. I don’t have a goal as to how I would like to come across to the people who follow my account. I am sort of just here. Sometimes I like to try to be funny, but yeah, usually I just Tweet about selected mundane life-things in order to keep from thinking about death. I think that’s really what Twitter is for.

What do you want people to remember about your Twitter account?

Oh, I don’t know. I just want everyone to be happy.

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