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The Twitter/Levels of Narcissism Theory
Jessica Simpson Twitter.jpg"Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something."
Plato


Twitter is the gremlin of social networking sites. It started off cute, cuddly and with the ability to coo beautiful music. But the masses did not follow the rules of the wise old Chinese guy. He warned us sternly, but millions fed the thing after midnight and dumped water on Twitter and she transformed into a hideous, mischievous rascal. Complete with a Mohawk and a love of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves.

Down in the lab - you know, like Dr. Dre with a pen and a pad - I have been developing a theory. The Twitter/Levels of Narcissism Theory.

Meaning that there are a couple indicators that can tell you just how much of a narcissist a Twitter user is.

This isn't a condemnation of the Twitter full stop. It may not be for me, but it serves a purpose. If ... properly used. We were given the President Obama calls Kanye a jackass story because of Twitter. That was fun.

The first indicator is the number of Tweets per day.

1-4 Tweets per day = Acceptable.

5-14 Tweets per day = Toeing the thin line between information and bore.

15+ Tweets per day = Time to take a look at the man in the mirror, Jacko.

According the celebritytweet.com, there are a few notables that are putting up Ruthian Twitter numbers.

Perez Hilton - About 21 a day. All with poor grammar and all-you-can-eat exclamation points. The guy can't write a sentence without at least 7 exclamation points.


courtney-love-1.jpgCourtney "Coo-Coo For Coco Puffs" Love - About 30 a day.

Al Roker - About 27 a day. Mostly about cheese.

Kevin Smith - About 30 a day.

Tila "Tick, Tick, Tick, Tick, Tick" Tequila - At one point, a staggering 100 a day. That's not a typo. That tiny drunken hobbit was consistently crossing the century mark. She's the Wilt Chamberlain of social networking sites every day. (I'm referring to the infamous "100 Point Game," not how many groupies The Stilt banged every night.)

100 mindless, incoherent Tweets a day. Even if it was Dr. Hunter S. Thompson's ghost, that would still be excessive. Nobody is that interesting. And especially not faded reality stars that are gooned on Grey Goose and cranberry.

The second factor in The Twitter/Levels of Narcissism Theory is, of course, content of the Tweets.

There are many acceptable uses of Twitter. Maybe to plug an upcoming event or project. Or to make a humorous observation or quip. To send along an important link or tell your friends about a cause you care about.

For example, if I was on Twitter - which isn't going to happen - I could Tweet about Leatherback Turtle Race. Or an important cancer charity. Or a monkey refuge that needs our help.

All acceptable.

However, if you are announcing that you are going to the Orange Julius, you may be becoming the Terrell Owens of your friends. You don't want that.

The content of the Tweets is a self-absorbed litmus test. Similar to another of my crackpot theories, The Real World Corollary. That one is pretty simple. If you think that you might be a wee bit unstable, send in an audition tape to The Real World. If you are cast on that, or any MTV or VH1 dating show, just check yourself into Arkham Asylum, you have some bats in the belfry. That's why you're on the show. Because you are at least two of the following: chemical dependant, morally bankrupt, socially awkward, dumb as a bag of hammers, sexually promiscuous, emotionally retarded and/or have a temper that compares to Mount Saint Helens. "This girl hits all the above! Kaitllyynn is going to be an MTV star. Look, she's already crying. Book her." You're not on the show because you "speak your mind." You have nothing interesting to say. You're there because you're crazy and the producers hope that with enough social lubricant you'll have an orgy and a fist fight. At the same time. You are basically The Bearded Lady. Brought on stage to be laughed at and mocked. If you are asked repeatedly to come back for the Real World/Road Rules Challenges, I would at least consider euthanasia. Flip a coin, maybe.

Similar principle with Twitter. Spread a few quips, forward a few valuable links, but the minute you start announcing in 140 characters or less, "Going to Baja Fresh! Nachos rule!" you may need some meds. And a puppy.

Consider example Tweets from these noted knuckleheads. These are real, picked somewhat at random.

Kim Kardashian: "Oh no! Ran out of milk. Going to the neighbors to borrow some."
Fascinating. Wow, pretend celebrities that leak sex tapes in a desperate bid to be in Us Weekly really are like us.

Heidi Montag: "Just finished working out."
How interesting. Was it glutes or arms? Tell us more.

Paris Hilton: "Vegas peeps rockin it. LOL."
I don't know what that means.

Yo-yo.pngAnd Brooke Hogan: "Think I'm going to buy a new bike."
I see. I'm seriously considering buying a yo-yo.

Brooke also Tweeted: "I want ice cream."
Neat. I want some turkey jerky.

Some of this isn't people's fault. You were taught how to use Twitter from Ashton Kutcher and other helium-heads. The meaningless minutia such as "Just landed in SFO" was how Earth was taught to use the damn thing. It's a little like how everyone talks the same on Springer and Maury Povich. They are conditioned. Maury brings out the DNA test results in the manila envelope and there is a Pavlovian reaction. Their brontosaurus-sized brain doesn't know any better. "That ain't my baby, Maury! Look at the ears! ... You don't know me."

You were taught to use Twitter that way. It's not your fault. It's not your fault. It's not your fault. You hear me Will? It's not your fault.

So be careful Twitter users. You may be more self-absorbed than you think. If not used in a responsible manner, you could be heading closer to Heidi Montag's side of the street. Trust me, you want to drive in the other direction.

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7 Comments

Nothin like a good ol' J-Dub rant. You really loathe "the real world" don't ya?

yowza.

said Sheriff Pablo on October 13, 2009 6:24 AM.

You can't really blame Courtney Love too much, though -- reading through some of her posts, I think a large portion of them may be butt-dialed in.

said Jeem on October 13, 2009 8:37 AM.

MTV continuing to crank out The Real World, putting it out for public consumption, is like the colonists giving Native Americans syphilis-riddled blankets.

said Johnny Wright on October 13, 2009 10:15 AM.

O U C H.

I can't wait to tweet about this to all my friends lunching at Shake Shack.

said Baierman on October 13, 2009 10:20 AM.

1. Yes, I would love some spicy guacamole Jessica. (Beauty and she can cook - aw yeah!)
2. This guys' kind of funny:
http://twitter.com/shitmydadsays

said E on October 13, 2009 9:35 PM.

I still like it

said Vicky on October 14, 2009 12:00 AM.

I want the house on the pier the Real World was in in Seattle. Fishing through a hole in the floor would be sweet.

said Sheriff Pablo on October 14, 2009 3:06 PM.
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