Have you ever noticed how Twitter acts like a pseudo-family? All the characters are there; parents, grandparents, brothers and sisters even the whacky aunt who makes you laugh.

The way people act on Twitter gives them a persona, one you can attribute to your own family members. People who are holding down relationships with others, who in most cases they have never met, yet act like they are peas from the same pod. I follow two people who I thought were actually married in real life for a number of months due to the way they tweeted with each other, they were flirty Tweet partners. However one day the male tweeter said he was off on holiday with his wife and would speak with the female tweeter on his return. I was shocked and yet also upset that they weren’t actually a real couple.

Let’s take a look at the Twitter family (none of the below is gender specific):

  • Mother — The matriarch tweeter is the person you follow because they tweet wisely and are good for advice on things from baking to relationships. The role of the mother is to step in an advise you when you tweet homely questions and they seem to know a little bit about everything. An example would be ‘I need advice on what too cook my girlfriend for her birthday #AskTwitter?’ and your mother would respond ‘I have a lovely recipe for a delightful croque-en-bouche I could share my love’
  • Father — The patriarch tweeter is the person who steps in and offers solid, no nonsense advice or guidance when your tweeting seems like a call for help. Yet never turns up to important functions you may have invited the too. The kind of response you get from your Twitter father would be ‘just do it and enjoy it’ or ‘pull your finger out son, there is no need for the tears’. The father will often favourite your best tweets but never tell you why.

It’s also possible that the Mother/Father Tweeter is a person who introduced you to Twitter and they are the ones you always follow no matter what and occasionally seek social media advice from as they always seem to be on the ball.

  • Brother — Your Twitter brother is likely to be a physical acquaintance, someone on your wave length maybe even your best friend. The person you can rely on to LOL at all your silly tweets and RT the #FAILs in your life. Your Twitter brother will understand your language and be able to read your mood in less than 140 characters on any given day. Your Twitter brother is a mate. ‘Time to party bro, what time we meeting in town?’
  • Sister — Your Twitter sister is someone who you love to hate and hate to love. You agree sometimes and disagree at others. The person you will virtually high five when they back you up against haters but virtually snap your fingers at when they step on your toes in a Twitter conversation. With your Twitter sister you feel comfortable and hey man she’s your sister so you also jump to the defence of when needed even if you have physically never met. Your Twitter sister is cool… sometimes.
  • Grandparents — The Twitter Grandparents are those Tweeters who will always pick you up on mistakes, grammar and bad language but also praise you when you euphorically tweet about #winning and #goodtimes. Their replies are short but loving, quick yet to the point. ‘Oh that’s excellent news’ or ‘don’t use language like that, it’s not nice’ are typical response to highs and lows in you Twitter feed.
  • Crazy Aunt — On Twitter you follow at least one Crazy Aunt amongst the pictures of cats and current baking or knitting projects they posts stories of amazing lows and incredible highs. One day ‘Life is sucking the blood from my soul’ whilst the next ‘I’ve just been to Zumba and life feels radcakes!’ The person who uses youth speak when clearly they shouldn’t and in some tweets should put a warning that what you are about to see you will never be able to unsee. You follow them because you have to or you just can’t let go because you might miss something good.
  • Perverted Uncle — There is always one in every family. The inappropriate jokes, sharing of #NSFW pictures and the general cringy behaviour all in 140 characters. You know you shouldn’t but you always open the tweet from this person that proclaims ‘ooh matron’ or ‘I would’ along with the odd ‘I’d give her one…’ and ‘I wonder if the cuffs match the collar’. Even though you might not know this person physically you just know if you went out for a drink your other friends will wonder what the hell you’re doing with them. They’re probably also the person who is always available to do something with you when you put a call out on Twitter that you’re free for drinks but you pretend you saw their tweet to late or plans had changed.

Finally what about your Twitter husband or wife, boyfriend or girlfriend. Someone you feel so comfortable with you share your deepest secrets and take conversations off the live feed and continue as a DM for. The person you can openly flirt with but no one batters an eyelid at.

  • Flirty partner — Your flirty partner is the person you outrageously flirt with, yet leave a message just short of describing the full blown description of what you want to do to them. The person you play innuendo bingo with in front of the world and get that warm feeling with when they reply in a salacious way. You have probably never met this person or if you have you would never be real life partners because you are really polar opposites but online your personas are kindred spirits. However with your Twitter partner it’s not all sunshine and lollipops. Sometimes they annoy you the bloody hell out of you and you childishly ignore for a day or two when upset.

These are my opinions and yes I do seem to have a Twitter family. I have a mother, a father, a few sisters and brothers and at least one grandparent. I have a brother who has traits of an Uncle; and Aunty who has traits of all 8. But I confess I don’t have a Twitter flirty partner and I’m happy that way.

What do you think, can you see these traits in the people you follow, and maybe you fit one yourself?

Do you have a Happy Twitter Family?

Originally published at smeekmedia.com.au.

Innovative Community Engagement. @engage2act Director and Board member, #engage2act advocate, #gatehashing instigator.

Innovative Community Engagement. @engage2act Director and Board member, #engage2act advocate, #gatehashing instigator.