Because you're worth it - A narcissist's guide to Twitter
On Twitter? Feel that your important views aren't getting the impact that you reckon they deserve? Never fear. Narcissists have fashioned several clever techniques to bring you back into the limelight where you belong. They know, as we do, that you're not an attention-seeker. You're a vital cog to our national discussion. With that in mind, here are some techniques to show the world that your tweets are really, really important.
1. Never reply to someone, quote them for effect
Never just reply to someone, as only those following both of you will see your point. Instead, quote them. Take a grandiose position on your reply. The world needs to know what you think about the point put to you. It's important for civic discussion, isn't it? (As an alternative, use a dot when replying).
2. Space out lines in tweets
You're not like the other tweeters. Your tweets deserve more space.
So go ahead and make your point.
Like this. Put a space (or a few dots) in between your lines. That way, people have no choice but to look at your tweet. You are providing the dramatic pause that the reader didn't even know they wanted until they saw you doing it. Clever you.
3. Retweet yourself often
People may not have seen your tweet before. Remind them of what you said! Thankfully, Twitter recently introduced the ability to retweet oneself. Use it. Your followers will thank you for it.
4. Quote clever tweets, never retweet them
Retweeting something clever or interesting cuts you out of the credit. But quoting a tweet, even if you have nothing more to add other than 'heh' or 'wow', may involve you in some attributable way (even a retweet). Hell, you deserve it. After all, you saw the tweet, didn't you? You're choosing to share it with YOUR followers, aren't you? So why shouldn't you have some ownership of that?
5. Link to your previous tweets as 'a matter of record'
What? There's a conversation happening about a topic you tweeted about last Tuesday? You're not being referenced? Interrupt and remind them! Link to your tweet!
6. Use a lot of full stops
Show everyone how solemn and definitive you are by putting a full stop after every three or four words. Like this. Or this. Or even this.
7. Never attack Twitter itself, no matter how awful the harassment or abuse others receive
You're a well known opponent of unfair, aggressive, abusive behaviour. You will fight and maybe even campaign for laws to help people fight trolls, racists and abusers. Except if it affects any features on Twitter. Anything that restricts speech on Twitter is automatically bad. I mean, it's all very well to have a few people feel safer. But where would restrictions on Twitter freedom leave your ability to inform the world? Would silencing you really help our community, even if it knocked out a few nazis? No. Sombrely, you must argue that it is better to accept some evils in this world - all right, a lot of evil - so that true wisdom (yours) is protected.
8. Assume that this column was written about you
Yes, this column was written about you. Really. I mean, who else could it be about? The digs? The sly references? It's obvious, isn't it? Who else is as much of a growing presence on Twitter as you?
Ha, you think. Mainstream media journalist. Inherently trying to keep critical voices down. So how to respond? A cryptic tweet, perhaps, referring to 'a certain person' or a 'so-called journalist'?
No. You don't have to. Because your work is getting through! You're being noticed!
So no, you take the high road. MSM types are monitoring your work. (As they rightly should.) So no retaliatory tweetstorm.
Still, one little mention couldn't hurt, could it? After all, there are your followers to think of. If nothing else, they deserve to know about the progress you're making, don't they? So something dignified and maybe ironic. Like: "Journalists acknowledging commentary outside their own bubble… Am I one of the narcissists? Say it ain't so!" With an emoji. No, wait, a Gif. Yes, a Gif.
Your response will be funny AND informative.
This is what makes you important. Not just for Twitter or for the #Marian, #LateLateShow or #ClaireByrneLive streams. You are important for the country. For culture. For us. There are big battles being fought. But you are one of the good guys. You will keep fighting the good fight. You WILL be noticed.