They're back! Lauren G. Volpert '17 and Olivia A. Nicholls '17 bring you round two of their advice column, The Verdict!

After receiving a slew of emails and Instagram direct messages requesting more social media advice, we’ve decided to put together a comprehensive guide to our favorite (Olivia) and second favorite (Lauren) social media platform: Twitter!

For those of you who live under a rock: Twitter is how we communicate our wittiest and deeply personal thoughts and desires to a wide online audience. Everyone uses Twitter—from POTUS to your tech savvy grandmother to that super quiet freshman in the back of your section who is always hunched over his phone. However, having Twitter is one thing, understanding how to correctly master this technological art is quite another. We present to you our official Principles of Twitter.

Character Limit
Twitter is defined by its 140 character per post limit. You can be FLOTUS, @harrystyles, an eight-year-old with a single follower, @LaurenVolpert, or @olivianicholls3, and you still only have this much space to work with. While it may seem constricting, this limit forces you to play around with words to get your message across. Cue use of #hashtags and Twitpics (more on this later).

Another take on Twitter was offered by Ephraim D. Lavey ‘17, “Twitter makes it so that you can communicate to the whole world without really communicating with anyone.” Dark.

A Twitter ratio can be hard to kickstart. As we said, literally everyone has Twitter and there are probably hundreds of celebrity or professional accounts you want to follow (a few you should start with: Ellen, Aziz, Miley) with no chance of a follow back. Relax! Twitter ratios do not really matter for us civilians. Focus on the quality of your tweets, not the size of your follower base. However, the number of followers you have should give you an idea about how much you should be tweeting—two followers and 13,000 tweets? You’re doing it wrong.

Live Tweeting
When to live tweet and when to not? Live tweeting is for the advanced tweeter. We would advise avoiding this unless you’re REALLY funny… which you may well not be. Successful live tweeting (rare) looks like: this and this and this.

Unless you’re engaging in a trending tweet movement such as #ThatAwkardMoment (author’s note: we do not encourage this), Twitter hashtags are nominal. They’re important in helping you vary the style of your tweets, but your words matter much more than the hashtag content. As final note to end a witty tweet, we get it. If you have more than three hashtags per tweet, that’s just annoying.

To go private or public?
While we opt for privacy in our personal Twitters and go public for our professional accounts (how else will we break into the workforce?), some choose to go public for retweeting benefits and as a way to gain more followers. Hannah R. Gropper, a friend of the authors, shares a different perspective: “I realized that I needed to stop hiding behind the veil of protected tweets; the world was ready to read my random thoughts about iced coffee and my insomnia. Plus, then my friends and @trendyproblems could RT my funniest tweets.”

Quick quiz about snaps you're tweeting. Should they be...
a) photos you want to share with the world but aren’t good enough for Instagram?
b) pics that will help you sneak around the 140 character limit and complete your thoughts?
c) both of the above?

Answer: figure it out on your own, okay?
Lauren: “The Twitter-Instagram hybrid, in my opinion, is not really ever appropriate. The 'gram is about the photo and a small caption. Twitter is about the caption with an accompanying photo. In general try to keep these two social media platforms separate.”
Olivia: “I often use Twitpics to tweet text conversations. While I don’t quite feel comfortable Instagramming a screenshot, I am always eager to tweet one.”

Twitter Wars
Hilarious. We love Twitter wars. Reading about them, getting into them, and especially winning them. (Disclaimer, we always win).

So, time to stop reading and start tweeting. At this point in time, there are no excuses for not having a Twitter. Oh, and some words to those people who have Instagrams and not twitters and are like, “Oh, Twitter just isn’t for me…” If you want to share your crappy over edited pictures with the world (unless you read our previous post in which case you are a pro at the gram), then you should certainly want to share your funny thoughts in the form of tweets. Another bonus: you can join us in shaming others who don’t have Twitter.