Don't Be A Toxic Twitter Termite
Two weeks ago, I noticed that termites were eating the wood
around my front door. I was concerned, but not alarmed, since my
house is bricked all around the exterior.
I called an exterminator who came out and eased my mind even
more. He explained that while I did have a termite infestation
they were the subterranean termites rather than the feared
If you Google the term "Formosan Termites," you'll come across
pictures of a creature so veracious that houses infested by them
often fell in half. House that are really infested by them often
cannot be saved.
So, I felt lucky to have a less serious termite, and simply
arranged for the exterminator to send a technician out to treat
When the very polite exterminator came, he explained that he was
going to drill holes near the sides of the house, every eight
inches wherever there was a concrete slab (such as front porch,
back patio, and driveway). He pumped poison into those holes and
filled them back in, forming a barrier.
Next he dug a trench, all the way around the house, right against
the foundation. He pumped poison into this trench, and filled it
Then he asked me to sign a paper, saying that he was finished and
that soon my termite problem would be GONE.
He went on to explain that the termites would actually kill each
other by being too social. Termites groom each other, and so what
happens is that a few termites get the poison on them, and they
take it into the colony. Then by grooming each other, they spread
it throughout the colony, whereby they eventually wipe out the
This is a case where being social is deadly.
I spend time in another world where being social can be deadly,
and where you have to watch out for creatures carrying poison.
That world is the world of online social networking. Fortunately,
if you follow just a few rules, you avoid the poison, most often
spread in the form of negativity.
Here are the very simple rules that I follow when interacting on
social networking sites and why.
1) Avoid negative people. I control my thoughts and feelings. I
don't let people filled with negativity "rub off" on me. When
someone that I encounter on a social networking site comes across
as overly negative, I simply remove myself from their world. I
stop following them.
2) Don't talk religion. My religious beliefs were passed to me
by my parents, grandparents, and other elders, while I was still
a child. As I grew older, I examined what they taught me, and
developed my own belief system, still based largely upon what
they taught me. That's how most of us arrive at our current
religious beliefs, or lack thereof.
During my 50 trips around the sun, I've noticed that no matter
what you say to many people you will never change their religious
beliefs to the same as yours... and I personally don't believe
that you should try to. I've also noticed something VERY strange
about many of us... we naturally assume that other people that we
interact with believe the same as we do.
People KILL each other over differences in religion, and it's a
topic that I simply choose not to engage in on the social
3) Don't talk politics. In American society, and in many other
societies, it's actually our civic duty to participate in
electing our leaders, and making sure that they serve the will of
The problems with discussing politics are the same as with
religion... people assume that you believe the same as they do.
Just as in religion, they are so convince that they are right,
and they assume that you are a rational, intelligent creature...
therefore how could you NOT see the world the same as they do.
As I watched the conversation on Twitter during the most recent
presidential elections, one thing was really reinforced. It's
very difficult to change a person's point of view. People
watched the presidential debates, and their comments on Twitter
were basically that their candidate had won...regardless of which
candidate they supported.
4) Connect with those interested in the same topics as you are.
When you follow, and are followed by those interested in, or even
passionate about, the same topics that you are interested in,
you'll naturally discuss things interesting to both parties.
This makes for a satisfying interaction.
You'll naturally share fact and resources of interest to both
you and your followers.
Speaking of sharing resources, be yourself and you'll say the
right thing most of the time. When the authentic YOU shines
through, networking on the social networking sites is effortless.
I often have people who are new to social networking ask me what
they should say. My answer is be authentic!
Back to sharing resources, I see no problem with sharing links to
useful resources that you feel will be of interest to your
followers. That's where connecting with others with like
interests becomes important though.
I also don't see anything wrong with sharing affiliate links.
When you are recommending something that you really believe in,
what's the problem? The "purist" who DO have a problem with
your periodically having links in your posts will simply exit
your world - they'll unfollow you. That's not a bad thing,
since you don't really resonate with them.
You DO need to study the culture of the social networking
platforms that you are on. Some are more open to certain types of
As an example, if your primary purpose in being on the social
networking sites is to promote your business (if you are a Type-A
personality... all business) then you want to seek out sites
where a lot of people like you hang out. Those sites do exist. An
excellent example, is the site Sokule, pronounced "So Cool."
Sokule was set up by marketers, for marketers. You are actually
encouraged to advertise on the site.
Sokule has several levels of memberships, starting at free, but
with upgrades that give you more built-in applications at each
level. I am a member at the top level (a "Founder") and the
tools that I have even allow me to direct message ALL of my
followers every three days. That in effect even means that I can
consider my Sokule followers, those who choose to connect with
me, as being a quasi-list.
You can check out Sokule at budurl.com/fjnk
Go ahead and grab a free Sokule account if you market anything
online. It's the perfect platform for marketing your business.
As you dig into Sokule, you'll discover that within three weeks
of my starting to actively promote Sokule, I was in the top THREE
all-time referrers, and the NUMBER-1 referrer of upgraded
members. So, I'm telling you about a platform that I know like
the back of my hand and generate a LOT of business from.
I also know Twitter well. As I rapidly approach 30,000 followers,
I am getting the hang of being a good citizen on "Planet
Twitter." That's why I felt compelled to share this article with
I saw a lot of Twitter users who, like the termites, are
unknowingly taking poison back deep within the colony, and
spreading it onto the community members that they interact with.
Don't you be one of those people poisoning the community.
Awareness, is the key to not being a spreader of Twitter toxins.
I'll close with one final reason that you don't want to come
across so toxic on ANY social networking platforms, with Twitter
being the one garnering all of the buzz right now... when many
companies are considering hiring an individual, a routine part of
their pre-employment investigation is to see if you are on the
social networking sites, and if so, what you are like there.
Companies, potential business partner, etc., understand the
importance of NOT bringing those with toxic personalities into
their folds. Now hopefully you do too. Now, hopefully you also
understand why you absolutely must not be a "Toxic Twitter
Willie Crawford is a 13 year veteran of internet marketing
who was voted one of "The 50 Most Powerful and Influential Men
In Social Media" in 2008. You'll find Willie on most of the
major social media sites using the username WillieCrawford.
Willie also shares his thoughts, experiences and internet
marketing advice at WillieCrawford.com/blog2/