A Day of Twitter in South Africa

There have always been a lot of discussions about the use of social media service twitter in South Africa. Apparently allegedly, there are those who tweet too much, over-utilising and polluting the service and there are those under-utilisers who tweet too little. Then there are the ones that use it for work – the creative types, the geeks, the wine traders and the newspaper people. There are the twits who just tell us about their daily life and their kids. And, of course, those that only use it for telling us about their problems. Joy.

Having recently cracked the 500 follower threshold and with the vast majority of those followers coming from the Rainbow Nation, it dawned on me that while everything changes on a daily basis, there has emerged a typical day of tweets in South Africa.
I have attempted to describe this below, without using any twitter usernames whatsoever. However, it’s my guess that many people out there will recognise some of themselves somewhere in the next 24 hours:

  • 0600-0700: Tweets about waking up and requiring coffee. At least one smartarse is in the office already.
  • 0700-0800: First tweets about how nice/not nice the weather is in Cape Town this morning. Most descriptions will include some reference to the mountain and its current state of visibility.
  • 0800-0900: Traffic and coffee dominate this hour. Swear at the BMW driver who’s using his phone while driving and tweet his registration to us all from behind the wheel. And then order a coffee from that coffee shop (or, if you want to be different, that other coffee shop). Make sure you give us all the details and remember that the more complicated the name of the coffee you order, the cooler you are.
  • 0900-1100: The first challenges of the work day arise. Spreadsheets fail to spread, clients become annoying and Julius Malema has said something silly again. At least one person has got a headache and the more rotund twits have already mentioned lunch twice.
  • 1100-1200: The morning is dragging. Just like yesterday’s did at about this time.
  • 1200- 1400: The accepted lunch period. It is vital that South Africa and the rest of the world, plus any aliens who are tuning in, know that your posh sandwich from the local posh sandwich shop is the best thing you’ve ever tasted since your intricate coffee order three hours earlier. Talking of which, you’ll probably be getting another coffee about now. If you brought your lunch from home, tell us. Well done, we’re proud of you.
  • 1400-1500: The work day. Your tweets drop to an average of 3 per minute. Tweet continually to remind us that you are working and please don’t disturb you. Really. You’re working. And don’t need to be distur – hey! – check out this picture of a fluffy kitten!
  • 1500-1600: There’s a thunderstorm in Jo’burg. The clouds are dark, and the rain/hail is like coming down like you’ve ever seen before since this mid-afternoon period yesterday. There is, apparently, nothing like a Highveld thunderstorm. Please feel free to remind everyone of that fact.
  • 1600-1700: The wind down. You leave work at 5pm and because we never learnt to tell the time, you are happy to give us frequent reminders of exactly how long it is until that particular hour. About every 10 minutes should suffice.
  • 1700-1800: Damnit! It seems that everyone else has left the office at the same time as you. Again. Consequently, the roads are clogged and you may complain about the traffic like you did this morning. Taxis are especially good to moan about as everyone hates them and will understand and empathise with your angst.
  • 1800-2000: It’s about this time of evening that I always wonder what other people are eating, as I stare at the assorted crayfish, oysters and swan lying upon my vast and heaving table. Fortunately, that wonder can be remedied with quick check of twitter. Popular choices always include “2 minute noodles”, “tjops on the braai” and “Steers burger”. The usual accompaniment for each of these delicacies is the phrase “nom nom nom”.
  • 2000-2400: Mainly sport and irritating imported american prime-time TV prefixed with a hashtag. And a mention of what you’re drinking. You can even twitpic it if you want. Don’t forget to say goodnight when you go to bed, will you?
  • 2400-0600: Do you suffer from insomnia? Complain about it during these hours. No-one is listening. The only other people awake are other insomniacs who are too concerned with their own mental issues to be bothered about yours.

And that’s about it. We’ll do the same thing again tomorrow. And the day after.

You can follow 6000 on twitter here.

20 thoughts on “A Day of Twitter in South Africa

  1. hey at least mine sometimes vary 😉 few people comment (daily) on their (daily) swim / walk on the beach. and i drink Wimpy coffee – uncool. #lunchbeer is much more interesting and – BONUS – you get to wonder with me about the current status of my uterus

    fun post tho, a different take on the subject for once.
    .-= joyanne´s last blog ..Fly the Flag for South Africa 2010 =-.

  2. what? no mention of my highly entertaining tweets? i congratulated and complimented you on your photography skills, called hayley and francois ‘top twits’, retweeted a bunch of links, and flirted with henre. no mention of traffic, weather or coffee at all today!

    2762 top quality tweets, and counting..! 🙂
    .-= jacki janse van rensburg´s last blog ..gone phishing…. =-.

  3. Bwahaha oh I miss Twitter so. Not really actually, I feel amazing without it. But I am not trying to rub that in anyone’s face or say Twitter is crap, it just had bad effects on me. Like me being reminded about people existing all the time.
    .-= Po´s last blog ..My little blog is growing up! =-.

  4. Ha ha ha ha!!!
    I have a mate about to defriend another mate on FB just cause Mate 1 cannot cope reading any more status updates about Mate 2’s kid’s reflux.
    The not-so-glamourous side of mates’ real lives!
    Don’t they know they’re meant to “airbrush” & lipo their tweets!
    .-= Champagne Heathen´s last blog ..The Cult of Marx – What Not To Do =-.

  5. Once again, I have to thank you.

    We need more tweet-digests like this so that I don’t actually need to follow all these people and read all the tweets.

    Can we look forward to regular pieces like this? From my own experience, once a year should be enough to catch changing trends 😉
    .-= Ro´s last blog ..Desire! =-.

  6. Phaezen > Please keep us updated.

    Gerhard > It’s the trend of the people everyone is following.

    joyanne > Yes. You are… “different”.

    Jackie > Thanks. But it was staring me in the face. I just had to write it down.

    jjvr > I did miuss the flirting bit. I felt that may have been a bit too near the knuckle.

    Rob > Meh – or just follow the herd. Coffee?

    Louis > Well, twitter is just an updated facebook status feed, really. Right?

    Po > Those damn people. Stick to plants, honey.

    HH > For… where?

    Champs > If only. I think that people forget that it goes public domain. Just like me and this blog. *sigh*

  7. I follow(ed) +/- 230 people on Twitter. Only about 30 of those were people interesting. And I mean, all the time.

    The rest were an combination of sometimes-interesting, they-mention-me-a-lot and sympathy follows.

    That said, I think you’ll find that your pattern applies to pretty much everyone on Twitter. I remember @charliehuman once tweeted: “I notice people start getting outraged at things around 10:00”. Just when breakfast starts wearing off. 🙂

  8. Loved it. You do need to find more of the local funny people, interesting stat types and news seekers though. Start with all the reporters on 702 add @kevinMcCullem, @Gussilber and @Rubygold, move on to comedians @conradkoch and @warrenrcomedian are my favourites, then wrap it up with some controversial types in @garethcliff and @ChrisMcEvoy. Hope that helps.

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