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.