The four phases of twitter

I’ve seen the pattern repeated over and over again when someone is introduced to Twitter for the first time. There are four classic phases:

Denial: There is NO way on earth I will EVER use a silly chat service like twitter. I have no use, time, nor place for it in my life.

Surprise: You mean my friends and colleagues are here? It’s not just teenagers with nothing better to do?

Acceptance: Okay, I like having twitter in my life. This is pretty cool.

Addiction: OMG Twitter is doooooooownnnnnnn!

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32 Responses to “The four phases of twitter”

  1. john gonnella Says:

    Love this!

    Is there any Recovery or Rehab phase? =^.)~

  2. Christopher Stevenson Says:

    What about stage 5: disillusionment? Disillusionment type A: “It’s still a great service, but it’s down again.” Disillusionment type B: “If I’m not really careful, my Tweets could be misconstrued by other Twitterers. I’d better be really careful about what I put out there.”

  3. Morriss Partee Says:

    @johngonnella Nope, there is no recovery once hooked on twitter. I got a fever, and I can’t cure it with more cowbell. Glad u like!

    @cjsteven It’s stage 5B that you really have to watch out for. Tweets written in the privacy of one’s own laptop go out to the whole world. This isn’t just a conversation inside our own heads, much as I am constantly forgetting that. 😉

  4. Brent Dixon Says:

    Also, there’s overcommunicated exhaustion. “Ouch. My ability to have a consistent thought for more than 30 seconds hurts.”

  5. Trey Reeme Says:

    Sometimes you reach a fifth stage: Overload. You take a break and inevitably end back up at stage one.

  6. Dave Saunders Says:

    You’re right. There’s nothing worse than “Twitter down.” 🙂

  7. Otto Says:

    Pretty spot on. I’ve introduced a couple people who at first only found value in limited situations and now they can’t go without.

    But lately, I prefer FriendFeed, especially since it can be a front end to Twitter (or just about anything).

  8. Susan Albrizio Says:

    So how bad is it that after “Denial” I realized that few of my friends and none of my colleagues were on Twitter and I still advanced to “Addiction”?! LOL.

  9. Robin Marohn Says:

    I’m currently in a 12-step program…

  10. Why I love Twitter « Tinfoiling Says:

    […] 28, 2008 by tinfoiling Morriss recently wrote about the 4 stages of Twitter which was as close as it gets to emulating the stages […]

  11. Tim McAlpine Says:

    Stage 4 and I’m OK with that. I don’t need your help. I can handle it.

  12. katie schwartz Says:

    are you inside my head?

  13. Linda Says:

    Twitter addict? Help is available

  14. Jean-Christophe Says:

    Great post Morriss 🙂

    My fav’ Twitter joke (from the “Geek and poke” blog) :

    “I’ve broken up with Jim”
    “Really ? How could he cope with it ?”
    “He doesn’t know it yet. Twitter is down”

  15. No Twitter Brand? Fail Whale For You « Banking Kismet Says:

    […] Twitter has been getting a lot of press lately.  As more and more people hear about it, they tend to drift between what Morriss Partee calls the 4 Phases of Twitter. […]

  16. Christopher Says:

    Very true!
    I remember talking with you Morriss at the GAC get together about Twitter and soon after that, I overcame “denial.” Now I’m firmly addicted!

  17. Suki Fuller Says:

    Why, was I not informed of this post sooner? I so need to send this to various friends who are presently in Phase III after going through the Phases I & II and shall soon…be with us in Phase IV.

    1st step) My name is Suki & I am an addict… 🙂

  18. TheMacMommy Says:

    yeah, I wanna know too…is there hope for recovery?

  19. CMajor Says:

    This is so true!

    When I was first introduced to it, I was all like Twitter what? I don’t need no Twitter.

    Then I realized how many smart, inspiring and truly amazing people were on and wanted to join in and be like them.

    Yes, I am an addict now.

  20. Laura "Pistachio" Fitton Says:

    this is SO getting bookmarked and referred to often. ZOMG, and, like, tweeted! 🙂

  21. Stales Says:

    This is fantastic. Now I know how to explain twitter to the world!

  22. Jessica (from It's my life...) Says:

    Nothing short of brilliant.
    Going to be Internet deprived for over a week. Don’t know how I will cope.

  23. Morriss Partee Says:

    Hi everyone, glad you got a chuckle out of this.

    @pistachio – Thanks for retweeting it! You added 50% to my daily traffic with one short sweet tweet! (Even though you credited Todd for it and not me.)

    @Stales – Well, this doesn’t exactly help explain the appeal of twitter to non-twitterers, just helps to explain the denial-addiction cycle of twitterers.

    @Jessica- I just returned from a week of camping with my Webelo cub scout. And no, I didn’t check twitter from my iPhone, and yes, I did survive, even thrive, without my hourly hits of twittaine. It can be done! In fact, I recommend it for Phase 5, which is twitter burnout, which if survived, can result in reduced twitter dependancy. (as pointed out by @itsjustbrent and @creeme earlier in these comments.)

  24. Byron Van Arsdale Says:

    Great post and thanks for keeping me laughing for another few hours!

  25. Frugal Wench Says:

    We are supposed to have friends outside of Twitter? DAMN! I knew I should get out more.

    Step 6: First thing in the morning, tweet “Good Morning” to everyone.

  26. Irene Koehler Says:

    Hilarious! So perfect and absolutely accurate!

    I know many people stuck in the first phase, but am helping them move to Phase 2 one Baby Boomer at a time.

  27. starrgazr Says:

    There is no escape…

    (Good Thing!)

    Great to meet you at BOSup! 🙂

  28. meryl333 Says:

    Truth is funny.

  29. Six blind men and the twitterphant « EverythingCU.com World 2.0 Adventure Says:

    […] just getting started with twitter, here are my beginners’ twitter tips, and here are the four phases of twitter. (It ALWAYS begins with […]

  30. To tweet or not to tweet « Una chica chiflada Says:

    […] 9, 2009 by sunflowerluv Back to my twitter way. Check out the four phrases of Twitter by Morriss Partee. I have also seen this pattern lately when asking friends to try and see how twitter is: There are […]

  31. The Financial Brand » Blog Archive » BofA is on Twitter, so why aren’t you? Says:

    […] of Twitter when first hearing about it… then they become addicts (as has been documented in The Four Phases of Twitter). Also, as you absorb other people’s advice and opinions about Twitter, it helps to keep this […]

  32. To tweet or not to tweet: Is it even a question? « EverythingCU.com World 2.0 Adventure Says:

    […] To tweet or not to tweet: Is it even a question? By Morriss Partee Like everyone else, I was dragged kicking and screaming into the twitterverse. I think nearly universally, everyone hearing about Twitter for the first time thinks that it’s a dumb idea, one that has zero business use, and only marginal personal use. I think this reaction happens nearly universally because you can’t see or understand Twitter until you get inside it. […]

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