One of the common gripes about Twitter is that it’s a bunch of people ‘talking about thier lunch’; in other words, the dull, boring and mundane things in their lives. This criticism is wrong in all sorts of ways but it also perpetuates an insidious myth that there’s such a thing as an inherently boring subject.
Balderdsh! There’s no such thing as a boring subject, only boring writers and there’s no possible excuse for boring people in 140 characters.
Just to show you what I mean, here are five ways that you can take a subject that may seem dull and turn it into compelling Twitter content. I’m using lunch as an example but the principles here apply to anything under the sun.
- Paint A Picture: The first idea is simple; write well. If you want make your tweets more appealing, spend the extra effort to write them in a more interesting way. Choose to use attention-grabbing words, avoid clichés like the plauge and let your verse work on a visceral level. Try to write a 140 character masterpiece that appeals to as many senses as possible. Use alliteration or even rhyme if the urge strikes. Why should you be ‘Enjoying a spicy sandwich’ when you could enlighten your audience with details like “Globs of green wasabi mayonnaise have escaped my roast beef on rye but fear not; my fingertips caught them.”
- Take A Picture: In addition to painting with words, you can also literally snap a picture and be a lot more compelling. Stick a snappy and somewhat mysterious headline on there and you’re creating total clickbait.
- Ask A Question: If you worry that your lunch will bore people, try asking people about THEIR lunch and watch them react. Twitter is an amazing medium for conversation – if you use it that way. Stop making your tweets a monologue. Mention a slice of your life and then ask a question.
- Raise A Controversy: People love drama, so give them some. Rather than saying “Here’s my Yelp! review of Jack’s Restaurant”, flip the script and tweet a link with the text “I 100% disagree with this crazy Yelp! review” or “Why in the name of Thor does Jack’s Restaurant have all those 5 star ratings?” Amp up the differences and cultivate rival opinions to get people wondering what all the fuss is about.
- See It With New Eyes: I recently talked to screenwriting expert Derek Rydell and he described a meditation / awareness exercise where you look at your lunch and trace back where every element came from, including the plate. The mustard started in France, the lettuce was picked by Honduran immigrants working in California’s Central Valley, the cheese is from an English coastal village and so on. Derek said you realize that you literally have the world on the plate in front of you. Mundane things are sometimes really amazing things that you haven’t really looked at deeply enough yet.
There’s a few ways to liven up your tweets. Do you have any favorite techniques?