'Gbénga Ṣẹ̀san Profile picture
Apr 21, 2018 25 tweets 5 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
One day, I will write about the various characters that dot the Nigerian political twitter landscape, and maybe folks will learn a thing or two about engagement especially as 2019 approaches. Don't feed the trolls BUT don't miss the authentic engagement opportunities either.
That day is today, so here's Your Nigerian Political Twitter Guide (2019 Edition). As we go towards elections, it is important to engage wisely on social media and spend less time fighting with people who won't change their minds or just need you to increase their follower count
The following are some (not by any means an exhaustive list) of the #NaijaPoliticalTwitter types I have had the privilege (or in some cases, misfortune) of engaging. I don't block people. I've never blocked anyone so knowing who I'm dealing with helps with engagement
Some are here to learn or share. Others are trolling but need to lead you on first. Some others are actually doing the bidding of their bosses or revered overlords. Knowing who you're talking to helps!
In the next few tweets, I will list various types on here and hope knowing a bit more about them helps you with the kind of aha moment I get when I click to see profiles and what timeliness look like before deciding to engage. Enjoy 😁
Antagonists: They are just here for the argument. Whatever position you take is wrong, and theirs can be explained in a few tweets - or a full blog. When you check their timeline, they often contradict themselves in the name of just being antagonists
Binaries: If it's not APC, it's PDP. They are unable to think beyond those two options and everything is coloured as either/or. Of course, anything you say is coloured by the assumption that you're either or too
Buharideens: If you're not 100% for Buhari, you are against Buhari. Nothing else matters. If you question anything he does, you are the enemy. If you retweet or like something seen as anti-Buhari, they are coming for you. And no, even constructive criticism is not allowed
Bullies: Once they log on, the day's target wonders what happened to their mentions. They get a high from bullying because issa empty inside. As with real life bullies, they are actually spineless. Engage with maturity and see how they come into your corner like puppies. For now
Copycats: You know how it was nicely put - photocopy ko easy. They are mixologists who have refined the art of borrowing thoughts to make a point. If you don't look too well, you won't see the plagiarism. Most are not your typical strip-handle-then-cut-and-pastethe- crowd though
Experts: These are folks you could actually learn from. They had a life before twitter and don't log on each morning hoping to draw validation from tweets, retweets or likes. I am actually glad I follow many such here. Please keep 'em knowledge tap flowing
Jonathanians: The year is no longer 2015 but if you were against Jonathan, then you must be proved wrong by all means. And the air they breathe is brewed from the apologies of those who "made Buhari win". Goodluck with any argument
Learners: Offer them their L and they don't mind because even if ignorant on the issue being discussed, they are open to learning - or unlearning to relearn. Anyway, aren't we all learners in certain areas? Retweet if you're happy to chop your L in order to embrace new knowledge
Liars: Enjoy the bants but believe at your own risk. The most is always happening to them. Only them. The way they tell stories that are too good to be true give them away. I bet they check previous lies to make sure new lies don't bring contradictions. Do like this 😏 for them
Marketers: These ones are not really here for political twitter but will jump on any hashtag, including #NigeriaDecides, to sell what they've received alert for. They are NOT trolls, just handles for business hire. When the content and hashtag are like this 🔀, na dem be dat
Newbies: They got here recently but straight from pre-2012 Facebook or mailing lists, so they can't grasp the in-the-moment conversational nature of Twitter. They usually make honest mistakes and may be quick to apologise but they are good peoples, mostly
Oldies: These elders are truly shocked by the complete lack of disrespect here, are quick to remind you that they are "not your mate" or "if not for social media that brought us together" and don't know that "with due respect" precedes disrespect. They will learn. Soon
Politicians: You are but a voter; a number that could take them past the win line. They do anything to get your vote, attention or both. They dance shaku shaku, display their devices, watch new movies, anything. They are here for the mindshare and political opportunities
Readers: For a very long time, many digital migrants simply do this. They hardly tweet. They may retweet or like tweets but are just here to read and be entertained. If these folks ever become trolls, you are in for it because they've been reading patiently
Researchers: They are just exploring their world and getting materials for things ranging from academic research to answering their life's (self-imposed) tough questions. Unlike readers who soak in everything, researchers only follow you if you're relevant to their subject matter
Sufis: These ones are dangerous. They assume no one has a life beyond twitter because that's their reality, and their claim to fame is an influencer's retweet or some other form of social media validation. Engage them at your own peril because they think you're one of them
Tailors: Everything is a thread. Short thread. Long thread. To-be-continued thread. For the really good ones who either share valuable information (like cheap tourism or history lessons) or make us laugh (with gifs to boot), we are grateful. Others, er, it's okay to tweet and go!
Thermostats: There is no queen of the coast. Or Santa. Or tooth fairy. I digress. These folks set the tone. They determine what others argue about all day long as they sit back and smile the analytics. The cheeky ones among them introduce multiple topics. Pick your choose
Trolls: They usually have less followers than their age or number of tweets and are out to accomplish a mission. These ones will dig old tweets (from as far back as 2009), coin annoying terms with your company's name and take you out of context to score a point. Troll, take: 😝
So, did any of these jump at you? In the name of avoiding trolls and antagonists, please don't miss true engagement or learning opportunities because even though at the end of the day, there is life beyond these 280 characters, there are great people right here! Connect! Learn!

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