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The best way to use Twitter is to text "off" to 40404, the service's SMS shortcut number. But failing that, as more and more of us seem to do, here's a list of 10 things Twitter users should not do, inspired by a set of tips at Mostly, since annoying Twitter users are easy to ignore, these rules are for your own safety and sanity. Ignore them at your peril.

  • Don't say anything that might just as well be said in an email, i.e. "I'm sorry Steve, it's going to have to be $37."
  • Don't forget how many people are listening. For example, do not say: "Oops, hope nobody notices the smell."
  • Don't follow people you've never met. Exception: Diablo Cody.
  • Don't follow Jason Calacanis.
  • Don't add too many followers too fast. Like any dangerous recreational narcotic, one has to build one's tolerance before ignoring the Surgeon General's warnings.
  • Don't expect timely and informative responses to your Twittered queries. Or for anyone to read them. Twitter is a heat sink for the unexpressed ego.
  • Don't Twitter things that would be better said in person. Example: "@George, No, I won't marry you. It's the halitosis."
  • Don't try to share your political, religious or business views in 140 characters. It takes more words to obfuscate how simple and derivative they are.
  • Don't follow Robert Scoble.
  • Don't follow bloggers who write about Twitter just to have an excuse to include a link to their Twitter account. They will bombard you with links to their blog posts, because they are paid by pageviews.