So Rafa has made good on his promise during Wimbledon to join the awesome heaven and hell that is THE TWITTERVERSE. Good news? Bad news? I genuinely don't know. Twitter has been a boon for fans, players, and organizations who choose to use it as a medium to show off their personalities. In some cases, if they have awesome personalities, it's the best thing in the world. In other cases, if they have crap personalities (or no personality) it's complete boresville. And in other cases (HOW MANY CASES ARE ON THIS DOCKET???) it's a complete waste because the Twitter accounts are completely corporate and agent run. Oh, you just posted 15 new pictures on your Facebook page, JJ? Thanks for the breaking news.
So basically I'm a little scared for Rafa. This is a 90% you lose, 10% you win situation. He's such a huge public figure with an established persona. His Twitter account already has a lot to live up to, whereas most of the players who have greatly benefitted from Twitter (Petko for example) were virtual unknowns when they started. They had the freedom to brand themselves as they saw fit. Not everyone can pull off a Novak Djokovic.
And so, as a public service to one Mr. Rafael Nadal, here is a list of tweeters to emulate, and a list of tweeters to...not.
- Dinara Safina (@Dinarik27) - With a few tweets, Dinara was able to shuck her unearned reputation of being a morose, unfun, stereotypical Russian (DO YOU KNOW HOW TO SMILE????), to show the world the "real Dinara". The one who live-tweets her baking adventures, regularly has dinner with her family, and knows how to operate her phone's camera with, as Serena would say, aplomb. TWITPICS ARE YOUR FRIEND, RAFA. That said, whatever you do, DO NOT JOIN FOURSQUARE. Bad idea pantalones.
- Juan Monaco (@picomonaco) - Why should you emulate Pico? Because his tweets are just pure joy. He happily gets into Twitter convos with other players, he celebrates his favorite sports teams, and he just seems like a happy guy. I don't want to tune in and hear how emo you are all the time (*cough*Feli*cough). It bums me out. Twitter is happy times. Let's all be happy like Pico!
- Novak Djokovic (@djokernole) - We can't all be Nole. Hell...right now I'm sure you kinda wish you could be like Nole, Rafa. Not only is his game off the chain right now, he's also got personality in spades, which clearly spills over into his tweeting. His tweets are irreverent, funny, and self-aware. Let's face it, given his stature, he's the best tennis tweeter in the game. It ain't easy to be entertaining when you're a top player. It would be so much easier to play it safe and keep it corporate. But Novak's the king. Much like his tennis game, don't let his Twitter game get into your head, Rafa.
- Laura Robson (@laurarobson5) - Taking advice from a 17 year-old? A dicey proposition, I'm sure. But you could learn a lot from Robbo, Rafa. This is a kid who doesn't tweet a whole lot, but when she does they are well-crafted tweets, infused with personality and self-deprecating humor. You can do it, Rafa! I know you can!
- Andy Roddick (@andyroddick) - Funny, snarky, and informative, A-Rod has no problem letting his opinions fly. Those opinions and the way he presents (usually in a funny way) give us insight into his personality. That's all we want, Rafa. Some insight into your personality. I'll show you mine if you show me yours.
- Rebecca Marino (@rebecca_marino) - I don't know why exactly, but I kind of love Rebecca Marino's twitter. It's just so...normal. Like, oh yeah, you're a totally normal person who happens to travel the world playing tennis. It's refreshing in that way.
Twitter Jersey Shore:
- Gael Monfils - Hey, Rafa? Please don't use your Twitter to tell the world you're going to sleep EVERY NIGHT. I love you but even I don't care about that information.
- Jelena Jankovic - Here's a woman who CLEARLY has personality and completely locks it up on Twitter. SNOOOOOOOZER. Please don't let Benito run your account. Thanks.
- Ivo Karlovic - Apparently some people like Ivo's Twitter. Judy Murray thinks he's HILARIOUS. I do not. His tweets are sexist, raunchy but not funny, and he pops off about topics he has no business popping off about. He basically comes off as an undersexed, ignorant, misoginist. No bueno.
- Fernando Verdasco (deleted) - Twitter is not your own personal livejournal, Rafa. It is not a place to go to vent about shit thinking that no one will read it. It's public, it's out there, and if you act a fool and then delete your account, we're going to laugh at you. Just like we laughed at Sam Querrey.
- John Isner - Lord help me if you start incessantly tweeting about WWE RAW, Rafa....
- Caroline Wozniacki - Humblebragging. Look it up up. And then don't do it, Rafa. If I see a "Oh noes! I'm getting horribly sunburned on my stomach. I guess that's what happens when you sunbathe naked on a private beach in Mallorca with Beyonce, Jose Mourinho, and Ryan Gosling! #fml" tweet I will punch you in the knee.
So here's the basic upshot: Let your twitter show off *your* personality, Rafa. Don't *try* to be anything. Just be Rafa. If you're not funny, that's ok! You know what you are? YOU ARE ADORABLE AND NICE. So be adorable and nice. My guess is that your Twitter will be a cross between Sunshine Sabine's always happy and informative tweets (that include a lot of pics), and Andy Murray's semi-boring-but-they're-not-really boring-if-you-love-him tweets about sports. Or maybe you can shoot for a Mardy Fish-style (I know, it's weird for me to say that). But his Twitter has been great. Informative, classy, and occasionally funny.
But, like, no planking, dude. Also, don't "vamos" in every tweet. That would be the Caro equivalent of winking.
All I'm saying is vamos responsibly. Our eyes are on you.
(Pic: Rafa's Twitter)