Locked Out: a Twitter story


photoshop by Tyler Macenko

Being locked out of your Twitter can be a traumatic event.

Social media is a huge part of today’s digital environment.  Almost everyone in the world, no matter their age, are on some sort of social media app or website.  People use it to connect with one another, get updates on events, or even as a source of information.

For me, social media has played a huge part in my life.  It has helped me share my own life experiences with my friends and family, while also staying up to speed on my interests.  More importantly, it has been a huge help with my recruiting since almost all college coaches use Twitter as the main source of contact with recruits.

This is the story of how I had a young mid-life crisis for 72 hours.

It all started when I created my Twitter account when I was 12 years and 10 months old.  To use Twitter you have to be 13 years old, so as any other young kid would do, instead of saying I was born in 2000, I just simply put that I was born in the year 1999, so I could gain access to to the app.

For five years now, I haven’t had a problem with Twitter.  It is probably my favorite app and the one I use the most.  My life was great, I was on top of the world when all of sudden, it came crashing down (for 72 hours).

It happened when I realized that my birthday said, “July 26, 1999”, instead of “July 26, 2000”.  I knew why it was incorrect but I thought since I’m 18 now, it doesn’t matter when I was born because either way I’m now old enough to use Twitter.

Oh, was I wrong. Big time.

As soon as I changed my birth date to the correct year, I was locked out of my Twitter.  Couldn’t get any access to my account or even see anything on Twitter.  All I could see was this message:

This was the only thing I could see when I got on Twitter


My life was put into a chaos mode.  I was scrambling and didn’t know what to do since my life and my recruitment was all in the hands of Twitter.  I did some research and filled out a form for an appeal process to see if I could get my account back.  The appeal form made my mom answer a bunch of questions and had her send a picture of her ID to confirm she was my legal guardian.  Are you kidding me, Twitter?

Even after all of that, Twitter Support (which is just a robot that can’t have a conversation with you and says the same thing to every question) said they would look over our appeal and get back to us with their answer within 1-7 weeks.

If I would have had to wait seven weeks I probably would’ve jumped off the face of the earth because the last thing I wanted to do was create a new account.

All of this came at such a poor time because I was just about to announce my commitment to the University of Tennessee to play football, so that was on my mind.  Along with that, I wasn’t in the loop with what was going on in the Twittersphere.

Talking to Gunnar Wall about the time I was locked out he said, “I didn’t think you could get more annoying, but you did.  Sadly.”

It’s true, I would come to class freaking out.  Gunnar would put it to me bluntly.

“Bitt no one gives a [insert bad word].”

Those three days were the longest of my life.  I was just hoping and praying that I could get my account back.  Finally, after the third day, I walk out of practice and open Twitter to see if anything has changed, and behold, my account was back up.

But there was a problem.  My followers…were gone.  I was heated and nervous because over those five years of having an account, I had built up over 2,000 followers which were my friends, family, strangers, and even college coaches.

I scrambled to figure out what I could do to get my followers back.  I told people to follow me again, sounding like a mad man who cared way too much about Twitter.

Thankfully, my mother came in clutch again.  She emailed Twitter Support and asked if there was a way to get them back because of all the college recruiting that goes on for me through Twitter.  After about 15 minutes, they were back and my young mid-life crisis was over.

Later that day, I committed to Tennessee via Twitter to my 2,000+ followers after Mike Dyer leaked my commitment (see Gunnar Wall’s article for more details).

“Bitt no one gives a [insert bad word]”

— Gunnar Wall

Yes, all of this was over one stupid social media account, but it goes to show how relevant and important it is to everyone, especially to our generation.

I talked to a fellow student here at Elder about the time he was locked out of Twitter, but he wanted to stay anonymous.  He told me he was locked out of his account because he was reported for inappropriate content.  He told me, “At first I was pissed and waited a few days, but I never got it back.”

He went on to say he was upset he had to make a new account, but it didn’t take long for him to get over it.

All in all, the crisis is over.  It is an experience I never want to happen again, and hopefully it won’t.  If this has taught me anything it is don’t be dumb and lie about your age on a social media app because nothing good can come from it.  It has also taught me that Twitter Support is a bunch of no good robots trying to ruin our lives, but that’s a story for another time.

If you guys have twitter and don’t follow me yet, go hit me up and check me out @MichaelBittner7.  I keep things fresh and up to date.