1. Obsessively check the Twitter feed of someone you absolutely loathe and detest. Enjoy the burning sensation of fury they inspire in you and the extra, delicious layer of self-hatred for voluntarily looking at something you KNOW is going to make you crazy.

2. Obsessively check the Twitter feed of your ex, causing yourself confusing feelings of distress, pain, and puzzlement at your continued attachment to someone who mainly tweets about server problems and sports. Ideally, stop following them on principle, because it is Bad For You, but then look them up approximately fifty times a day just to keep that wound nice and fresh and remind you how stupid you are.

3. Follow lots of prolific writers. Each time they tweet their daily word count will be another 2000! 3000! 4000! Tiny knives in your heart. This also applies to anyone successful in a field that causes you envy, particularly if they are likely to talk about their professional triumphs.

4.Become inordinately hung up on Twitter etiquette and find it personally offensive when people ceaselessly rewet compliments about themselves ("RT @sycophant: @massiveego is the most beautiful, intelligent person I have ever met and although I have never met her, she completes me") until you are purple and apoplectic like a retired Colonel on the letters page of the Telegraph. You must also constantly exhortpeople to read your latest blogpost: eg "for those of you who missed my latest post, here it is again". On no account should you simply save yourself the trouble and email it direct to your 81 followers.

5. Follow people whose tweets are so deliberately obscure and gnomic that you go half-mad trying to work out what they mean. ("@flaky I am singing that song tonight. The one from the night when everything changed", for instance. Or "@flaky That phone call was the hardest I will ever make"). This also applies to those in the habit of tweeting non-sequiteurs.

Ah, here's a bonus rule for the really dedicated misanthropist: If you get an email from someone you have chosen to unfollow, asking you why you've unfollowed them, you should always grasp the nettle and leave them with no lack of certainty about the reason why.

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