The Trouble with Twitter, and ROW80

I read an interesting post yesterday by Kristen Lamb about Twitter, and how auto-scheduled tweets bit Kim Kardashian in the tush on Monday afternoon. My blog automatically tweets when a new post goes up, and this just revealed another landmine in social media.

TwitterAnd the more I thought about it, the more I realized I really, really, don’t like Twitter.

For those not in the know (yes, I have some blog readers who might have heard of Twitter, but don’t know much about it), Twitter is a way to say something online in 140-character-or less bits to whoever’s chosen to follow you, or has a search on a word in your tweet. It’s supposed to be a great way to meet people online, but the fact is, it just hasn’t worked that way for me. I mean, anyone who’s read my books – or even this blog – knows that brevity is not my strong point.

When I do get on Twitter, I tend to hang out with people I already know from other places, just like I do in real life. That is, if anyone’s online by the time I get there. Twitter seems to be a busier place earlier in the day, while I’m at work. While I can access Twitter to some extent at the office, I’m supposed to be, you know, doing work.

And the other thing is Twitter is sort of like a cocktail party – not one of my favorite activities, either. You just jump in and talk to someone – something I am also really not good at.

That’s what’s funny about social media. Facebook, Twitter, et al are supposed to be a big boon for introverted people in that we don’t have to be face-to-face in a big, energy-draining sea of people. And some introverts really shine on social media. But I’ve found that I’m the same person online as I am in real life, and I tend to stay on the sidelines. I prefer to listen (or lurk) rather than talk.

Because of this, I do schedule tweets – or I used to. I write most of my blog posts when I have time, usually the night before they post, but sometimes a few days before. My blog is set up to automatically tweet when I have a new post up. This might have been OK when I was trying to use Twitter more and chat with people, but I just haven’t been doing that lately. So now that there’s one more reason not to be on it at all, it’s too tempting to just ditch it altogether. I probably won’t, but I’m really not sure how much use Twitter is to me in any case.

ROW80Logo175ROW80 is going better, fortunately. I’ve gone back and forth on whether I need to hem the prom dress first, or make the petticoat first. My daughter decided for me: hem first. That is DONE, and it was no small task, as big around as that skirt is–and it’s in two layers! All that remains is the petticoat. And yes, there will be pictures. 😀  I also wrote 700 words on my short story – not much out of 2500, but I tend to do the bulk of my writing in the later half of the week. Got one workout in too.

What about you – do you feel you’re the same online as in real life? If you use Twitter, are you having second thoughts about it? Do you ever schedule tweets, and now feel kind of iffy about it? Have trouble finding something worth saying that will fit into 140 characters? Please tell me I’m not alone – or tell me why I’m wrong (respectfully, please!) and how to get over my growing aversion to Twitter! And if you’re doing ROW80 (or even if you’re not), how are you doing with your goals so far this week? I’d love to hear from you!

Jennette Marie Powell writes stories about ordinary people in ordinary places, who do extraordinary things and learn that those ordinary places are anything but. In her Saturn Society novels, unwilling time travelers do what they must to make things right... and change more than they expect. You can find her books at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, Kobo, iTunes, and more.

21 Responses to \

  1. In a ways I’m the same on-line as I am in person. Hard to come out and voice my opinion. I usually let it simmer inside me (the thread of embarrassement will usually keep my mouth shut). At least in person, if I made a blunder, it usually ends there. On line…it can stay FOREVER. Makes me even more cautious, I suppose.

    But with writing, I can take my time! I cannot think fast on my feet and the perfect line will come minutes too late if in person. On line…it works perfectly. No one needs to know I spent 20 minutes writing my update or commenting on someone else’s update on Facebook. Well…I guess they know NOW! 🙂

  2. Im pretty much the same online as in person, except with my YouTube videos. I couldn’t do that stuff live or on a stage. Stagefright. I feel awkward on Twitter and forget to even go on it most of the time. I also had a lot to think about after reading Kristen’s post. I dont schedule automated tweets, but my posts automatically send a tweet when I publish them. And I’ll tweet other peoples posts after I read them, if I remember, and I am not on Twitter, so there could be breaking news of a disaster and if I’m not watching the news, people might think it’s rude to do that when I’m not live on Twitter, so that might seem rude to those who are on Twitter and send a tweet that I dont see and dont respond to, so it makes it hard, huh?n

    Am on my iPad and it’s doing its own thing here! Lol

  3. Stacy, I hear you – once online, it’s there forever! We can edit and delete to some extent if it’s our site/profile page, but otherwise…

    Lynn, your videos are hysterical! I can imagine they take a lot of work and planning. And yeah, you nailed it – why I’m even more hesitant to tweet.

  4. I’m the same online as in real life. But I’ve met several writers who have nom de plumes & essentially play a “character” on Twitter, pretending to have a more glamorous or interesting life than they do in the real world. That’s fine, I guess, but I noticed over time that those same people don’t seem to feel responsible for snarky or dominating/bullying comments they make online, because after all, it’s not really “them”—it’s their character! As you can imagine, after 6 months to a year I had to delete those people because I felt I was enabling a sham, even if I liked their books. I realize sometimes readers want a “fantasy” about their favorite authors, but believe me, there are many authors who take it too far on Twitter & Facebook. So now I proceed more carefully : )

  5. I love Twitter! I can’t say enough about the relationships I’ve made and advice I’ve received. I am the same person online as off, but am an extrovert for the most part. I don’t tend to schedule much, and believe that the bulk of those kinds of tweets are ignored anyway, unless you’re engaging with others. I don’t think it’s necessary to be on Twitter; everyone has their strengths. Go with yours: amazing artistry, detail, and hiding from the masses. Lol, j/k on that last part! 😉

  6. I’m a fan of Twitter, but Kristen’s post raised a concern for me about social media in general. I’m now worried that I might miss something important and make people angry very innocently. Beyond this, I think there’s only so much doom and gloom people can hear before they want to hear something good again. But everyone’s line of where that is is different. So how long after a tragedy do we wait before it’s appropriate to post normally again?

    I feel comfortable with my blog, but I find I’m a little edgier with other social media sites now. I really enjoy certain aspects of social media and I do see the benefit, but is the risk worth it?

  7. People who automate to the point they end up in trouble aren’t really using Twitter properly. I love popping in and chatting with the #MyWANA crowd. I use #pubtip and #amwriting to keep up with industry stuff. For me the fun stuff is following hash tags. I cannot watch My Strange Addiction without jumping on Twitter and talking to others who watch the show. We all collectively gasp at #mystrangeaddiction. I love chatting when it’s #sharkweek or talking to people about the craziness on #hoarders or #preppers. Twitter is valuable for getting us out of talking to only people who are writers. With social media we run a danger of all talking to each other.

    But, I have been against programmed automation from the start. A tweet automatically goes out when I post, but there is a difference. The ones that tick me off are the ones programmed to appear someone is really there and THAT is what bit Kardashians in the butt. Regular people who don’t “get” that some things can be automation, combined with a tweet crafted to APPEAR a real person is talking is a time bomb. Thanks for the mention!

  8. Diane, I don’t think I’d want to follow people who are pretending to be someone else! Keep it real, huh?

    Jessica, so cool that you’ve developed relationships on Twitter! I’ve found that much easier to do on blogs, email, and to a lesser extent, Facebook. And LOL – I do hide from the masses when I can!

    Marcy, you nailed exactly what I worry about – much more succinctly! I do like blogs, but this gives me even more pause with more immediate forms of communicating.

    Kristen, thanks for popping in! I probably should mention the only automating I’ve done in a long time is letting my blog tweet when a new post publishes. When I did use Twitter to chat, I tended to hang out in #MyWANA/#WANA1011 pretty much to the exclusion of anything else – which is all writers. I watch very little TV, and even then I don’t know what I’d add to the conversation.

  9. Oh, boy, Jennette, I could have written this post. I am the same introvert, socially awkward lurker in real life as I am on social media. Twitter is not my favorite either. I didn’t even know you could have your post make automatic tweets for you! LOL. In my full-time job I can’t be on social media much during the day and feel guilty even if I’m just checking my email. I have several tv shows I like to watch (when I can) but have not found twitter feeds where there are conversations between peeps. So all in all, Twitter has fallen off my ‘to-do’ list. Too many other things on that list.

  10. I have pretty much stopped using Twitter, after trying it out for a couple of months. I found it pretty annoying. I tended to lurk. I have never been the kind of person who likes chatting about insubstantial things with people I don’t know. I find that painful (cocktail parties are agony).

    The best part of Twitter was the links to interesting articles, but then I would spend so much time following those links,and reading web pages, that I never connected with anyone. Like Lynette, it eventually fell off my radar and I stopped logging in.

  11. I’m definitely the same person online as I am in person. I’m a very introverted person and can be excessively shy, I’m very warm and silly and passionate once people know me. For me, social media removes that awkward “getting to know you” phase for me.

    I hated Twitter at first. I signed up, tweeted something, and waited for something to happen. When nothing did, I shrugged and left it for a year. When I finally went back, I waded in a bit more, and I figured out how it worked, and then slowly I started to love it. I’ve met hundreds of people (I mean this literally) through Twitter who are fabulous. I’ve found writers I’d missed at conferences and got to know them later and share experiences.

    I’ve found CPs and betas and even my agent (yep). So I love Twitter. I’ve found it to be a fabulous tool and a tremendous support system populated by some really snazzy people. Just last week I told a story about how I impaled my leg on a Polish fence, and getting responses from people in real time to my storytelling was something I’d never really experienced before. It was exhilarating, and as I’m not usually surrounded by an entourage of rapt listeners who want to hear what I have to say, a truly singular feeling. I write novels — I don’t get to see people’s reactions as they have them.

    The only tweets I automate are my blog posts (a few times a week). Everything else is pure me. I did Triberr for a while, but I hated it. It ruined Twitter for me. I still don’t like seeing heaps of links everywhere.

    Anyway, I think Twitter (as with all things) shouldn’t be used if you hate it. There are plenty of successful people who don’t tweet. Do what feels right to you.

  12. Same person everywhere however due to dyspraxia am socially inept talking face to face, having time to order words and check they are saying what I am thinking takes a lot of stress from interaction for me. As I am up here in cyberspace for my writing I tend to stay away from contentious issues, avoid argument if i can and am horrified at the vitirol and venom displayed up here:(

    I like Twitter for the extra info I can glean- pathways to blogs of interest which I could never find otherwise – finding new interests and following ones that I already have.

    I never use auto retweets, I dont schedule blogs – blogs are linked to social media when I publish them but I have to hit that button. So I suppose I am using social media as everyday life, when I decide and of the moment. I do feel Twitter used with caustion is a great device and I have enjoyed it very much. But prob. one day I’ll get into trouble for saying something wrong – culturaly different/age different – so many minefields:)

  13. I didn’t read Kristen’s post, so now I have to go back and read it. I am not a super fan of socail media, and I think you just described why. I prefer to read funny posts by people I know in real life and to read the inspiring quotes of the workout pages I follow. But, it is weird to “talk” into the void. I keep trying, but it does take a lot of time and energy. And when Tweetdeck shuts down (which it often does on my phone) I have the perfect excuse not to tweet. But I do like reading people’s fun tweets. That is why I have told myself I’m going to take Marcy’s class and make it a goal to tweet more. I have FB figured out, even though I often get tired of it, too. But, then again, I don’t shop online either. I am an in real life kind of person all around. 🙂

  14. I do autopost on Twitter and have gotten some good feedback. But it did come back to bite me on Monday. I usually do a really weird post at 4:20 everyday (Think about the time and you’ll get the joke). Monday, I posted an old Rodney Dangerfield joke about calling Dial-A-Prayer only to get told “Go to Hell!”

    Wasn’t the best time to post that, but I scheduled it the night before.

    I’d live tweet, but job and school and just general real life prevents that.

  15. Heh, I’m something of an extrovert (odd as that is for a writer), and I *still* don’t much like Twitter. I’ve tried to figure out ways to like it, but I haven’t had much success. But I’ve been suffering from social media overload for a long time now. 🙂

    Looking forward to the prom dress pics!

  16. Lynette, I’m glad it’s not just me! I use(d) the WP to Twitter plugin to tweet my posts.

    Louise, good to see you! And +1 for online introverts. 🙂

    Ann, that is exactly how I’ve been with it!

    Emmie, what a fantastic success story! Glad to see Twitter works for you. I’ve avoided Triberr for the same reason. Oh, and we don’t worry about the occasional grammar oops here – or if we do, we blame them on smartphones. 🙂

    Alberta, sounds like Twitter has been great for you! Thanks for sharing.

    Emma, interesting you should compare Twitter and “real life.” Oddly enough, I loooooove to shop online, and I love blogs and email. Just not the real time, short stuff. Let us know how the class goes for you!

    Jim, exactly – the day job makes it tough to “be present” on social media. And ouch on the timing of your tweet – I hope people were nicer to you than they were to Kim Kardashian! Though I bet it will be appreciated on Saturday, especially if it’s a Cheech and Chong quote. 😀

    Ruth, I think most of us are on social media overload! And interesting to hear from a extrovert IRL that you don’t love it. Thanks for sharing!

  17. I’m an introvert, and I love Twitter…more than Facebook actually. I find it easier to jump in and join a conversation and then back out when I need to regroup and refresh. I also use Twitter as a place to find blog posts and other information that might be relevant to me. Hashtags are especially helpful in this regard. But to each his own.

    Good job on the workout and 700 words! Have a good rest of the week.

  18. I don’t spend much time on Twitter. I do have an account, but I don’t schedule posts. I personally find that people don’t really visit there the same as they do on Facebook (I’m on FB much more often). If you want to learn more about the upside of Twitter, I’d suggest connecting with Marcy Kennedy-Author. She’s a Twitter queen. 😀

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