Today I like: Target
Not so much: Belk
This time last year I was singing the praises of Twitter on a daily basis. I checked in regularly to chat it up with my Tweeps…and by regularly I mean several times a day. Hilarity ensued as I commiserated over the writing life with a bunch of fabulous people from all over the world.
I remember a Tweet that resonated with my 2011 view on Twitter: “Twitter makes me like people I’ve never met, and Facebook makes me dislike people I actually know.”
So what happened in the past year? Why has my love affair with Twitter gone south? I have two theories.
Problem One: Too many Tweeps. Ever since I hit about 1000 followers, and maybe 600 or so follow-ees, it’s become a free-for-all. Gone is my tight knit circle of like-minded, genuinely interesting and interested Tweeps. They’re still there, of course, but now they’re buried in a stream of self-promoting, spammy Tweeters who don’t make any attempt to engage on a personal level. I’m sure the good stuff is still there, but it’s too time-consuming to sift through it.
I’ve been hovering at around 1300 followers, and while I know I should be pushing for more, the whole Twitter reciprocity thing makes me hesitant. There is at least a marginal expectation that one will contemplate returning the follow…until one reaches Stephen Colbert status. He has 3,700,000 followers (me included) and he follows…no one. His Twitter feed is pleasantly uncomplicated. Unfortunately for the rest of us, it doesn’t exactly work that way.
Unfollow, unfollow, unfollow. Sorry, people, if you tweet about nothing but your book and you do so twenty times a day, I’m out.
Make lists. The time has come to sit down and REALLY organize my Tweeps into those I “know” and those I “don’t.”
Problem Two: About six months ago I started hooking up with my favorite Tweeps on Facebook. (The fabulous Hallie Sawyer was my first Twitter-turned-Facebook-friend!) Suddenly I got more than just 140 words snippets. My Twitter friends became real people, with houses and cute dogs and cuter kids and opinions on stuff other than writing and books. Being writers, they are all still insanely witty and clever with their status updates…I got the total package. Like, if a Twitter friendship is Happy Hour appetizers, a Facebook friendship is Sunday dinner at Grandma’s.
I found it that much more fun to connect with everyone on Facebook. We all send links to our blogs and books and thought-provoking and funny articles about the writing game…but since I’ve already invested in these literary compatriots, I KNOW I’ll be interested in what they have to say. They’re all there, with no spammy annoying-ness to muddle it all up. Easier by far…and so my Tweeting trickled off, from a steady stream to a slow drip.
Reignite the Twitter flame by Tweeting all things writing. Focus my Tweets on bookish stuff, beneficial to both me and my Twitter friends…and have real life fun with these great people on FB.
Search out new quality Tweeps. Once my lists are organized, it’s time to dive back into the literary community via hashtag… #AmWriting, #AmEditing, #FridayReads #AmReading… all those old favorites. With the literary community expanding every day, it will just take a bit of effort to find like-minded Tweeters.
So, the lessons I’ve learned in the past year can be summed up as such:
Social media is all well and good, but it’s really the personal interaction that makes it fun and beneficial. The Twitter friends I’ve made “real” connections with are much more likely to support my work, and vice versa, than the random writers who spam, spam, spam. When it comes to the personal, I believe Facebook has an advantage over Twitter.
Second, beware social media fatigue. With the massive expectation on writers to utilize every network out there, it’s easy to stick with the one that feels easiest and most enjoyable. Twitter, Facebook, Google +, Goodreads, LinkedIn, personal blogs, group blogs…whoa. I’m going to utilize a couple and make the most of the personal relationships I can craft…rather than spreading myself too thin. Quality over quantity.
So, while Twitter has lost a bit of its luster, I’m not giving up on it yet. My new mantra will be: “Facebook is where I like people I met on Twitter, and Twitter is where I go to meet people I will someday like even more on Facebook.”
Do you find your dedication to certain social networks wanes after a while? Do you prefer the clippy Twitter friendship or the more involved Facebook one?