Observations of a Part-Time Twit

17 04 2009

If you’re involved at all in social media (which, um, you are, if you’re reading this), then you’ve probably already read eleventy-jillion opinions on why you should or should not be involved in social media (which is kind of like a convention of Mary Kay consultants discussing the pros and cons of wearing make up), but I guess there are some pertinent questions being posed by media socialites to other media socialites, namely a) which social media best serves your networking needs/personal purposes/professional goals/stalking addiction, and b) once you decide to join one, how do you enter the conversation/recruit friends/win followers/look way more popular than you will ever be in real life, since you spend all your time in your pajamas, staring at a computer screen, trying to come up with pithy status updates containing 140 characters or less?

Introducing opinion number eleventy-jillion and one. Today’s topic? Twitter.

Yes, I do tweet. I’d call myself a casual twitterer (er, twit?). No Twizzles or Tweezers or other snazzy applications. I just log on a few times a day, scan my home page, respond to friends, follow the occasional link. I enjoy a lot about it, like Heather Wilson’s word-defining challenge (@definethis), access to publishing industry news, connection with other artists, and humorous banter with a variety of folks. However, Twitter can also be a bit bizarre–almost voyeuristic at times, mind-numbing at others. But don’t take my word for it. For a fascinating peek at the machinations of the Twitterverse, check out this video. (Yes, I meant now. I’ll wait.)

Funny? I think so. Far from reality? Sadly, no.

Given this state of affairs, I offer the Top Ten Twitter Rules by which I personally try to abide.

1.) Do not share what kind of cereal I ate for breakfast, how soggy it got, or whether or not the fiber content was sufficient to achieve the desired gastro-intestinal response. TMI, people. Seriously.
2.) Do share updates that are either beneficial, entertaining, informative, or part of a conversation.
3.) Do not brag about how many followers I have or try gimmicky ways to get new ones. Reason? When people I follow do that, I feel like I’m merely a statistic to them–a rung on a social-climbing ladder. Likewise, don’t follow people just to get a follow-back and trump up an inflated number on my profile.
4.) Do follow people who are: interesting, entertaining, have similar interests, are real-life friends, provide a service I can use, provide information I may need.
5.) Assuming those who “follow” me are actually interested in my life, do post upcoming events, like a book signing (Saturday, April 18, Barron’s Bookstore in Longview. 11:00 to 2:00 Please come!!!), radio interview, coronation as queen of a small country, etc., but . . .
6.) Do not re-tweet the same self-promotional update every fifteen minutes. Also, don’t post links to every positive book review I receive, or every Pulitzer Prize, or every marriage proposal from a head of state, and . . .
7.) Definitely don’t re-tweet nice things people say to or about me. (I mean, can you imagine being at a party, and someone complimenting your hair, and then going up to every other person at the party to repeat their compliment word-for-word? AWKWARD!) But DO re-tweet wonderful news or compliments about my friends.
8.) Do not whine about the weather or my ingrown toenail or the five million unanswered e-mails in my inbox (Hello! Why are you on twitter? Go answer your e-mails!)
9.) Along those same lines–and perhaps my favorite for its sheer irony–do not complain about how late I am. For the love, people. If you’re already late, and you’re making yourself later to pause and tell the world, just go ahead and type, “I’m addicted to social media and desperately need an intervention” and be done with it.
10.) And last, but not least, never ever write, “I have nothing interesting to say.” Hint: if you have nothing interesting to say, say nothing. People will assume you’re busy, or having fun, or–better still–you’re mysterious! You may know that you’re boring, but no one else has to.

Yeah, so, if you follow me on Twitter, and I don’t post anything for hours, it’s not because I’m mindlessly cross-linking to YouTube social-media videos (this one is hilarious, too), or watching Susan Boyle dream a dream for the fiftieth time (today), or reading celebrity-teen gossip on Yahoo’s OMG (Zach Efron has real talent–I don’t care what the haters say). And it’s definitely not because I’m boring. Oh, no! I’m mysterious. Hey, you don’t even know what I ate for breakfast.



8 responses

17 04 2009

I already know what cereal you ate for breakfast, it was Raisin Nut Bran. That’s too easy. The only reason you don’t Tweet that is because it is the same every day.


17 04 2009

I love it.

I love this Jeanne. Good (and funny) advice. I have been in the “un-follow” mode over the last few days because of some of what you’ve mentioned. Also…I’m feeling the need to clamp down on my own Twittering. 🙂 I think it’s mostly because I’m not working so I stay attached to my computer writing. The writing is the good thing. But with our wireless, this also means my laptop is always connected to the internet even when I go outside. And then in my ADD ways, I get distracted if a particular scene is giving me fits and I end up on Twitter. Or reading my favorite blogs, etc. I guess I should turn off that wireless connection during the day so I’m less connected? Good advice!

– Elaina

17 04 2009

NO FAIR! You used to live here. (Wow. You’ve been gone for, what, six years? Guess I need a Raisin Nut Bran intervention.)


Love you! Mz

17 04 2009

Re: I love it.

Aw, thanks, Elaina. I hoped it would come across as funny and not judgmental. I totally hear you on needing to clamp down. I spend way too much time online. Such an accessible distraction!

All the best in your efforts to semi-disconnect. 🙂

18 04 2009


So I shouldn’t have posted about the half squirrel BBQ today?

18 04 2009

Re: Oh.

Ha! Half-squirrel BBQ and soggy cereal don’t fall into the same category. Come to think of it, Michelle, your life rarely falls into mundane categories. In your case, I’d say tweet away with abandon. 😉

18 04 2009

Re: Oh.

Whew. I was worried there for a second that Elaina might unfollow me for making her nauseous. Which, of course, she still may. But she’ll miss me and come back.

18 04 2009

Re: Oh.

I’d never un-follow Michelle! Even if you made me want to puke today. Haha!!!

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