To Tweet or Not to Tweet?


It’s not that I’m anti-technology.  I’m not even super technology impaired, although mildly.  I’m just slow to join the rest of the crowd.  I drag my feet, because I like to watch other people, and see what they’re doing, and how it’s going for them.  We were the last house on the block to get a Nintendo when it came out.  I swore I’d never like DVDs more than VHS. I don’t have a Twitter account.  Yet.

And here’s why:  I’m lazy!  No, that isn’t it, not really.  But I am strapped for time.  I’m struggling with managing the time that I have, and I’m easily distracted.  I used to read blog comments where people said, “And of course I’m reading blogs instead of writing!”  I thought, how bizarre!  Why read when you could write?  Why procrastinate??

And now here I am!  I’m trying to do House Things (feed the kids, flag down the school bus, wash marker off of the walls) and Friends/Family Things (phone calls, thank you cards, letters, attending important events) and Writing Things (actual writing times, editing, submitting, querying, keeping track) and, oh yeah, watching Vampire Hunter D here and there.  But noooooo, I’m on cakewrecks!  Noooooo, I’m reading Pictures For Sad Children and checking my email and Private Messages all of the time!  I’ve lost my ability to concentrate.  I have the attention span of a gnat.

And now there’s Twitter!  I’m torn!  One one hand, it’s one more thing to keep up on.  On the other, I love writing stories for the Twitterzines, and it would only be fair to, you know, have a Twitter account.  And it would be awesome to see what other people are doing…if it doesn’t get annoying.  So I guess here are my questions: Twitter? Yay?  Nay?  For those of you who have it, do you enjoy it?  Is it a stress?  Is it a marketing tool?  Is it another fun thing to do?  Do you want to kill people who tweet a bazillion times a day?  (I’m going to discretely remove some Facebook friends because of that.  Do I care about your personal hygiene?  I mean, really??  Update your status once or twice, but MAN, go for a walk, or something!) 

Give me info.  Give me answers.  (Doing my best Cate Blanchett in Indiana Jones and The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull)  “I want to knoooooooow!”

In other news, I was up at 4:30 this morning.  (Thanks, kids!  Expect retribution.)  So I queried on three pieces that have been out forever, and did a little more Duotrope Stalking.  Two more magazines had folded, so I’m counting them as rejections.  I also submitted a poem called “Resting in your Throated Hollows”, so my submission count is now 31.  I’d like to get it up to 40 again, so I’ll give it a good faith effort.  Meanwhile, I just got off the phone about doing a presentation at a local library, and tonight I have the city Writer’s Group meeting.  I’m excited for that, and especially for the Coke that I intend on consuming.  Mmm mmm mmm!

7 Comments on “To Tweet or Not to Tweet?”

  1. I’m the same way—easily distracted. There’s just too much going on out there on the Inturdnet. But nearly all of it is totally unimportant. So what I began doing a few years ago is just deleting accounts and bookmarks altogether. I would literally spend hours just jumping from one site to another; all sites I had a sort of vested interest in. And when I’d get to the last one, two hours later, sure as shit there would be new updates/posts on half the ones I previously checked. So I’d start over from the beginning…

    …and then it’s 4am, and I haven’t done ANYTHING all day. Oh, I “schooled” a 14-year-old moron on the subject of Def Leppard’s total awesomeness; I confirmed that drinking loads of grape soda will turn your poop bright green (I actually researched that because it happened to me and some friends); I was Rick Roll’d. But did any of it matter? Not at all.

    So I began to shed some e-layers and toss them to the wind. Now I have about five forums I visit regularly—one for music, one for fishing, a boxing/fighting forum, and a couple writing forums. Other than that, I have CNN, Blabbermouth (music news), and a few other sites that don’t require my participation or daily presence. Now I only waste time online at work, and if it’s slow enough there, I write instead (but usually it’s not slow enough to write).

    I do MySpace and Facebook and Twitter, though the latter is new and weird to me. I only do this because of Shock Totem and my writing. If that’s where people go, I will follow—if it benefits my future as a writer. Twitter is overwhelming because it’s like a text version of schizophrenia. There’s so many conversations going on that you can hardly think straight. So download something like TweetDeck which allows you to sort of streamline what you see and follow. On the regular site, if someone replies to you, and you don’t visit for a day, you’ll have to scroll back through a thousand “tweets” just to find it. TweetDeck has a column for replies, which makes it much easier to follow. In fact, the program makes the site more sensible.

    The problem, though, is that it can potentially be a time-suck. If you can keep yourself from joining in the constant chatter—you know, Twittering about being at the grocery store, or in traffic, or telling everyone that it’s raining—then you should be fine. Twitter about important things that will help progress your—or even another person’s—future as a writer. Make every “tweet” count, so to speak. Otherwise it really is just a waste of time.

    Am I blabbing? I should stop.

  2. If you’re gonna tweet or blog or message board dumpster dive…manage it the way you would writing. Only in reverse. An hour a day. Max. Less if you can. Whatever you don’t get to will wait. And then maybe those things that can wait can be axed all together.

  3. Yeah, I tweet. I’ve actually found it a quick way to get the word out about my stories and such, and it’s less of a time suck than Facebook because I’m not tempted to play JUST ONE game of whatever stupid thing I’m playing. I cannot take quizzes about silly 80s movies either.

    So yeah, me likey twitter.

  4. Not succumbing to twitter because I can’t keep up as it is… You can’t do everything! Err… I mean I can’t do everything. You, my dear, probably could.

  5. I voted yes, you should join twitter… Of course, I am very, very wrong. I’m one of those annoying people who when she starts (usually over a 2 or 3 hour period), I can’t stop. I tweet about fifteen-twenty times a day. I agree with Ken’s schizophrenia comment. All of a sudden there are a whole heap of voices buzzing around your head.

    On the other hand, it is a wonderful marketing tool if you can manage it correctly.

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