Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Talking To Myself

When Twitter first came onto my radar, I politely dismissed it. Did I really need to know when people were eating their lunch? Walking the dog? Feeling happy, sad, mad? (And, yes, for the record, I have discussed all these topics in 140 characters or less on Twitter in the last year).

However, when I finally took a look at it, I realized it was a lot more than that. It is an excellent way to get book recommendations. It also offers a way to connect with other writers while you're at home, working on your WIP and feeling isolated and alone. Wondering if anyone is really out there. They are. They're on Twitter, and they're posting hilarious Youtube video links.

Anyhow, recently I started getting a bit paranoid about this Twitter thing. Why are some folks not following me? Why are some folks following me and then unfollowing me? Does this dress go with these boots? (I'm channelling my inner 12 year old, since that's what Twitter sometimes feels like.)

Twitter often feels like a one-sided conversation. Because, in essence, that's what it really is if you are following someone, and that individual is not following you. It's freakin' weird. She/He is talking and you are listening. And she/he hears nothing of what you say. Very strange.

The ultimate in dastardly twitter etiquette is engaging someone in a conversation, sometimes on numerous occasions, and then realizing at some point (often when you go to send a direct message) that this particular person is not following you. Makes you feel like you're 12 years old at Friendly's, chatting with a group of girls, and then suddenly one of them whips her entire Fribble all over you. You thought you were buds, but no.....not really.

Here are my critieria for following folks on Twitter....

1.) Common interests (weenie dogs, beards, plants, etc).
2.) Colleagues (book bloggers, writers).
3.) Famous people who don't irritate the sh*t out of me (Spongebob, etc).

Here are my criteria for not following folks on Twitter....

1.) Spammers obsessed with chandeliers.
2.) Call girls named Candi.
3.) Folks who post links w/ pics of naked guys. (Kids in my house, and I share an office with them).
4.) People who use Twitter only for promotional purposes. This includes authors who only post announcements about their books and never engage others in conversation.

When I thought about it, I realized that I actually have no problem with folks unfollowing me. I curse a lot. I am opinionated. I am obsessed with beards, weenie dogs and botany, topics that may potentially be off-putting to certain individuals. So, now when I realize I am following someone who is not following me (who is not a famous cartoon character), I unfollow that person. Having a one-sided conversation is pretty stupid.

I do it everyday with my own kids, and that's enough for me.

Signing out,