In which I wonder if I’m over twitter now

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I posted a couple of months back about how I don’t really have a strategy for social media and how, apparently I’m very much supposed to have one. Well since then, nothing has really changed apart from that I’m starting to think that I really really don’t want to be a person who knows How To Do Social Media, because, I suspect that people who know How To Do Social Media are might be killing* twitter.

I love twitter. I wasn’t a desperately early convert, but I joined just before the numbers of people, and particularly writers, on there went stratospheric, and back then, back in the good old days, twitter was a completely different place. At least my twitter feed was. It was smaller for one thing, so it flew past at a much more manageable rate. And it was mainly people chatting. Sometimes people who already knew each other. Sometimes random strangers who happened to be watching the same thing on TV or be struggling to put together the same piece of flatpack furniture. During that period I *met* lots of people on twitter who I would now consider friends, most obviously Lisa Hill who responded to a tweet about Croome Park being on TV, which started a conversation which somehow ended up with us agreeing to meet up at Croome and have a scone, which we did, and it was lovely because scones are lovely and Lisa, despite being a random person met on the interweb, is not a serial killer.

I can’t imagine that happening now simply because the percentage of people on twitter who routinely ‘chat’ rather than simply share and RT links and motivational sayings seems to be in terminal decline. I sort of know the four or five people who are likely to reply if I post something that’s just a comment or thought rather than a link to a post. For most people, I suspect, their twitter feed is now such a fast-moving stream of links that the odd chatty post gets lost in the haze.

So what to do? On the one hand writers are under great pressure – from agents, publishers, other writers, the tiny voice of self-doubt inside their head – to be on twitter and to be actively using it to sell books. On the other, if everyone’s doing that, the net benefit for each author must be reduced. One person standing on a table in the middle of a restaurant and shouting over the diners quietly chatting is notable – if what they shout is dull or offensive then that’s rude; if what they shout is funny or clever then they’re a visionary. If everyone’s shouting, nobody notices whether they’re rude or incredible, AND nobody gets to have a conversation.

None of which answers the question of what to do. I want my twitter feed to be a place where interesting people say funny and insightful things, and where there is an appropriate amount of discussion about Celebrity Masterchef, and the links that are posted are only to unusual and interesting things, but maybe the glory days are gone, and I just need to learn to move on. And now I’m going to go and tweet a link to this blog because if you can be part of the solution, you might as well be part of the problem.** Or something like that.

 

Yeah. I’m over-dramatizing. I’m a writer. What did you expect?

**That’s not right is it? It doesn’t sound right…

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8 thoughts on “In which I wonder if I’m over twitter now

    Ruth Livingstone said:
    June 30, 2015 at 8:03 am

    I had the same feeling about my timeline containing too much uninteresting stuff and flying past too quickly. But now I realise it’s my own fault! The trick is to cull the people I follow (someone suggested 300 was the optimum number) and only keep(a) real people who (b) have something interesting to say and (c) interact with me. But, I can’t quite bring myself to do this, yet.

    Liked by 1 person

      Alison May responded:
      June 30, 2015 at 10:25 am

      I agree. I need to spend some time with those mute/unfollow buttons don’t I?

      Like

    tigerbaps thinks she's it. said:
    June 30, 2015 at 9:48 am

    Completely agree. I was an early adopter in the halcyon days. Made some great friends. It’s all different now. I’m hardly on it.

    Liked by 1 person

    ailsaabrahamwp said:
    June 30, 2015 at 10:14 am

    I agree. In the “old days” I made good friends who I still see IRL but now I seem to be wading through some publisher’s slush pile of failed fantasy series.

    Liked by 1 person

    Sally Jenkins said:
    June 30, 2015 at 1:05 pm

    I joined Twitter a few months ago because I thought I ought to. I hate it and rarely go on there. It feels like everyone is shouting for attention. I prefer FaceBook – it seems much gentler.

    Like

    Rosamond Maynard said:
    June 30, 2015 at 3:18 pm

    Slightly worried that you have a friend of whom the best thing you can say is that she isn’t a serial killer!

    Like

    angelabritnell said:
    June 30, 2015 at 6:09 pm

    Interesting thoughts Alison. It’s difficult to know what we’re ‘supposed’ to do and if any of it works anyway. I find chatty things get lost as well.

    Like

    Wendy Clarke said:
    July 3, 2015 at 9:27 pm

    I don’t know what I’m doing on Twitter most of the time – which makes it quite fun (and I do believe it’s where I first ‘met’ you too).

    Like

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