To Tweet, or Not To Tweet

That is the question.

I’m watching this whole Anthony Weiner thing unfold and trying to figure out what exactly to think about it.  Meanwhile, I’m mostly mulling over the idea of social media and all the junk that’s started to creep out and about because of it.

Here I am.  I have this here blog.  So you could say I’m out here in the social media universe.  I started my blog about a year ago because I wanted to connect with other writerly types.  I wanted a place to write about all the books I read (or try to read).  This writing business can be such a solo slog, and it helps to vent and chat with my like-minded, opinionated peers.  It’s also turned out to be (unexpectedly) a great way to clear my head, a kind of sweeping out the cobwebs so I can refocus and get my writing mind back to work.

But Twitter and Facebook — they scare the livin’ lights out of me.

I do not have a Twitter account.  Dear god, no, I do not tweet.  As I write this I hope I never do (I know, I know, we’ll see how that goes).  But in all seriousness, I just don’t get it.  I don’t.  Everybody says we writers need to be out there tweeting.  That we need to become “part of the conversation.”  There’s one writer who’s Twitter feed I check now and then, thinking she might have something interesting to say.  She never does.  She argues with people.  She makes grandiose and often ridiculous comments.  She whines.  She often sounds downright mean.  Following her “tweets” has made me like her less, respect her less.  And I’m pretty sure that’s not the goal.

I have a Facebook page, though I don’t post much of anything.  I occasionally comment or press the “like” button; I might send someone a message because I know they no longer read regular e-mail.  That’s pretty much it.  The boring and threadbare minimum.  I’m more a Facebook voyeur, using my page to keep up with family photos, to see what my brothers are up to, to live vicariously through friends who live overseas.  Every now and again I’ll post some photos — maybe from a great vacation we’ve returned from — only to take them down within days.  It just starts to feel weird having them out there in vaporland.

So back to this Weiner thing.  He now claims he has never seen any of these women in person.  That they chatted online after he met them on Facebook and/or Twitter.

I would suggest that if you’ve met someone using 140 characters or less, you’ve not actually met.  Nor can you think you are “friends” because someone friended you on Facebook.  You can’t trust a Facebook photo; I often use my dog Lucy as my profile picture.  It’s not me.  Really, it’s not.  You heard it here first.


30 thoughts on “To Tweet, or Not To Tweet

  1. Jess

    I like the tweet. Mostly because the people I follow have such different lives from mine – agents, editors, etc – and it allows me to dip into that weird world from time to time without leaving mine. I don’t tweet that much, and when I do, it’s often a mirror of what I announce on Facebook. BUT, I do announce new posts for my blog on both, and it makes a HUGE difference in my views. And as my agent cares about that sort of thing, I care about that sort of thing.

    Come on…it’s fun…try it, just once…you’ll like it. First time is free….

    1. Teri Post author

      I’ve missed you Jess, here and elsewhere. I’m guessing you’ve been swamped with the end of school and keeping those damned killers away from your chickens.

  2. Jess

    I’ve been reading! I have! I’m busy with annoying end of school, sick niece, planting season (I live on a small farm), setting my good friend up with my dream agent and being a grownup about it, and attempting to figure out what the hell to send to my new agent so she does not change her mind…but I am here. Always here, and at Betsy’s, and at Averil’s, and…and…well, just here.

    I gave up on the weasels. No chickens for a while, buying eggs from my neighbors.

    1. Teri Post author

      These are certainly good problems to have, but how you’re keeping it all cranking with teaching, publishing, farm-family-Lily, I don’t know. I’m toasting you with my glass of wine tonight. Literally. Out loud.

  3. erikamarks

    Oh, Teri, dear. Lisa and I had big plans to bring you and Downith over the dark (Twitter) side. Drat.

    I hear you. I was one of the I-will-never-tweets and now I tweet. I can’t be on it too often–and I can’t leave it on if I’m not (to look up and 254 new tweets have arrived in one hour makes me break out in hives!)–but I have found a very lovely group of other writers and readers through it that I would never have connected with otherwise, I suspect, so that has been great.

    1. Teri Post author

      Jesus to Betsy, Erika, if I looked up and saw 254 tweets I would pass out. I’m overwhelmed by my mostly empty e-mail box. It taunts me.

  4. Les

    I’m with you. They can call it “the conversation,” but I call it the noise, and I’d really rather not be a part of it. I use Facebook pretty much like you do. Frankly, I’d rather spend the time writing and shopping my book.

  5. amyg

    i started a tweet account but used it to explain how to pronounce my last name and then stopped. the weight of using it is too much for some reason. although, i do have a new idea for a twitter account that i’ve been mulling over. we’ll see.

    and anthony. dear, sweet, funny morning joe favorite anthony. of course he was behind it all as soon as he gave that weird interview where he got all weird when trying to avoid whether those were actually pictures of him or not.

    i don’t know why i’m so surprised. this is what politicians do, right?

  6. Oma

    It is 3am Tuesday morning, and Weiner has said “I lied.” he did send the tweets, pictures emails whatever. And it started 3 years ago. 3 YEARS ago. But he loves his wife very much and she loves him and he has no plans to step down. What a great guy. Nancy Pelosi is calling for a full investigation. Wow. This just keeps getting better and better. I do not do the Facebook, or the Tweet. I’ll leave that to the youngters and professionals.

      1. Teri Post author

        Me too, Downith! That’s our get out of jail free card. ;). Plus, I’m either really chatty or really not, so I’m pretty sure a sentence here or here would never work for me. I’d either have to shut it off all together, or send 47 tweets at the same time. This in no way sounds efficient.

  7. Teri Post author

    Is it just me, or is anyone else entertained by the language we have to use in this latest scandal: Weiner, his weiner, twit-twitter-tweet. What kind of adult society has to use these kinds of words? I’m pretty sure civilization is coming to an end.

    1. Lyra

      Uses these words without irony…

      It may make you feel better to know that there is no way, no freakin’ way, that Weiner’s wife is going to stick around. She is a smart career woman. She didn’t stand next to him when he offered his apologies (hear that? me applauding), but being involved in politics herself she will wait for the dust to settle before petitioning for the divorce.

      You want hope? Always look to the women…
      Civilization won’t end. This is just Darwinism in action.

    1. Averil Dean

      Good lord, I’m OFF the Twitter bandwagon, and way way way out of Facebook. Honestly, with Twitter I can find nothing to say! I’m the world’s most boring individual.

      And Facebook (love how Betsy calls it Assbook) is too many smiley faces, too many oh how cutes. Too many pictures of other people’s children, not enough of anything else. There’s no there there.

  8. lizisilver

    I LOVE what Les said about all the noise. It’s too much. I joined twitter briefly (2 weeks) and hated it. It felt like al leech sucking time and mental energy out of me that I just don’t have to give. Yes, it did increase my page views, but it’s not worth the price. If I ever get published, I’ll be one of those crabby authors who never leaves her house and only owns a rotary phone.

    1. Teri Post author

      I miss rotary phones.

      I miss driving and worrying only about what music will be in the tape deck instead of who’s trying to text or call me.

      I miss knowing that, if I am waiting for an important phone call, I actually have to stay at home and wait for it.

      1. Lyra

        And if you didn’t have money for the tape you’d sit by the radio with your tape recorder, the rectangular one with the big buttons, hoping the song would come on. If you could hit plays before the lyrics began, it was a complete score. And if not, you’d listen to it anyway.

  9. lisahgolden

    That’s right! Erika and I were scheming. Dang. Well, i have a twitter account and use it primarily for my occasional political snark (not my best side, but possibly my funniest) and it tweets automatically when I post on That’s Why. Lately though I don’t tweet much at all. I don’t even open it very much because it’s very fast moving and distracting. So I’m a selfish user yes.

    And I know which author you speak of and I agree. I often read her tweets and think she sounds like a privileged goon.

    1. Teri Post author

      Lisa, I always love your blog posts, and for Weiner’s weiner’s reasons, I particularly enjoyed today and the previous one with the MEAT photo. You are brilliant damned hilarious.

      1. Deb

        I think I know which author you mean too. Not because I’m on twitter, but because I’ve seen people write about her not so niceness. Funny, because I was thinking the same thing you were. I still have no idea what twitter is for. Talk about behind the times.

  10. Laura

    I caved to the Twitter pressure and started an account, but I like I’ve sold out. I can see how Twitter might be very useful to some people, and it could help keep up with certain publishing news, but honestly it overwhelms me and it’s not really my thing. Every now and then, though, I’ll read through tweets and respond or post my own and sometimes it’s fun. Most of the time, though, my account just lies there doing nothing.

    The Weiner thing is mostly shocking to me because I can’t believe he would be so stupid about sending those photos. Surely there is a more secure way that is at least slightly less traceable (and I mean other than Twitter private messaging, which he was trying to do, not his moronic mistake of posting it directly to his page). I wouldn’t want to vote for him just for his stupidity, arrogance, and bad judgment. I couldn’t care less about the photos themselves.

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