Anyone else feel like this week was actually two weeks worth of suck crammed into the giant-sized Monday of a mega-sucky week? My car got stuck in my yard because of snow, which is annoying. Some very Howard Dean screaming later and I managed to get snacks. Unfortunately, I had no idea that the Sprecher Hard Root Beer tastes a whole lot like Robitussin. That isn’t what I was hoping for when I made such a purchase.
Welcome to the first Free-For-All Friday, which would have been called Cluster-**** Friday but I want to pretend I have some capacity for classiness. And I have relatives who read my blog occasionally and I’d rather let them live with the understanding I would never use such language ever. Even if I’m fairly certain I’ve dropped my fair share of f-bombs on here in the past.
Today is also another Follow Friday on Twitter. I have more fun with that than I should. Embarrassingly enough, this is probably indicative that I spend too much time social media. Or not enough? Probably not enough, in reality.
Let me just say this much: I may be addicted to Twitter. Please note that I don’t mean to make light of actual, serious addictions, as I have seen their effects firsthand. It’s hyperbole. That said, I consider this to not be such a bad thing. Before I can really go into why it’s good, at least for me, I should probably provide a brief history of my weird approach and eventual sort-of-but-not understanding of Twitter.
Back in 2009, Onezumi Hartstein said I should join this web site called Twitter. In reality, it was more like she demanded I make a Twitter account. Facebook was the only real social media site I bothered with at that point (What’s MySpace again? Har har har. Am I relevant and funny yet?), so I figured “Why the Hell not?” and went for it. I actually have no idea what my original Twitter user name was, and that’s probably for the best. However, I also realized quite fast that I suck at condensing my thoughts to 140 characters or less.
The problem for me was that Twitter quickly turned into a game of getting more followers. I would tweet things, regardless of how interested I was in them and with hashtags that reflected that (Hint: the word “marketing” popped up quite a bit and I am both terrible and not interested in marketing, made more unfortunate by me needing to be able to publicize my book). I would watch the numbers rise, experiencing joy. When people unfollowed me, I got ridiculously frustrated. What had I said wrong? What could I have done to be better at this means of communication? Was it something I said or some personal attack? Not only is that a very Pavlovian response, but it’s also a nice glimpse into some of the magical neuroses that are constantly ticking away in the recesses of my brain (most of which are better in-check nowadays, or so I like to think). I was essentially being a phony (damn you, Catcher in the Rye).
Eventually, I sort of took a break from Twitter. I would screw around on there intermittently, but not nearly as much as I had when I started. Something, at some point, made me think going back to Twitter was a good idea. Maybe I started live-tweeting something. Maybe it was just to promote my writing and talk about video games. I don’t know. What I do know, and why I consider Twitter such a useful and enjoyable web site, is that when I started tweeting about things I’m passionate about is about the point that more people followed me to stick around and have conversations as opposed to increase their follower count while also helping increase my follower count. Less salivating at the ringing of a bell and more fun, micro-sized conversations.
I’ve met some truly spectacular people through Twitter, and I think I’ll continue to do so. I’ve had conversations with writers I idolize, celebrities on shows I love, and I even (a bit of humblebragging, I fear) managed to get one of Parenthood‘s writers, Jesse Zwick, to tweet to my sister (who absolutely loves Parenthood). When people aren’t shouting hate and vitriol at one another, Twitter is like a big, awesome virtual city where people just happen to value brevity in their conversations.
It’s also one of the sites that automatically get my blog posts shared to it, so there’s also that. Also, for those of you who follow me on here who happen to have Twitter accounts: follow me being delightfully absurd in 140 characters or less at SnarkAndBourbon.
Essentially, I’ve gotten to a point where Twitter is a valuable means of promotion, but it’s also a fun way to connect with people who also love writing, or happen to also play World of Warcraft, or are even live-tweeting the same shows I am. A shout-out to all of the wonderful people who also live-tweet Face Off and Elementary.
Naturally, Twitter is also a very good distraction at times, if nothing else. I’m looking at a 12:19a.m. timestamp and giving zero shits right now.
Ninety-four days remaining.