Monday, April 12, 2010

De-Twitting

I am officially getting old. Technology has finally come up with something that, like my grandparents and the VCR, I just don't get. Now, mind you, I am not as digitally attuned as I could be in the first place. I don't have a cell phone. I don't have an iPod or any other mp3 player. I don't have a flatscreen television. The only reason I have a DVR is because it came with my satellite dish. However, those are all things I would have if I had the wherewithal to purchase them. It's not lack of will, it's lack of funds.

Twitter, on the other hand...

Well, I tried. I really did. On the advice of someone I trust, I thought I'd give it a go. I confess as social marketing I wasn't on it long enough for it to go anywhere, but I was on it long enough to see that, while it had its uses for me, it was going to be frustrating and confusing. Those two characteristics are the death knell for any technology in my life.

In terms of use, it became a good way to keep track of my writing, in terms of what I was getting done each day. This, in turn, helped me stay on track and keep with my goals. It also made adding up my word count much easier. I suspect, eventually, it might have become a good way to make various announcements to my adoring public. (Hey, it could happen.) Then Twitter went and ate some of my posts. It didn't eat them completely, but they vanished off the page with just my updates on it.

Which became a problem when I started trying to follow other people. Because then on my home page, I had to scrawl and scrawl to find my own posts. So instead of helping me keep track of my word counts, it was eating my posts (or should that be twits?) and actually increasing the amount of work I had to do in the one area I thought I had found a use for it.

My only solution to this would seem to be not to follow anyone. Which there were two problems with. One, there are some people I wouldn't mind genuinely following, and knowing what was going on. However, I discovered choosing wisely could be difficult. Get someone who updates only a little, and it doesn't clutter things up. Get someone who tweets everything... and suddenly your home page is drowning. Not to mention it starts to feel a little voyeuristic, and not in a good way. I really don't need to know everything some people seem to feel compelled to tweet about.

(One of these was one of my favorite authors, who, if you ask me, could spend less time writing twits and more time writing his next book. Which I'm still waiting for.)

The second problem with this became apparent once other people started following me. I was raised with a certain ethical/moral code that say, if they extend this courtesy to me, I ought to do it to them. Only, this got me back to the first problem. I don't really want to follow all these people, and besides, it started to feel more like a numbers game than anything else. I abhor popularity contests of any kind, always have. (Yes, yes, childhood issues.)

So when those two things combined with the sudden decline in usefulness that occurred when my posts disappeared... I decided I'd had enough. Maybe, given enough time, I could manage it better and learn how to do so. For right now, I'll stick with the resources I have. I can keep track of my word counts the old fashioned way, and anything I really have to say will go here.

Besides, I tend to get wordy, and 140 characters isn't a lot.

2 comments:

KLM said...

Congratulations on freeing yourself from Twitter. About every other day I decide to quit but then I don't. I'm still in that "giving it a chance" stage myself.

I have a theory that you can only do 2 social media thingamajigs -- unless you're wholly superficial. In which case you're on everything. All the time.

slcboston said...

I can't even really manage two. My FB account is woefully neglected, despite my best intentions.