Wednesday, August 12, 2009


OK, I know the whole social networking discussion (Good or Bad? Effective Marketing Tool or a Great Time-Suck?) has been done to death, but I'm going to drag it out one more time, because I haven't seen this issue addressed: What happens when someone cyber-exhausts you?

This may seem a bit disingenuous coming from someone who's written four blog posts in less than a week, and is active on both Twitter and Facebook, but I'm going to do it anyway...

There is this author I follow on Twitter. Let's call her Miss X. When I first joined Twitter, I saw Miss X on a friend's follower list. Cool, I thought. I loved reading her books, so I knew the girl could really put a sentence together. I was curious to see what she could do with 140 characters.

The first time I logged in after following Miss X I thought my Twitter was stuck on repeat or something. Her face lined the left side of my screen. Post after post after post. Some mildly interesting, some not, some strange, some inside jokes, some randomness, some bordering on insanity.

New to Twitter, I read every post. It felt kind of rude not to. After a while it felt like a chore. After more of a while I found myself skimming, then avoiding, then sighing while clicking rapidly through whatever she felt needed sharing at just that minute. I know what you're thinking, why didn't you just stop following her? Well, I couldn't. It felt rude. Or, I thought, she would know I made the conscious decision to ban her thoughts from my day. Bad karma, see.

But it's painful. And, disappointing, like meeting your favorite actor and realizing he's shorter than you (Not referring to the Depp-ster, here!). Will I buy her next book? Probably. But then, after the trip to Borders, I'll de-follow her. I figure the karma will even itself out.


  1. Oh how I feel your pain. There should be a book written on twitter etiquette. I don't do it much for precisely this reason. There are two or three writers who may be stuck to either their phones or computer screen. Every thought seems to come through, interesting or not. And it drowns out everyone else. Yikes! I Like your idea of buying the book and calling it even. Brilliant!

  2. Ha! And here I've just started tweeting again. Probably boring the living crap out of everyone following me. Oh well. Procrastination makes you do crazy things.

  3. This is why I can't bring myself to start in with the Twitter madness.

  4. Oy--really? This is why I'm not on Twitter either. Total distraction. Like reading blogs...every day...hmmm...
    Although I've heard from multiple sources that I am actually ON twitter, but referred to as @Joannawhodoesnottwitter. Someone out there is very creative...
    Now I can NEVER start to tweet because I can't live up to @Joannawhodoesnottwitter's rep!

  5. I KNOW. But there are varying levels of procrastination, right? Like I said, I should talk, but I'm looking at a colossal amount of tweets. Like, over a thousand. She buried me.

    I haven't decided yet about Twitter's actual worth. It's kind of like thinking out loud. I guess it is good for building relationships, but, at this point, I'm kind of an observer. A friend of mine is a total marketing guru, and she seems to think Twitter could sell a lot of whatever it is you're trying to sell (hmmm...books?). It can't hurt, I guess, as long as you don't turn people off!

    And now...I HAVE to go check out @joannawhodoesnottwitter!