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.