I had thought – naively perhaps – that the point to Twitter was conversation. That in the back of my mind, I noticed recently a writer tweet about working on updating her WORDPRESS site as she also moaned no one visits it. After visiting it, I followed it (you know, I clicked the “Follow” button WordPress provides), and then went back and followed her on Twitter.
Next I @-ed her politely. I wrote one tweet. In it I said I had a WordPress site too and that I thought – based on seven years of experience – that adding a blog would get her more site visitors through WordPress because it would be updated more often, and that blog would also attract more “googling” readers.
(She has only a static site with her books and some information that clearly was not updated often. It is best described as similar to my novel pages in the sidebar; there was no “living” regularly updated blog. Although I did not get a chance to say it, I thought much of what she is tweeting about could have been part of blog posts – which would then have attracted potential readers to where her books are actually found, which presumably is the point to her authoring tweeting.)
Her reply to my tweet? Silence. And she was not exactly swamped with other tweeted replies – there were some half a dozen to that tweet, and most of them were tweets of nothingness really. I don’t think she even acknowledged any of those.
Still, I waited a couple of days. I noticed in her timeline in subsequent tweets she replied to and discussed vital writing matters such as what sort of fish she likes to eat. It was obvious my reply did not rate even a “like,” so I gave up. Having been ignored, I unfollowed her WordPress site (and it is, honestly, uninspired at best, so I can understand why no one visits it), unfollowed her on Twitter, and even deleted my @-ed tweet response.
That little “unsocial” episode is a perfect example of why I have found starting that Twitter account back in 2019 to have been largely a waste of my time. It is just the latest one, and I have decided it is the last straw. Fed up. Done. Gone.
I will be keeping the account (I do get blogging material from it, particularly from its so-called #writingcommunity), but I won’t be tweeting any longer. I would rather devote all of my social time to you here – the center of my authoring universe – and to Instagram. (Instagram has proven to be the most valuable non-blog social media to me.) In fact, thinking about this now, I have had more engagement on Facebook and even Tumblr (which are both basically just this blog, linked to those platforms, for users of those) than I ever did on Twitter.
I have also come to the conclusion that you are much more likely to get into deep trouble with a poorly worded tweet, attract an “irate Twitter mob,” and possibly damage your career/brand, than you are to get anything truly useful out of tweeting. A Stephen King or a J.K. Rowling can “afford” to alienate some readers with their non-literary tweeted opinions, but doing so is decidedly problematic for an author who does not (yet?) have a large readership. In short, I feel the downside – even danger – in using Twitter for a “not (yet?) mega-star” author is not really worth the little return value that is provided by the site.
Above all, tweeting means less time actually writing my books. That is tops for me. Using Twitter demands a time commitment that cannot be justified in my mind when those tweets more than likely lead nowhere productive anyway.
Chances are you don’t care about that given you are reading this here and nothing here is changing. Yet without feeling a need to devote time to tweeting any longer, I admit I feel “freer.” So see you from now on as usual here… and over at Instagram.
Have a good day – says this now newly “non-tweeting” author. 🙂
Reblogged this on Love and Love Alone.
Welcome to the dark side, my friend! 😂 I too felt freer when I ditched Twitter. Two comments because as you know, I’m never short of words. Thanks for the Harlequin mention. My beloved grandmother, who I don’t believe was educated past the eighth grade read Harlequin romances voraciously, so thank you for that happy memory. Your Twitter “friend” reminds me of a writer—well many, but one I know personally—whose workshop I actually attended and whom I hired to do a bit of follow-up work. She has published a couple of well-received books but has a completely dismal social media following. I was puzzled by this until, similar to your experience, I followed her, responded, and liked to no avail. Nothing from her end but crickets. Sadly, I think her social media following will remain dismal. I continue to be amazed by how many people still don’t quite get how this confounded social media thing works.😁 Hope you are enjoying your Sunday!
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I have been going off Twitter since that “pile on” over the “F” word I witnessed early in 2020. The abuse that woman author took over a silly tweet that she didn’t like the word was entirely out of proportion. The self-appointed genius writers joining in attacking her sickened me. I also grew increasingly weary of opening my followed people to find Twitter shoving others at me due to the algorithm (that author was one of them); but it wasn’t only that about the platform. It was also the constant boring stream of tweets I saw from those I did follow. “Oh, the agent turned me down, please send cat memes and hugs,” or “I like toast for breakfast. What do you like?” or “I want to buy some indie books, could you tweet some suggestions?” Endless vacuousness that I felt was distracting me too much and was, frankly, a WASTE OF TIME. I don’t see nearly as much of that on Instagram or feel like it is wasting time… but I also don’t follow as many writers on Instagram, which may account for some of the difference. Frankly, I don’t even think I will be missed on Twitter by those who follow me… as most of them seem so preoccupied with pushing themselves and amassing empty follower numbers that I was probably muted by most of them anyway. LOL!
I have had a reasonably good weekend, and hope you are having one too. 🙂
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Oh, and about the Harlequin stuff, I don’t think there is anything wrong with it if that is what readers want to read. I believe we all have a right of course to read or write what we want. My gripe is with the companies trying to assert the books are what they are not. 🙂
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