All the advice on blogging is you must have a social media presence; for ‘presence’ read regular, interesting, witty and inspiring. No pressure then. And the people I know with successful blogs do just this. Not in a pushing-their-blog-down-your-throat kinda way, but in a humourous-or-inspiring-or-intriguing-networking kinda way.
And – irrespective of the blogging dimension – I like Facebook and Twitter (although I prefer Twitter): I have met some wonderful people; it entertains me (for those who work at home social media is after all our office gossip); it makes the world unbelievably teeny and accessible (I can connect with the Lissa Rankin’s of this world); and it has led to many writing opportunities. But…
But, sometimes I feel under pressure to say something; it’s another thing on the to do list. And actually not just something, something interesting and witty and… Part of my challenge is I haven’t mastered the art of living AND tweeting; I’m either living OR tweeting. I am sure sometimes my updates and tweets make it look like I don’t have a life, because when the sparkly parts of my life are happening I’m off out enjoying them and not giving any thought to my ‘social media presence’.
Lucy Mangan describes finding time to post on Facebook in this week’s Stylist as ‘… feeling like I was in the constant grip of a minor essay crisis. It also made me look like I had an exceedingly empty and boring existence.’
There are some people who are far more dedicated to the cause than I am. Take my blogging guru @LisaLynch (I love you Lisa!) whose writing I drool over, and makes mine look like I am still in junior school (when I grow up Miss, I want to write like Lisa); she would get a gold star for her social media prowess. Lisa was recently at The Brits and sent about 40 tweets throughout the event. When I saw them the next morning I was in awe of her level of commitment, not to mention her ability to pop out 40 (I keep saying 40, but I’m just guessing, I mean I didn’t actually count them) funny one-liners in such quick succession. If I had been there I would have been so engrossed in people watching and critiquing outfit choices (ooh yes, like. Really?) I would have forgotten to tweet.
I tend to use Twitter and Facebook in the week, when I’m home alone and should be writing. ‘Hello, from the lounge – again’. At weekends when I’m hanging out with Husband, or I’m off out seeing friends, I’m too busy enjoying myself to bother.
And when we go away on our trips, again I get sidetracked and don’t really use Facebook or Twitter (or maybe just the odd update here or there). The travel writers I follow tweet through their trips and I think oh I should be doing that – but not enough to actually do it.
Of course, there is also the quality to get right – being interesting and funny (in less than 140 characters if you’re on Twitter) can be intimidating. Although I do like the challenge of playing with words to achieve this (or trying to achieve this); it’s become another layer of my love affair with writing. As another blogging friend @Billygean (who also combines living AND tweeting effortlessly) says ‘social media is like micro blogging’.
But sometimes I’m simply not in the mood, or my funny isn’t working, or I’m busy, or…
Maybe I am not alone, Mangan also comments that ‘Facebook Fatigue’ is setting in: last year, the site lost six million users in the US and 100,000 here; with people also reportedly spending less time on the site. Twitter is only an adolescence compared to Facebook (Facebook has about a billion users worldwide, Twitter just 24 million) and still growing; maybe Twitter Fatigue will follow.
And anyway, who actually notices if I go quiet for a week (or cares…) I think it’s probably time for me to stop trying to keep up with the Twitter-Joneses.
But don’t you stop! When I’m home alone and I dip into Twitter to be entertained and distracted for ten minutes, I am grateful for those dedicated enough to tweet through their lives and multitask with such ease. They are there when I need them. So a big thank you Mr and Mrs Twitter-Jones!
Are you experiencing Social Networking Fatigue?