Keeping up with the Twitter-Joneses

‘Oh bugger. I haven’t said anything on Facebook or Twitter for a few days. I will say something today, something funny and interesting and…’

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?

7 thoughts on “Keeping up with the Twitter-Joneses

  1. I can relate to this (even though I’ve been told it looks like I’m online all day long!) and sometimes just want to unplug for a day or two. Last time I did, 2 days turned into 5 and it was heavenly; the best self-care ever!

    But as you so rightly acknowledged, there’s that issue of presence. Or maybe it’s presents and we can both relax 😉

    • Hey lovely

      You are so one of the wonderful people I’m talking about – and I wouldn’t want to miss out on these connections and opportunities to learn.

      Maybe we can have a smaller presence but still do our thang. (And we should get presents every time we tweet!)


  2. I understand where you’re coming from with this but I think some of it depends on what you’re aiming for with your blog. If you want to get lots and lots of readers and become a ‘professional’ blogger (whatever that is!) then social media can help but it’s certainly not compulsory.

    I think you have to find what works for you. So for example, I hate Facebook and so use only Twitter in relation to my blog. Other people don’t use any form of social networking and still build a readership.

    It might be that for some a social networking presence is there to simply promote blog posts and that’s it. Everyone’s different and what works for one person and their blog won’t work for another.

    I guess my point is to just tweet or update Facebook if you want to and if you don’t/can’t then don’t. Also, like I said to you earlier in the week, there’s no point tweeting just for the sake of it. It’s also about trying not to compare yourself to others or to emulate other people but to be content to be you and do things your way. If people want to read your blog and get to know you they will whether or not you do these things :).

    • Hello Miss Moomin

      Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts.

      Yes, I’m sure you’re right, as with most things (maybe everything!) we have to do it our own way. But I think it’s good to learn from people who do things well (like the lovely Lisa Lynch).

      I may, or may not, see you on Twitter later!


      • Oh yes, I agree it’s good to learn from other people (absolutely) but I suppose what I meant was that I don’t tend to worry if I’m not doing things in exactly the same way. Hope you have a good week :).x

  3. I think as more people use twitter just to broadcast rather than interacting it may die.

    Facebook I mostly use for personal – though I do have a page for my blog.

    • Hi Evan

      Yes, I’ve heard other people say that about Twitter. I suppose it’s like all forms of networking, you have to have relationships with people – you can’t just shove your product down people’s throats!

      Hope all is cool with you…x

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