Monday, August 15, 2011

'Faced & Twitterpated

It's official--I've given up social networking for the sake of "promotion."

To be honest, I've given up Facebook entirely on a surface level. One look at my Facebook page makes people think I'm still there in full force, with the occasional post about writing or baseball, but closer looks reveal the truth--I'm posting "via" a remote site on everything from GoodReads to the Rumpus to Blogger to

I wish I could say that I miss Facebook--involvement with such a site means that I'm normal and can play well with others, right? But I just can't bring myself to go there anymore. I like myself and my writing so much better without it. It's like walking away from the funhouse mirrors to outside and catching myself reflected in a garden pond. The introspective view is better, less self-focused strangely enough, and allows me to be more creative and speak with my own voice. (Emerson would roll his eyes at me, but let him--he didn't have this crowd to work with.)

As to Twitter--I used to have two outlets for Twitter: my laptop and a BlackBerry application called OpenBeak. OpenBeak wouldn't let me post pictures on Twitter, but it did this other lovely enabling action where it started the tweet stream right where I left off last time I logged in, and allowed me to scroll up to catch up. I call this an enabling action because it forced me to clear the que every two hours or I'd have all kinds of crap to scroll through (after waiting forever for it to load), so I could easily read EVERYTHING. That's part of what fed my frustration with social networking--having to be on top of every news item for writing, publishing, baseball, etc, when there is no way in hell you can do that unless it's a full time job that you're paid for. I wasn't getting paid. So I switched to Twitter for BlackBerry, which lets me post pictures, doesn't make me read EVERYTHING to catch up, and, if someone wants to get my attention, an @mention finally works to alert me on my phone desktop. (With OpenBeak, I had to go in and check for them.)

I'm trying to get away from @mentions to others myself--they don't get responses and that seems to feed back to the "no one's listening" aspect of my social networking frustration. A little over a week ago a friend of mine suggested that I was writing for all of the wrong reasons, and suggested that I might want to re-evaluate why I write. (This was after revealing to her that I wouldn't be blogging as much.) I didn't agree--I've loved writing for all of time, and didn't necessarily strive to publish it until friends in Missouri accused me of hiding my light under a bushel by not publishing it. Publishing my work on-line was like a bad boyfriend--maybe if I do this, this, and this over here I will get vindication for publishing--so I was networking and publishing for the wrong reasons, and therefore re-evaluated why I publish and social network. And it all comes back to what my mother used to tell me about the phone: "Sadie, the phone is there for your convenience, not theirs." I see Twitter and Facebook the same way, and use them accordingly.

Sadly enough for the friend who recommended that I re-evaluate my reason for writing, she's on Facebook. Well, when I'm ready to see who's won what Mafia war or whose kids have made honor roll, I'll tune back my convenience. Meantime, I have tales to get down on paper.

Write on.

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