I broke up with Facebook. We’ve agreed to take things slowly, see other networking sites, and I can happily say that Facebook and I have remained good friends. We can look back on the good times—wedding announcements, birth’s of babies, and reconnecting with people long since forgotten—but it’s those bad times (the 36 hour Farmtown marathon and constant pokes) that helped me to realize the relationship was no longer working.
Where Facebook was the aloof “boyfriend” of social networking, not quite giving back, Twitter has become the needy obsessive “boyfriend”, always giving, always wanting to know what I’m doing, what I’m up to, telling me it’s only 140 characters, so why haven’t I tweeted something, anything, yet?
And once I do tweet, trying to be a good partner in this relationship, Twitter wraps its arm around my waist and pulls me tight, not wanting to let me go. “Follow this link, baby.” Or “FF that person”. And before I know it, I’ve just had a two hour make-out session with Twitter I hadn’t intended upon.
I like Twitter, don’t get me wrong. I like it a lot. Twitter has connections, knows important people, and has the ability to take me places I’ve never been before. And Twitter sure has a super sense of humor too—so funny. In only a few short months since being introduced to Twitter, I’ve met over a thousand people, writers who aspire for publication, just like me.
Facebook couldn’t do that.
All Facebook introduced me to was The Mafia.
So I don’t want to break up with Twitter. It makes me so happy. It really does.
But I’m a writer who is easily distracted. It doesn’t take much to waste away valuable hours that should otherwise be spent writing. Twitter and I need to find balance in our relationship—an equal give and take. I’m slowly working on it, but Twitter doesn’t seem to understand my reluctance to make-out all the time (Twitter thinks it’s quite the catch—handsome and irresistible). I assure Twitter “it’s not you, it’s me” and we’re moving forward with a greater understanding of one another. Hopefully things will turn out well.
So is Twitter good for writers? Depends on who you ask.
Judd Apatow, writer and director of comedies like The 40 Year Old Virgin and Funny People, explained his active Twitter habit by saying, “I’m looking for any distraction not to write.”
Isn’t that what we’re all pretty much doing?
He went on to say (about the Internet as a whole), “I'm supposed to be writing a new screenplay. You know, it's hard to write, because the computer now isn't like a typewriter; [the computer] has everything fun on the world on it. So everything is a distraction from writing. I'm not looking at a screen; I'm looking at every episode of "South Park," every video ever made, every porno ever made. Every time I sit down to write I could just type in "kid vomits in dad's mouth" and not write for two hours.”
Isn’t that the truth. So yes, Twitter can negatively affect a writer’s ability to write. (Today I have written nothing except this blog about how Twitter affects a writer’s ability to write. Do you see a problem here?)
BUT, Twitter has an awesome side too:
-Networking with like-minded people who would otherwise be out of reach.
-Inspiration and encouragement from fellow writer. I can’t tell you how many times someone’s 140 characters has lifted my spirits—saying exactly what I needed to hear.
-All the up-to-date information in our writers market, the trends and advice every writer needs to be aware of right at our fingertips. Ask a question and a slew of answers will follow. Quick and fast. People are quick to help.
-Exposure and promotion. I know this is very big for a lot of writers who have something to promote. I’m still in the writing stages, so I don’t have anything to sell but my sparkling personality *flashes a grin and a wink*
I’m happy I met Twitter, but just like every new relationship, it needs to be taken slowly. A couple is only as good as each individual in the relationship. If I lose myself, allowing Twitter to take control, the relationship will quickly fail. I don’t want that.
I want this particular relationship to succeed.
So what do you think of Twitter? Love it? Hate it? Somewhere in between? What other benefits have you found by using Twitter?