Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Tweeting and other anti-social media

I have concluded that social media, especially Twitter and Facebook are colossal wastes of time. I know that is heresy among writers struggling to find readers, but has anybody actually bought a book because they read a tweet? Has anybody's tweet sold a book? Tweeting is like walking through a madhouse where everybody is saying something but nobody is conversing.

Right now I'm following 70 people but I have no idea where they're going. About the same number are following me. To where? For what?

Here are some sample Tweets from the last hour (Tweeter's name not included.):

  • "However the Muse May Strike--OR Beware the Headwriting Author." I don't know what that means. Do you?
  • "My Giant-Size Man-Thing, a birthday gift from (email address redacted)" I too have a monster in my pants, but tweeting about it is creepy.
  • "Robot prostitutes. No, not the Page 3 celebs at Bombay Times parties." (Followed by a link to the Huffington Post.) Is this about journalism or marital aids?
  • "I haven't teased you with any spidey stuff yet. So here you go." I don't want to know what this means. Arachnophobes stay away.
  • "Game of Thrones. Instagrammed." Does anybody speak English?
  • "Rangers win all games in a series in Boston for first time since 1997. Winning streak at 6. Rangers 6, Boston 3." Finally, something I can understand. But is it worth scrolling through the other stuff to get to? It's nothing but an ESPN crawl, which I seldom read anyway.
  • "The smaller the squirrel, the bigger the nut." I can't wait to drop this gem into my next department meeting.

Here are some things that are more productive than tweeting.
1. Playing Computer Solitaire. Recent research finds that a game of solitaire can reduce stress.
2. Watching a game between the Twins and the Yankees. The Twins might be the worst team in baseball and the Yankees are ready for medicare. Plus, they are in the American League where pitchers don't bat. But it's baseball.
3. Spraying for bagworms on my evergreens. It's gotta be done.
4. Ukulele lessons. Nothing like plunking an uke to put a smile on your face.
5. Learning how to mix an Amaretto sour. Need I say more?
6. Rereading a classic novel such as one of John LeCarre's
7. Discussing said novel with your wife or close friend who lived through the cold war.
8. Finishing your own cold war novel. How satisfying is that?
9. Revising that short story you've been trying to sell.
10. Walk outside and get to know your neighborhood.

I could be all wrong about social networking. If I am. let me know. I'd really like to know how many tweets you read, on average, to find one book worth buying and, on the other side, how many tweets you write to sell one book.

Mark Troy


Christine Duncan said...

Mark, I just wrote just about the same thing on my other blog. Why do we all seem to need to feel connected? We just don't have that much to say.

Steven J. Wangsness said...

Hah, I ALSO just wrote on my blog why I hate Facebook! ( Maybe this is some kind of bodacious rebellion in the works!

Harvee said...

Mark: Have you tried facebook? You get to say more than a few words.

Marilyn Meredith a.k.a. F. M. Meredith said...

I love Facebook, but not so much for the promoting, though I do that, but for all the friends I've made and I am in touch with a lot of my huge family.

Morgan Mandel said...

Sounds like you may need to get a different bunch of people to follow on Twitter. There are some on there who can be very helpful, others not.

Morgan Mandel