Writers Write

Alone in Twitterocity

In a local newscast last week, the anchor reported a car accident and a hail storm. The traffic mishap was in China. The hail storm was in North Carolina. The newscast originated in San Antonio, Texas.

I’m not sure whether the talking head ripped a page from a wire service or the conglomerate that owns the TV station delivered the same local stories nationwide. Surely, San Antonio hasn’t run out of drive-by shooters and child pornographers. Those stories are still out there. Why report the traffic in Shanghai?

I’ve been on Twitter lately. I went to a publishing seminar that emphasized networking. I’m finding it hard to put myself out there. I can join, but I can’t engage. So much of it seems like the cool kids table in the school cafeteria. People tweet who they know, and it makes sense. For a new kid in school, twitter is like reading the back of a cereal box. I read because it’s in front of me. It’s easy. Hit View conversation and the line of lols and @s expands ad nauseum. But, I don’t know what to say.

“I like Harry Potter.” Who doesn’t?

“#amwriting” Not if I’m staring at Twitter.

“Now available on Kindle for .99 cents.” I hope not.

I’ve started following whoever is suggested, but I feel like I’m watching the news in China from my living room in Texas, and it isn’t as gripping as Tiananmen Square or the earthquake in Chengdu. I’m disconnected. So, what’s a want-to-be-published novelist to do?

If you’re also out there alone among the Twitterocity, look me up. I’m @crisplyspoken. Just say hey or talk about the weather in the Outer Banks. I’m good with that. Maybe, we’ll start our own lunch bunch.

10 thoughts on “Alone in Twitterocity

  1. Can’t help but agree with you. Seems like limiting conversation to a couple of short lines tends to keep it all ever so superficial. Facebook feels weird with folks collecting “friends” like some stamp collection. I must be showing my age…. I just don’t get it.


    1. I feel like I’m eavesdropping. Meet for drinks, later? Where? Oh not you. Twitter is both embarrassingly fascinating and lonely. I’m not giving up yet, but I haven’t got the hang of it.


      1. I’m just getting ready to post a talk from TED where a psychologist does a really interesting talk on this topic… (give me a little while to get it posted).


  2. One good way to start is to respond to what someone says. Don’t worry about “butting in.” If someone didn’t want people to comment on what they said, they wouldn’t have put it on Twitter in the first place. No one is seeing an @ reply from a stranger and thinking, “Who is this person, and why are they talking to me?”

    If anything, they’re thinking, “Oh, god, I can’t think of a response. They’re going to think I’m a snob. Aaagh! What do I say? What do I say?”


  3. I used to love Twitter but now it seems to be one endless stream of commercials. I know I’m partly to blame, too, because I retweet friends’ books and stuff. Maybe I need to just cut back on who I’m following.


  4. I know exactly how you feel. I signed up for Twitter a long time ago. Then quit, because I couldn’t see the purpose of it. Now I’m back on and it’s been interesting. Yes, I follow a lot of people, but I’ve also started to recognize some of them. I even met a fellow Twitter writer friend in Savannah GA for coffee (I’m from IL). I also love that we support and retweet each other’s tweets. I think you get the most out of twitter when you give back, as in, retweet someone else’s good news. Oh, and I’ve also been reading books I never would have read had I not seen them on Twitter. That’s my two cents. 🙂


    1. It takes courage to dive in. I’m late finding mine, but maybe it’s finally arrived. You are so right about giving back. I tend to feel insignificant–why would you want to follow me? But . . . that’s a false emotion. Good for you on the meet up for coffee. You’ve proved you don’t have to be isolated.


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