Jan 09

Social Media 101: Tweet This

WHAT’S PLAYING: Ideal “Get Gone”

Recently, I did something I swore I never would. I joined Twitter. It was a homework assignment, but still, it went against every instinct I possess. Now that I’ve been a semi-active part of the Twitter-verse for over a month, I feel qualified to comment on it. 

When it comes to Twitter, I’m of two minds about it. I like it. I didn’t think I would, but I do. I like the brevity, the way it forces me to be concise, to say what I have to say in 140 characters or less. I think it makes me a better writer. I like knowing when my favorite authors are releasing new stuff, or when they’re in my area for a reading or a book signing.

What I don’t like is the insidious way it’s gotten into my head. Every time something remotely interesting happens, I find myself reaching for my cell phone. Just the other night, I had to stop myself from Tweeting about the return of Salsa Rio Doritos. (Though to be fair, Salsa Rio is like the McRib of Doritos. They pop up every other year or so for a limited time and then disappear as quickly as they came.) When I first signed up, I promised myself that I wouldn’t be that person. You know the one. The chick who will Tweet about everything from her kids to her latest visit to the gynecologist.

I also hate the feeling of having to post something – anything – to keep up with all the other people in the Twitter-verse. It’s as if I’m in a race, running as fast as I can, and yet I’m still somewhere in the back with little old ladies power walking their way past me. What can I say? My life just isn’t that interesting. Plus, I don’t want to add to the mindless chatter already out there.

My biggest issue with social media like Twitter and Facebook is that for people like me, it can be a boon or a curse, a bridge to other people or a wall that separates us from the rest of the world. It can bring us together or alienate us even further.

The real world is scary, full of unknown dangers, both physical and emotional. Who wouldn’t prefer connecting with others from the safety of their living room? It’s much easier to reduce yourself to 140 characters. What is the touch of a lover’s hand when compared to the visceral rush that comes with amassing over hundred thousand followers?

I’m still not sure about the term “follower.” Sounds stalker-y. I mean seriously, Jesus had followers, but he also had an important, world-altering message to deliver. All I can got are a couple of anecdotes and blog posts that are hopefully funny, interesting, and most of all, useful.

Twitter is a great tool if you know how to use it. I wanted to connect with other writers, loners and fantasy geeks, and I have. And if I’m completely honest, I like that it gives me an opportunity to meet other people, while providing an excuse to avoid them in the real world. (I am a loner, after all.)

What about you? Do you use social media as a bridge or a wall?

However you use it, try to restrain yourself from Tweeting about Doritos. That’s my thing.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.jacquitalbot.com/2012/01/social-media-101-tweet-this/


  1. Serena Dracis, Author

    I love/hate the SM thing. I love how it’s connected me to this vast writing community and I love how much I learn every day to better my craft. Hate how it keeps me away from my WIP. Really enjoyed your post, I’ve picked you for a blogging award! Visit my site to claim your prize! 🙂

    1. justjacqui2

      Thanks for the award! I guess social media is like a chainsaw — a useful tool; you just have to know when to put it away.

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