Thursday, July 26, 2012

To tweet or not to tweet....

So I've been thinking about getting back on Twitter. I tweeted years ago and left because the volume of tweets and information coming at me was overwhelming. It just was all too much. But lately I've been thinking it might be time to head back in and try again. I subscribe to Wil Wheaton on Facebook and often what he posts is a response to a tweet that has come through, now because I am not on Twitter I can't go see what the whole thread was and that bothers me. Friends of mine who are more active with their writing promote pieces through Twitter and this gives them a more robust readership base. And I've been thinking about getting off of Facebook and this would give me a way of posting when a new blog went up.

Did you catch that last line and have to re-read it? Yes, I'm thinking about getting off Facebook. Or at least severely limiting my time there. Now this isn't a new idea, in fact I blogged about it almost two years ago here. And that blog is all of the reasons why I am thinking of getting off, but two years later. It just goes to show how addictive it is for me. I knew back then that I was probably online too much but didn't do a lot about it except ponder it for awhile. But Facebook is a huge time sink for me. After I check in on friends, news, pages I follow, games I play and then start the cycle all over again and again I will discover that I've lost the majority of the day. I've also discovered that I am getting to the point where doing one thing at a time is really difficult. Even if I am enjoying the book I am reading I find myself reaching for my phone to check in on Facebook "real quick."

And I have finally reached the point where it bothers me more than the idea of not being online bothers me. I'm trying to look at it realistically and know that I can't really just quit. I have friends that I only have contact with through Facebook and I would miss them terribly if I didn't get to talk to them a few times a week. C is about to go back to school and there is great comfort as a parent to being able to see that your child is safe someplace, even if it's from seeing that they are online. So I am trying to think of the ways to limit my time online, but still keep the positive aspects of the time online. I've come up with a few but there are other areas I am still experimenting with and this blog is one of them.

The blog itself is online, of course, I also have a Facebook page that promotes the blog and lets people know when a new piece is up and ready to read and there is my personal feed as well that I use to let people who don't follow the blog know when a piece I really want to call attention to goes up. So how do I do all of that without Facebook? Twitter? Maybe...Like I said at the beginning I used to tweet. When Twitter was first starting to be a blip on people's radar Brent told me I should tweet. He thought it was perfect for me.  My husband thinks I am funny and that the little quick tweets would be right up my alley so I tried it out.

I did the typical thing of following friends that were there (not a lot at the time, Twitter hadn't blown up yet) and picking up a few celebrities that I thought would be fun to watch. I discovered that someone needs to help Kirstie Alley with her internal to external filter. John Mayer writes wonderful song lyrics but is a real asshole. And that I was not beyond a fangirl squee when Stephen Colbert started following me! And then I discovered that there was just too much noise on Twitter. Too many tweets coming in all of the time. It started to feel like a job to try and follow them. To read EVERYTHING. Now what everyone says is that you shouldn't even try. But how in the world can you do that? How do you pick and choose what to read and what not to? How do you not get pulled in to hours and hours of reading?

Which then turns my Twitter idea into a really bad one for limiting time online. I see the future where I would just be switching Facebooking for Tweeting and what would I gain? More readers for my blog? Maybe. But I'm not sure I want that either. Like I posted yesterday I like that the people who read my work here are friends. I like that we are having a conversation of sorts. And that would change if more people I didn't know started reading my work. Yes, there is a part of me that thinks it would be great, and it would be wonderful to start a base for any fiction I might release, but this blog is also extraordinarily personal at times and I am not sure how comfortable I am flinging my doors open for the world. So for right now I am in limbo. Transition period ahead. I went ahead and picked a Twitter name for the blog, just in case, but I'm not going to do anything with it until September at the earliest. Why September? Well...

August is going to be the month of unplugging(ish). I will be online for an hour or so in the morning and then again in the afternoon. The phone will be kept in my purse and not in my hand. The computer will be used for writing with Facebook turned off except during those two times. I will continue to post my picture of the day. To post my blog to my pages. To check in with friends. But I will do it in confined time periods. It's how I quit smoking so we will see how it works for quitting an online time suck addiction. And then we will see what rises up and takes up the time. What fills the void. What have I been blocking out because I have been filling my time with noise? So for now no Twitter. We will see what happens later, and of course, I will keep you all posted.

Just not all the time....

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