Thursday, May 2, 2013

Tweet And Retweet Were Walking Down The Street

Let me start by saying I still haven't warmed up to Facebook. I know I should make use of it, both professionally and personally, but I just can't make myself.

On the other hand, Facebook, that sneaky devil, mentioned to me that many of the most popular kids from my high school class were right there, and suggested, in that quiet understated Facebook way, that I remind them of our lifelong friendships at absolutely no cost to them or me. So I did. And I must say my already healthy ego skyrocketed when the vast majority (or maybe all of them, since I no longer remember who I reminded of our lifelong friendships) eagerly acknowledged our lifelong friendships by "friending" me on Facebook for the world to see. Either that, or they always "friend" anyone who asks, which might be why they were the most popular kids from my high school class in the first place.

Most of these most popular kids, by the way, spend as much time on Facebook as I do. But it's a thrill to see Jimmy Steinman posting links to Meatloaf interviews, for me and his other 325 best friends to watch.

Twitter, on the other hand, I find quite entertaining, even though I don't tweet as often as I should, mostly because I have nothing to say and that actually holds me back (silly me).

For example, this afternoon, I almost tweeted: When I'm tired I nap and when I nap I have trouble falling asleep and when I have trouble falling asleep I get tired and nap.

I decided against it because it has taken me approximately forever to break the 500 follower mark, and tweets like that could easily plummet my total to the low 200s (which it also took forever for me to get to).

I don't follow a lot of people on Twitter and some of those I do follow I question why I follow. For example the New York Yankees, who feel obliged to tweet after every base hit, walk, or stolen base. If I'm watching the game, I already know about those base hits, walks, and stolen bases, and if I'm not watching, the odds are I'm not interested in those base hits, walks and stolen bases, and even if I weren't watching and I was interested, reading about them on Twitter isn't all that exciting. Or John Lithgow, who after two weeks of not tweeting (and I must admit, I didn't notice he was gone) tweeted 13 times in a row so we could catch up with what he'd been doing during those missing two weeks.

In the immortal words of Winnie the Pooh, "Do we care (to rhyme with where)?"

The person on Twitter who fascinates me the most is Lawrence Block. I've read a lot of Lawrence Block novels over the years, so I decided to follow him. And I'm glad I do, because he tweets just the right amount and he almost never tweets about hits, walks, or stolen bases.

But what he does, which totally intrigues me, is retweet favorable tweets about his books. Every time he does, I check to see if the person who tweeted in the first place is famous and I simply don't happen to know who said person is because I'm not up on who's famous these days.

But based on how many followers these people have, no, they're not famous. They just happen to mention liking a Lawrence Block novel, and Lawrence Block thinks that's worthy of letting all his fellow followers know.

Frankly, I think his ego would be better served by reminding the popular kids from his high school class that they're his lifelong friends on Facebook. And I wouldn't have to read all those retweeted compliments, which really don't improve the quality of my life one bit.

There are people on Twitter who take the time to announce they like one of my books. Yes, I have to search hard to find them, but they're there and I enjoy reading their intelligent, thoughtful, extremely well written tweets on the subject. But the tweets I'm always tempted to retweet are the ones that hate my books. I mean really really hate my books.

The only reason I refrain is because Lawrence Block never retweets those kind of tweets. Maybe everyone loves his books, or maybe he's too smart to let the world know that's not the case.

But let me tell you, it's hard to resist retweeting something like this:

life as we knew it was terrible and the WHOLE SCHOOL was suppose to read it and then we didnt do s...* with it that year
Or my current absolute favorite (and I bet it would be Lawrence Block's too):
Now that's what I call tweeting!
*Spelt in its entirety on Twitter
** Also spelt in its entirety on Twitter, but in big capital letters
*** Likewise and then some


Ruit Farm North said...

Oh my! I agree with you on FB and Twitter. Eek!

Susan Beth Pfeffer said...

Good evening, Nina Ruit-

I'd like to like Facebook, but I find it so overwhelming.

Twitter, I can deal with!

Mr. Cavin said...

1) I liked your tweet about the naps. I think that would be an effective contribution to the Twitter, um, verse.

2) I would absolutely retweet those book reviews. That can only make me (and in this case I mean you too) seem heroically wry.

3) I (and in this case, I seem to only mean me) disagree with using Facebook as a business promotion tool. I know everyone does it. I know that you were probably told to do it by your publisher or agent. But I don't love the idea. It really muddies the waters in which you have relationships, blurring that line between people you want to interact with as personal friends, and people you wish to interact with as fans or business acquaintances. Facebook is an excellent tool for being free with your info, your interests, etc.; but it does not allow you to manage multiple categories of interaction very effectively. No matter how much you love every single one of us, we occupy difference places in your life, and there is no reason to force those admixtures. If you are not feeling the benefit of Facebook's kind of social platform, it is possibly because using Facebook as a promotional tool has forced such a broad definition of friendly networking that it has basically just become redundant next to this blog (which, if you were to ask me, wait you didn't?, is a much better platform for this kind of thing).

S***! I philosophized so much! Sorry!

Susan Beth Pfeffer said...

Hello Mr. Cavin-

I think the way to handle Facebook is to set up one page for people one knows and one page for people one interacts with professionally.

Only I didn't do that, so Facebook just scares me. And I leave it alone (except now to see what all the popular kids from my high school are doing, which doesn't seem to be much).

The blog works very well for me. Lately, it's the only writing I've been doing, except, of course, for the occasional tweet.

And even those are a challenge!

Anonymous said...

Facebook scares me, too.

Anonymous Santa Fe

Susan Beth Pfeffer said...

Good morning Anonymous Santa Fe-

It's good to have company. Maybe we should start a Scared Of Facebook page on Facebook (although I bet there probably already is one)!

Anonymous said...

There's something exceedingly strange about doctors, politicians, police departments, etc., asking you to "like" them on Facebook.

I've noticed, too, that many businesses are allowing their websites to lay fallow in favor of Facebook posts. Well, there goes my patronage. I don't use Facebook.

The idea of "like" and "like me," is beyond superficial, and a very weird power trip about -- nothing.

As for Tweeting - I only vaguely know what it is, and wonder why the Yankees aren't paying more attention to the game. (They allow this s**t in the dugout?)

Books you hold in your hand, bearing remnants of cat fur balls... now that's real. W.S.

Susan Beth Pfeffer said...

Good morning, W.S.

You must have left your comment right after I'd turned my computer off for the night.

I agree with you about Facebook.

Twitter I do like. And while some players do tweet, the official Yankee tweets probably come from some underpaid kid in the publicity department.

I like them because they're informative about what's going on with the Yankees, a team I follow.

When I first signed up with Twitter, I was told by a publicity person at my publisher's that it could be addictive. I'm not at that stage with it, but I do check up on it regularly, and find it very useful for learning about headline news fast.