So way back at the start of the month, I decided to try an experiment–to go all September without using Twitter. And, look, here we are at the end of that same month.
I have to say, it was a lot easier than I expected. I’m not sure if that should make me proud of slightly embarrassed at how much time I spent with Twitter before September
Anyway, other than a few reflexive glances down to my task bar for the Tweetdeck icon and a few times when I thought about not tweeting my blog posts or comments, honestly, I didn’t miss it. For now, I’m not going back. No long-term promises, and I’m not getting rid of my account, but if you’re looking for me, you can find me at Facebook.
For my Friday Five, I’m going to do just a little analysis of what this might mean…about me. The thing to remember about Social Networking, I think, is that we can (and should) only do what works for us, not what appeals to others or what they tell us we “need” to be doing. So these comments are in no way judgements about people who like Twitter, who are happy & comfortable there. They’re just some thoughts I had this month.
1.The biggest thing I noticed about going Twitterless was that, overall, I felt less…twitchy. Yes, I’m sure the yoga has something to do with this, as well as my overall commitment to slowing down and taking time to relax. Still, in my online time, it was one less place to click over to, one less place to check in. And that felt…more like slowing down and taking time to relax.
2. I may very well be missing a marketing opportunity by not being on Twitter–a marketing opportunity for me, for The Writing & Critique Survival Guide, for future books.
3. Assuming #2 is true, I’m going to accept missing that opportunity. One feeling that has been hovering around the periphery of my brain lately and that this experiment seemed to bring to the forefront is that I can only do so much marketing. I didn’t like the feeling I had when I thought things like, “Maybe I should just tweet this blog post” or “Oh, the people on Twitter may not know about this review of my book.” Again, this one is definitely just me–I totally get and support the fact that we ARE in charge of marketing for our works, and that–if done respectfully and professionally–it’s a good thing to be doing. It just felt a little too me-focused for my personal comfort zone.
4. I don’t know if I got more writing time by staying off Twitter. But, again, it felt like there was just one less thing pulling me away from that writing. When I started tweeting, I had more time available for that writing, for working on my current WIPS, than I do now. (Life changes…fast!) My list of to-dos seems pretty chopped-up, most days. Taking one thing off it feels good.
5. I’m also going to let go of my newsletter. I blogged about the possibility back here, and people were really nice about telling me I should keep going. So I gave it another try, but it’s another thing that just isn’t getting done and another thing that doesn’t feel like my thing. I am going to keep track of the mailing list–keeping future doors open, but as soon as I get organized enough to get over to the newsletter website, I’m going to close the account. Again…you can find me here and on Facebook!
Am I glad I tried this? I really am–much more than I thought I would be. I encourage you to keep doing what you find fun and useful and, occasionally, check in with yourself and see what’s making you happy and what’s maybe not. And then–if you want–set up your own experiment. Just to see what happens!