Monday, April 08, 2013

Professional jealousy and Twitter

You know - it used to be the writer loops that would kill me. They'd drain my energy and make me crazy. When they became easy to dismiss as a time-suck, I happily got out of them. But Twitter is beginning to feel like this to me now too. If I'm circling the drain emotionally Twitter makes it worse. Everyone's success, everyone's ability to be funny and charming and smart in 140 characters, feels like a mirror held up to my lacking soul. I wish I was being over-dramatic, but I'm not. Of course, if I'm feeling on top of things, twitter is a great place to drop in, share a joke with some writer friends and then get back to work, my narcissism and neediness in check. It's a hugely successful way to connect with book bloggers and writers.

But there are days when it is as bad a time-suck as the loops are. Maureen made a comment about how she can go onto Twitter and spend hours, not saying a word, but scrolling through every one else's updates and feeling like garbage.

YES!! Exactly!! It can be so poisonous.

But I also feel like we can't walk away from it like we could the loops. As we're supposed to be doing more and more marketing, our publishers want us facebooking and Tweeting and Pinning because no one can point to those things and say they don't work. They do. Not all the time, not in any perfect way - but it's an important part of the promotion puzzle.

And the smart advice is "Molly, when you feel bad, don't go to Twitter." Right. Yes. Smart. But you're talking to a woman who hasn't totally figured out that food is NOT comfort. I have some self-sabotaging behaviors that are not totally in check.

So what do you do?

8 comments:

Stephanie Doyle said...

Wait a minute... FOOD is NOT comfort? You obviously have never had Kraft Macaroni and Cheese and porkroll. We'll fix the porkroll in a few weeks.

And for me the crazy thing about Twitter is when I see that someone decided to follow me... Yeah! But my total number of followers goes down because people are "un"following me.

I'm always like... what did I say?

Karen Whiddon said...

I don't tweet enough, I guess. It confuses me, to be honest. There. I said it. I do spend too much time on Facebook, and while I do have a Pinterest account, I saw early on what a time sink that would be, so I just don't go there.

Eileen said...

I have a friend who was having a rough time and couldn't stand to be on Facebook. For some reason, she thought everyone was actually as happy, etc., as their posts. I know I'm not. I doubt most people are. I just don't choose to air that part of my life to everyone.

We're all huge masses of insecurity. Especially authors. You are not alone.

Maureen McGowan said...

Avoiding social networking when in a bad mood is a good new rule. I do admit that occasionally twitter or FB have cheered me up, or made me feel connected when I'm lonely, but I think those times were in the early days when there were fewer people out there and I could almost be guaranteed of getting some kind of response if I put something out there. These days, I feel like I'm tweeting and posting into a vacuum... And if you're feeling cut off, well, that doesn't help. ;) Food, on the other hand, always helps. Ha!


Maureen McGowan said...

Oh, and Steph, people unfollow on Twitter all the time. Chances are, they were people who were trying to get you to follow back, probably because they are selling something. And a lot of companies pay people to try to get twitter followers... And if you don't follow back within a certain time, they drop you. So don't take it personally... But I hate when it happens too. ;(

nicolehelm said...

I am so glad I stumbled across this post. It echoes so perfectly what I have been feeling with Twitter. It drives me crazy, sometimes makes me feel terrible or jealous or stupid or insecure, but there are times when it's so great to connect with people. So, I keep going back, and then I get caught in the loop of "why is everyone so much better/cooler/funnier/more successful than me".

The only thing I've found to help manage (not fix) these bad feelings is to use the list feature on Twitter and have a list that includes people who rarely tweet things that make me want to run into the Internet-less frontier.

It doesn't mean I still don't waste dumb time scrolling through tweets and feeling crappy, but it has helped lessen that time a bit.

Eileen said...

Lessening crappy dumb time is an awesome achievement, Nicole. Well done and good tip for how to do that!

Sinead M said...

Everyone is their best self on Twitter, it's why it can be so annoying, because when I read someone's happy tweet, chances are I'm desperately trying to get my kids to bed, so don't notice I ate all their Halloween candy and instead of working I'm going to sit and watch a repeat of House Hunters...

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