Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Writers Write, Twitterers Tweet

I give up! I tweeted, I chirped, I peeped...I gave Twitter a try. Bottom line--I don't get it.

It seems to me (and Virginia Heffernan, with the New York Times Magazine), that it is a bunch of people talking at each other and no one is really listening--but how can you listen? You only get 140 characters --not words---characters, which is really only equivalent to one medium sized sentence.

So how do people communicate on Twitter? They don't. Someone told me that Twitter is a way to connect with other people; a place to learn more about them. A place for everyone to feel like one big happy family.

But to me it is all superficial and lacks depth. Just because Ashton Kutcher tweets that he is "putting my head on a pillow. Echad!" or that Oprah shares that she has a "busy day ahead ..... Time to grab that coffee and get going" it doesn't make me their BFF or even an acquaintance.

When people's thought process extends past 140 characters, they direct fellow Twitterers to their blog or website where they don't have space limitations. So Twitter becomes one of those infamous "shortcuts" that actually takes ten times longer than the direct route (just going directly to the blog/website).

All Twitter does is add more bullets to everyone's already long to do list. Like anything else, in order to do something well, you must put time and energy in to it. Twitter is no different. To because effective you must Tweet frequently, read and comment on other tweets, visit and comment on websites that you are directed to and then do it all again and again and again.

Because Tweets are added all the time, it is impossible to ever feel caught up. Therefore, the Twitter bullet on your list can NEVER be crossed off.

My advice to writers--WRITE. You don't need to take up valuable writing time on Tweeting on Twitter. Your time should be spent building the action in your novel, researching for your next article or mining your memories for personal essay topics. Leave Twitter for people like Ashton Kutcher who apparently don't have anything better to do with their time.

Happy writing!


Amy Sue Nathan said...

I think Twitter is a fun way to share information and links. It's also a great fast way to get information. I don't tweet all day long, but if I find a great post or article I might tweet it to share it with people -- like a virtual megaphone. I also have gotten coupon and free shipping codes that way for some of my online shopping.

But you're very right, tweeting is not writing!

Lillie Ammann said...


I know many writers love Twitter, but it has never appealed to me so I haven't tried it. Thanks for sharing your experience.

KT said...

I totally agree about Twitter. I have yet to "get it." To those of you on each his own...but you won't catch me "wasting" my time there!

Kerrie said...

Amy, saying Twitter is a "virtual megaphone" is exactly right. I am glad you are finding uses for it.

term paper outline said...

I use to follow Ashton Kutcher's twits and I really a big fan of this microblogging tool.

Anonymous said...

Good points. I haven't "fallen for" Twitter yet, though I am on Facebook now and love that. I visited Twitter once, and I too didn't get the appeal at all. I don't think I'll be trying it (but never say never, eh?).

Kerrie said...


I have to admit that I do love Facebook too. To me it is the best of many worlds--I can write long entries, short entries, poignant entries--I can write what I want. Plus it is a great way to stay in contact with old friends, family and my teenagers. :-)

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