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Posts Tagged ‘Blogging’

I’m not exactly a pro at this social networking stuff, but I do it. A little. And feel somewhat obligated to, sometimes.

Attend any writer’s conference and you’ll hear at least once in every session, something about: Blogging, Tweeting, Facebook, Technorati, and the ever popular, Platform. Because apparently, if you’re not social networking, you don’t exist.

Well, I’ve been blogging and tweeting for a while now, but as I said, I’m no expert. In fact it wasn’t until last week that I learned the purpose/meaning of the hashtag (#). There are days when I want to abandon all of it and hide in my room, reading and writing. When the thought of interacting with anyone on any level is just too much.

For one reason, every interaction harbors the potential for rejection. Those of you who are writers (and who isn’t these days) understand the dynamics of that. Except for James Franco of course, who’s been granted immunity against all rejection. But for the rest of us, well, it’s no fun and it does nothing to improve our writing or our social skills.

Now, I enjoy writing this blog, but that’s because I do it for me. I write it because I’m a writer, it provides me with some structure, and it’s a place to organize my thoughts and to ponder the bigger questions. If someone happens across it and finds it interesting, great. If no one does, great. I am delighted if my words touch someone, if they have an impact, or if they simply make someone feel that they are not alone in their struggles. And I am thrilled when someone takes the time out of their day to comment and share their thoughts with me. It’s a wonderful bonus.

But Twitter is different. For one thing, unlike the blog, people (followers) will SEE my tweets, even if they don’t read them. And because of that, I feel pressured to say something of value. My comments have to be witty or smart, insightful or thought-provoking, useful or profound. And at times, I feel the need to make them all of the above, which you have to admit is pretty hard to do in a 140 characters or less.

And then there are the statistics. I rarely pay any attention to my blog stats, but my Twitters status glares at me from the upper right hand corner every time I open the site. Twitter feels compelled to provide me with frequent updates as to my popularity.

Your Tweets 122

Following 139 Followers 61

Whether or not someone “follows” me is irrelevant. It’s nothing I have any control over. And yet it’s hard not to equate that in some way with my self-worth. Which I have to admit, is really quite bizarre. I don’t ask people to follow me. And I don’t follow people hoping that they will follow me in return.

I think I would enjoy the experience a whole lot more if I had no idea whether anyone was following me or not. Today I thought I lost 4 followers. Given my meager numbers, that’s a 6.7% loss in one day. I know it shouldn’t matter. And in reality, it doesn’t. But does anyone really need to know with that much accuracy, and that frequently, how “popular” they are?

The sad part of this story is, I hadn’t opened my Twitter account on that computer in a few days, so the numbers hadn’t been updated. Truth of the matter is, I didn’t loose 4 followers, I GAINED one. And suddenly I’m Sally Field, “You like me, you really like me.

Be well, Marco

(That’s (@MarcoDante) in case you’re interested!)

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