Why I Don’t Want to Twitter My Life Away

I once felt that Facebook was something I’d never get into because I couldn’t understand how I’d use it or what the big deal was about using it. But last summer, I joined it and surprise, surprise, I liked it. Now, I’m resisting Twitter.

The best writeup on Twitter I’ve read so far is the latest by Jennifer Laycock, with her series on Twitter beginning with Part One: From Twits to Tweeple, Why I Embraced Twitter and You Should Too. I admit that the moment someone says I “should” do something, my first reaction is to rebel against it. Several friends have told me I “should” get Twitter. It’s had the same affect as my telling my kids they “should” clean their rooms. There’s never a good reason why.

Jen does the best job describing what Twitter is like. Her next part in her series will discuss how it can be useful. This will interest me because this is where I really hold the line. Will she convince me to try it?

Idol Worship

For me, I have the most trouble understanding why anyone would want to know what I’m doing. The people who decide to include usability into their web site development cycle aren’t typically marketers and marketers are the perfect target market for Twitter.

I can see SEO’s loving it. I can see those who work from home liking the activity. It can fit a need. However, I’ve been working from home for years and rejoice in trips to the store because are people talking, not typing.

Twitter reminds me of the “status” in Facebook, where you can tell everyone where you are, how you feel, where you’re going that day, if you’re sick, if you broke up with someone or fell in love, if you’re drunk, if you just ate an apple, whether you’re hating the snow, and whether or not you just bet your life savings on the Giants winning the Superbowl. You can update your “status” as often as you like. Many Tweeters use their’s to point to what they’re twittering about, leaving those of who are untweeted in the dark.

I’ve never had the feeling that anyone gives a cow what my status is, so why would I add Twitter to keep everyone informed? I don’t want to be followed. Am I too private for Twitter? Do you have to have marketing blood to “get it”?

Communication

The argument for Twitter is it helps with networking and communication.

I own a global forums in the industry I work in. An entire community of people is there every day and night from around the world. I’m never lonely and never without someone to talk to at any time of day or night because somebody is always awake. I can start a conversation there if I want to or contribute to an existing one.

There’s always a conversation there and it’s not limited to friends I’ve given permission to talk to me.

It’s open, which means I’m exposed to different cultures, viewpoints, language, expression, experience levels, humor, and education. It means I’ve opened myself up and made myself available to a helluva lot of people already. I’m needed there. My moderators would be unhappy if I spent more time Twittering and less time participating in the forums. In fact, a few moderators blame Twitter and Facebook for the absence of moderators, who have been less active because their time is spread thinner.

Add this blog to my daily conversation route and Bloglines for my information fix. Granted, I chose where my sources come from, which is different from Twitter, but I have a wide net in place. In fact, too much inbound data comes in and I’ve culled my sources several times.

Add my comments at Sphinn and other blogs. Add to this my articles which are republished around the ‘Net. If someone wants to know what I’m up to, I’m not that hard to find.

Do they want to know when I’ve just made dinner, leaving the house to walk my dog or what I’m reading this very second? Do they want me promoting my blog posts? I have a feed. Come when you wish to. Need me in a hurry? Facebook has a nice message feature, plus I’m online a lot for email and if I’m offline, I want and need that break.

I’m not that important or vital to the success of anyone’s day other than my family, cats and the dog. In the reverse, my peers and friends who Twitter are also easy for me to find. I see them everywhere. When I want to find them, I will and I do. I don’t need Twitter for this.

Twitter for Work

As far as I know, none of my usability work depends on whether or not I just posted to my blog. My clients use traditional methods to stay in touch with me such as the phone or email, with some of them also participating at Cre8asiteforums or subscribing to my blog because we’ve developed a rapport and friendship through our projects.

I’m sure none of them wants to know if I’m outside pulling weeds in my gardens.

And this brings me to my main reason for not getting Tweetafied. I need to unplug. I love to read books. I have very active kids involved in dance, sports, school (homework), jobs and music who want or need me at their things. I love their friends. I love making dinner and having the kitchen crammed with family and friends. There’s no laptop or cell phone Bluetooth piece stuck into my ear when I’m being mom. Kids hate that. I won’t do it.

I’m not as jazzed up about Facebook lately for the same reasons why I won’t tweet. I don’t play most of the games in Facebook because it takes me away from work or family. I don’t have a wife to cook for me, a housekeeper, gardener, or salesperson. I run a business, family and forums. In off-time like weekends, I’m studying, reading more case studies, or teaching myself something like new software or hunting for new web sites of interest.

I still have to check on the forums too. Those doors never close and I think a lot of people never consider that.

Twitter may be one of those things that, like all the social networking sites and software I’m invited to join, are truly threats to my valuable time. It takes tremendous discipline to work from home when you’re the parent in charge of kids and household, especially when your spouse is gone from morning to night working outside the home.

I gave in to Facebook. Now I’m wondering if the TwitterBorg will assimilate me too. The “push” technology it offers is perfect for a knowledge junkie like me, but I’m already feeling fried and burned out. It’s not an argument that works for me.

I can’t help but think that if you’re a real friend, you’ll visit me here or at Cre8asiteforums because you want to, not because I just tweeted a reminder that I’m alive and posting.

6 thoughts on “Why I Don’t Want to Twitter My Life Away”

  1. Two months ago, nearly every word of this blog post could have been written by me. Now I’m a twitter lover. In fact, I vastly prefer it over Facebook. I don’t have to wrap my eyes around a thousand apps and requests . Just a simple streaming list of short little bursts of info. And now…I really “know” a lot of people so much better than ever before. Tune in and Tweet On!

  2. Thanks for this Donna. I’m willing to try something if I can be convinced it will benefit me somehow. I don’t want to be plugged in all the time. I live with someone who is and it’s really annoying.

    As much as I love the social aspect and the potential to peek in on the lives of friends, I’m also finding that some of them share too much information, they stop sounding professional and I feel like a voyeur.

    Can someone tell me how Twitter increased revenue for them, helped them get new clients, etc.?

    I’m looking forward to the next part in Jen’s series :)

  3. Very good post Kim. I actually have a life other than the internet as well. A daughter. A granddaughter. A Mom and a Dad getting up in age. A target market who doesn’t give a shite what I’m doing when not at my computer. I think it takes a certain type of individual to hop from social site to social site. Not sure where they all get the time for that actually.

    Anyway; good stuff.

  4. Great post, Kim. My own take on all this is that since we all know we’re all busy, it’s acceptable to just pop in when you can. Those who know you may say Hi. Those who don’t know you will either not notice or will wonder who that person was.

    I liken these social media to those village pubs in England that I once had the pleasure of being involved in. If you weren’t there for a week or two and popped in again, someone would say, “Where have you been?” or occasionally “Look what the cat’s brought in!”

    I only hope that no one expects a certain level of involvement in a given social medium or you’re not ‘one of the crowd’. I think Groucho Marx said the reverse but it seems to me that if they won’t accept me as one of the crowd, then I don’t really want to be one of their crowd.

  5. I can definitely see how Twitter fits for a lot of people. However, I’ve been part of the “online madness” for what, 12 years now?

    I was sitting in the gym bleachers yesterday with my son’s dad (my “ex”) watching my son’s wrestling match after school and it was sheer heaven to be in a place with cheerleaders, parents of kids I’ve known from going to baseball, hockey, and football games since our kids were toddlers, and students rooting on their friends.

    Not a laptop or cell phone in sight. And when I got home, still none of that because mom had to make dinner for husband and 4 kids (the daughter’s boyfriend sorta kinda lives here part-time, esp. when I make dinner.)

    In other words, when I want to hunt down the industry and my friends/peers, I know how to find them. When I want to participate in my “real” life, I turn off the cell phone and shut down the laptop.

    Sheer heaven :)

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