Monday, January 09, 2012

Why I Love Twitter

There's a lot of mockery out there about Twitter. Talk show hosts have sarcastic bits about tweets, making us Twitter-users sound ridiculous. People who don't really understand it relate celebrity tweets with scorn (or, equally bad, with awe). My husband thinks it's a complete waste of time.

Okay, yes, it can absolutely suck up time and energy that you should probably devote to something else, if you let it get out of hand. But as a working writer, as long as I tweet with a sense of balance, it is SO not a waste.

Here's what I get from being an active, thoughtful participant on Twitter:

  • A crazy-wonderful sense of community. I have different groups for friends, YA writers, agents, and editors. I can post about writer struggles and talk to people who UNDERSTAND, real-time. While I love the people in my real life, they just don't get most of those struggles. Or joys, for that matter. On Twitter, you can post that you finished a rough draft and friends will celebrate with you!
  • A bonanza of information as a reader. Daily I see new books I want to read, or reviews of books, and find new (or seasoned) authors I want to support. Half that stuff I'd never know about without poring through a hundred blogs. I don't really have the kind of time you need for blogs. But with Twitter I can dip in and out, and find out what I need.
  • Connections. I am VERY anti-schmooze, and I would never (ever ever ever) connect with someone for what they can do for me. But my friends on Twitter have helped me tremendously in this whole publishing process, in ways I couldn't have even imagined. And usually without my asking. (Twitter peeps, you are amazing!)
  • Crowd-sourcing for information. Whether you need to know which show to go to in NYC or which office supply store has the best service, or you want to hear some new bands, you can Ask. And you will Receive Answers.
  •  Effecting change. Yes, we don't win them all. But when a strong Twitter community (like the YA lit crowd) sees something Wrong, sometimes we can do something about it.
  • FUN and DISTRACTION. Tiara days. Sparkle exchanges. Pun wars. Silly hashtags. It's like joking around with your favorite people whenever you want.
Wait. It kind of IS joking around with your favorite people whenever you want. And as long as you don't do it all day long, that can be pretty awesome.

So there, doubters. Did I convince anyone, or were you all convinced already? If you want to check it out, I'm at @susan_adrian. See you there. #TwitterRocks


Kelly J. said...

Twitter lets you meet people you'd otherwise never, ever meet and interact with them on a level that's totally equal.

Always a good reality check, too.


Patty Blount said...

I love Twitter for introducing me to the most incredible books I might not ever have read otherwise... not to mention letting me 'converse' with the amazing people who wrote them.

I also LOVE tiara day :)

Kristina L. Martin said...

Totally agree. I've finally found the "table in my lunchroom". :)

Susan Adrian said...

Kelly: Ah, yes--reality check. Good point! It's definitely that, too.

Patty: YES!! And we'll have to have another Tiara Day here soon...

Kristina: Yes, I've found my PEOPLE at last. And in such an unlikely place!

Linda G. said...

Since you're the one who dragged me to Twitter, I have to say you convinced me a long time ago.

Susan Adrian said...

Linder: And I was RIGHT, wasn't I? :)

georgi said...

I'm a newbie to twitter and still do not get a lot of interaction, but not giving up. thanks for sharing your opinion!

Anonymous said...

I think what's hard for a lot of people to grasp is how you don't immediately connect with people. You're not immediately thrown into conversations, and so when you're defaulted to following like, CNN and a Kardashian, Twitter does seem a little bleak.

What I love about Twitter is that you can connect with people you don't already know. FB takes the joy out of meeting new and interesting people because you're already on a two-way street with each other there, all laid out for each party to see. There's no effort, really.

I agree with so many of your bullet points! And I'm glad that's where we originally met. I love our little twitter back-and-forths. ;)