Twitter: A High School Popularity Contest

I created a Twitter account to promote my writing, in the hopes that I would get more readers and more feedback, and hopefully a few patrons for my Patreon account. Sometimes I wonder if it was worth it. To be honest, I hate it. It feels like a high school popularity contest, that time of life when one is trying desperately hard to gain followers and recognition.

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Yep, being almost by yourself on Twitter, while everyone else is hanging with the cool users. Image from Wikimedia Commons by Arief Rahman Saan (Ezagren). Lonely Boy.

There can be a huge lack of followers.
It’s true. You can post status after status, and it feels like no one is following you. Sure, your Twitter account may mention that you have a huge number of followers. But Twitter is a pathological liar, or those using Twitter are. Mark Twain said that there are three kinds of lies, and they are “lies, damned lies, and statistics.” Twitter falls into the worst category, the last. Just because someone clicked on follow, doesn’t mean they are actually following you. Which means that…..

 

 

 

 

More often than not, they click on follow in the hopes to gain followers in turn.
But I mean, hey, can you blame them? It’s the classic you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours mentality. We hope that in helping someone else out that they will help us out. In a writer’s case, we hope that they will support us and our writing. Maybe they will click on a link to our blog so that they will offer feedback. I’ve had one or two people do that. One lady offered me praise. It was wonderful. It was akin to finding an oasis in a hot barren desert. But more often than not I am wandering alone through this Twitter desert, hoping to quench my thirst with feedback, constructive criticism, and praise, only to find I am, more often than not, alone.

Interacting with your followers and non-followers is often a one-way relationship.
Comment on their posts and 90 percent of the time these fellow struggling writers are likely to respond back. Yet the feelings are not reciprocal. Most are not likely to go onto your wall and interact with you in turn.  Then again, how can their feelings be reciprocal? They have so many followers that they can’t interact with everyone’s post or read everyone’s work. They just don’t have the time. Hence a one-way relationship is usually formed.

Try different types of posts in hopes of better interaction and feedback, good luck. 
For some reason that I can’t fathom some users have more success than others. You get Twitter users who have huge followings and others who have very low. It makes no difference if you post the absurd, some silly meme or gif, a link to a story you wrote,  a poll, or you talk about something relevant to life. Chances are unless you are one of the naturally charismatic Twitter users most people are going to ignore you.

In short, it becomes a high school popularity contest. It’s about the number of likes, the number of “true” followers who interact. Instead of working on short stories one is taking on the role of a salesperson, trying to promote his or her own work. To do so on Twitter one must be popular. And to be popular sometimes one must be…..

Stupid or willing to glorify in stupidity.
I’m serious. It enrages me to no end to see the number of people who post stupid crap and have a huge interactive group of followers because of it. Most people don’t appreciate art, beauty, human emotion, or philosophy. Society glorifies shallow thinking, mass-producing citizens as mindless drones. The most loved people on Twitter tend to be those who post angry conservative or liberal political rants 24/7, or amateur porn stars who sell their bodies as well as their souls. It’s the people who talk about sports, fashion, or celebrity gossip that hook a majority. People striving to create great literature, forget it!

To those who may protest, I am well aware that brilliant authors like Stephen King, J.K. Rowling, Robin Hobb, and so forth have very active Twitter accounts and that they are lauded by the Twitter community. But they already achieved fame, so they have a step above many of the struggling writers. (Note: I am a huge fan of all three authors, having their books on my shelves, so what I’ve said isn’t meant to be interpreted as being said discouragingly against them)

Of course, I previously mentioned that beginning writers can make it if they have a charisma to them that not all of us have.

 

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The popular Twitter users. It’s like high school.

Is it worth it?
Twitter is often touted as a great platform to promote oneself. And while it’s true that there are lots of small-time (as well as large) editors and publishing firms who make their homes on Twitter, many of who (especially the smaller firms) will offer their services to you, the site still seems like a huge time-waster than anything else. These publishing firms and editors can be found on other forums or through a search engine instead of the user having to spend time on Twitter.

Also, all the time spent on Twitter, just in the hopes that one might gain a few more ‘serious’ followers could be used in writing and rewriting. I can’t enumerate the time I have wasted on social media trying to promote myself. Times that I could have been writing. Times I could have been developing characters and creating vast new worlds. Times I could have been crafting intriguing and exciting stories to settle my mind and calm my nerves.

Is Twitter really worth it?

Surely there are other ways to promote oneself. Why not go to a bookstore and a library, and ask permission to promote yourself? That way you get to meet people face to face and leave an impression that can’t be left online. Save up some money, if possible, and use it to travel and promote your book. That way you can at least see different parts of the country or the world while doing so.

In conclusion, SCREW TWITTER. I am thinking of getting rid of it. I’m tired of this high school popularity contest.

 

 

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