Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Tales of an (un)Follower

OrTo Hide or Not to Hide

by Kelli Collins

So I just finished trimming. No, not my hair. Not the bushes around the house. Not my dog’s nails or my waistline (alas!) or the unnecessary bits from some poor author’s book.

I just completed the semi-regular trimming of my friends and follow lists on Facebook and Twitter, respectively.

Why? Plenty of reasons. Sometimes feeds get a bit unwieldy or overwhelming. I mean, seriously, until I get paid to be social, there are only so many hours in the day to read the pounding deluge of posts. I’ll unfollow Twitter wannabes who post once every 6 months. And we’ve all hidden the feed of Facebook “friends” we really didn’t want to friend in the first place, but approved in order to stave off a crushing sense of guilt, or so we didn’t look like dicks. Don’t deny it. But in my case, both those reasons are pretty rare. The most common reason I de-friend—the thing that turns me off more than plumber’s crack—is constant bitching and moaning.

Listen, I’m fully aware everyone uses social networking sites differently. Me? I like to mix a little business with pleasure on Twitter. I hope to impart company news and editorial info dosed with a few laughs, a lot of snark and even the occasional rant. It’s also become an excellent resource for mining new writing talent (authors, if you follow me, know that I look at your websites, blogs and any free material you have. Always). Facebook is more personal; like most, I started my page to keep up with my near-and-dears. But I’m a sociable sort, so I’ve approved plenty of friend requests from authors, “liked” their author pages, etc.

That’s my personal Twitter and Facebook M.O. You can use them any way you’d like. You’re entitled. I’ll even defend to the death your right to post pretty much anything you damn well please.

But that doesn’t necessarily mean I want to read it.

Bitching and moaning. Those are the two biggest things that force me to unfollow tweets or hide feeds. Sorry if that hurts (I can hear my number of Twitter followers plummeting as we speak). But if you’re constantly moaning about how your kids or your partner or your laundry or your dog or your broken A/C or your growling stomach is keeping you from writing, or if you’re being straight-up rude and evil to your followers—I’m outta there.

We all have bad days. I’ve bitched on FB and Twitter. But every day? Multiple times per day? I can’t figure it. I mean, if I’m that unhappy, if my life sucks that badly, I sure as hell don’t want to advertise it to 3,000 of my closest friends, ya know?

When it comes to bitchiness, there are plenty of jerks out there just waiting to throw a big ol’ bucket of piss on our parades. Why would I want to give someone a chance to depress me further on social sites? Especially when I can follow/friend members who keep me laughing instead? And seriously—it’s just not that hard to be nice. Try it. Takes almost no effort. You might even like it.

As for being a whiny webizen: Suck it up, Buttercup. By the time you’re done moaning you could have written 700 words. You can publicly cry for days and in the end, you still have to write that dreaded synopsis or blurb you’ve been lamenting about. Or, you know…just keep whining. I won’t be able to see it in my feed anyway.

Oh, and if you catch me complaining too often on either site, feel free to liberally dispense virtual bitch-slaps to shut me up and set me straight. I’d consider it a favor. And you might save me some followers.

18 comments:

Ms Snarky Pants said...

Whew, you're still following me. I have been a bit on the whiny, moany side lately. LMAO

kellicollins said...

Lesley, you're totes entitled. There should be a law that pregnant women are allowed to bitch with impunity.

cluttery said...

Awww! You dumped me. I don't whine and moan, post too much or too little. On the plus side (?) EmpororFranzen took your place.

That said, I do not understand how anyone can follow more than 300 people.

kellicollins said...

Did I. I'll follow again just as a thanks for reading this semi-rant. :)

Sybir St. John said...

I've found I do the same with twitter...and yes, FB I hide those unsuspecting ones that I just can't deal with (the constant Farmville things for one). I just don't have the time esp when I should be or am writing!

And Lesley, all pregnant woman have immunity! I'd like to see the men deal with the changing body and hormones ;)

Francesca Hawley said...

Just stated following you on twitter. LOL

Belle Scarlett said...

I hear ya, Kelli, we've all been there, right? But I'm prolly safe from your un-friending since I hardly post on FB or Tweet enuff to clog your smart phone with threads. Unless I'm on "hide." O, the social paranoia of it all. Not sure which is worse, being not noticed or not missed, lol!

Barbara Elsborg said...

I'm behind the times. Can't tweet, won't tweet. I just about managed to fathom out facebook and lay claim the smallest number of friends in the entire universe. To think I was Miss Popular at school.... what did I do wrong?

Cat Grant said...

Thanks for not unfollowing me, despite my moaning and groaning of late. The sun's out today, and I'm feeling a lot better. :)

Laurann Dohner said...

Wiping forehead. Whoo! I have never been so happy to not make the 'cut'. You're still with me on Facebook, Kelli. LOL. I try not to bitch or get too personal. I do find neat stuff I buy that I share..I mean...the werewolf was cool! And the gargoyle I named Dude that watches me write is kind of awesome. LOL!!! I love facebook. I like to get to know a little about people and I get to hear news sometimes about what they are working on since I love to read as much as I love to write.
( Barbara... I friend requested you along with a few others...LOL)

kellicollins said...

Belle, you're safe; I'm not heartless enough to ditch one of my own authors...even if said author snarks my choice of e-reader. *snicker*

Barbara! You're an author I WISH would tweet, especially if the tweets were as funny as your books (I'm reading Strangers right now, BTW; both funny *and* intensely poignant. The mind, it boggles).

Cat: See my response to Belle. Okay, so you're not *my* author anymore, but still...

And Laurann, I love reading about your latest purchases. ;)

Nicole MacDonald said...

I do drop the blogs that don't post often (once every year..) and those that ramble about things I really have no interest in ;p Facebook, well I have a big note on my wall asking people not to friend me as it's just a method for people finding my blog :)

http://damselinadirtydress.blogspot.com

JenB said...

I trim my friend lists on a regular basis. I find I do the heaviest trimming during major political and news events and when people start live-blogging shows I hate (especially American Idol).

I don't lose followers very often, but when people do unfollow me, I don't take it personally. I figure they're just not into what I'm talking about at the moment. I know I can be irritating, and I'm okay with that. lol

Barbara Elsborg said...

Oh thank you. Now I have to worry about being 'unfollowed' do I! Aren't I neurotic enough!!

Barbara Elsborg said...

Oh I forgot to say - when I joined facebook I didn't have any friends at all. The kids outright refused to be my pals (weird mother for asking)and this - 'guy' asked to be my friend. I'd never heard of him. Hey, but a guy - that's got to be good, right!! Turned out he's the guy that runs Facebook. (So daughter says) Asks to be friends with all the sad losers like me I expect. What a disappointment.

Delphine Dryden said...

I do bitch about my kids, I confess. But I have to type SOMETHING or my fingers will atrophy by the time I have time to actually write! I'd like to think I don't do it all day, every day, though...that'd get pretty old! I know what you mean, though. I cull my follow list pretty frequently, and it's almost always the super-whiny ones who get the axe. And I got rid of Facebook completely. Heh. Antisocial media.

captcha word: "probe". *snerk*

Cat Marsters/Kate Johnson said...

Hah, I actually co-ran a workshop on this at the RNA conference this year, and one of my segments was What Not To Tweet. Basically, it boiled down to: being whiny, annoying, constantly self-promotional, overly political, or bitchy. Unless you're REALLY good at being bitchy.

Aileen said...

Wish I'd read this before posting on Facebook about the hot flashes and ants that kept me up last night! But I made up for it by sharing promo for fellow authors.