Or…To 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.