I received a direct message from someone I was following on Twitter. (Notice I said was following? Anyone who sends me junk gets unfollowed.) The message included a link to a site that promised to automate my Twitter. It will find followers for me, it will Tweet for me, and it will read the feed for me. Well, perhaps I exaggerating a bit when it comes to the last point, but the first two are true. It makes me wonder what the point of it is. Who are we tweeting to? Birds? Bugs? Bots?
Even without signing up for the various sites that purport to help me live a tweeter life, I still participate in a bit of automation. Whenever I post a blog, WordPress automatically updates Twitter, which in turn updates MySpace and LinkedIn. Perhaps I am missing the point. I do know Twitter is supposed to about real people talking in real time about real subjects, but I have yet to participate in a real conversation. Occasionally I RT (retweet) someone’s update, sometimes I remember to return a #FF (Follow Friday), but for the most part I don’t see anything I want to comment on. As I said, I could be missing the point.
I’m rethinking my social networking time. After my blog tour, I’m going to be spending way less time on the computer. (Eyestrain, anyone?) I want to go more for quality than quantity. I used to friend everyone on Facebook I could, but now I unfriend anyone who spams me. I have a particular dislike of people who arbitrarily stick me in a group in order to send me junk, because even if I delete the message, I keep getting messages as long as anyone in the group responds. Don’t get me wrong — I like getting messages that are sent to me, specifically, and I always respond. I just don’t like anonymity. (If you knew me in offline life, you would be laughing at the irony of such a statement. Offline, I am the epitome of privacy.)
I’m looking forward to taking a step back from online activities. So much of it seems counterproductive, even foolish, that I will be better off working on my poor neglected WIP. At least I will have accomplished something.
Don’t worry, though. I bet none of you will notice any difference. I’ll still be blogging three or four times a week, will keep up with my discussion groups, will respond to genuine messages.
I’ll even tweet. And if I don’t, WordPress will do it for me.