Sunday Reads: All The Things I Wanted to Tweet But Didn't
Plus, fear and clothing at the Iowa State Fair
This week, I did something I haven’t done in a month — I tweeted1 and I only did so for book promotion purposes.
Last month, I quietly deleted all my tweets as best I could. Twitter is glitchy as hell and there are some retweets I couldn’t scrub for the life of me. And then, I did nothing.
I’ve been a member of Twitter since 2008 (I think, or maybe 2007). I remember I live-Tweeted the Cedar Rapids flood of 2008 and a few of those tweets went viral. And that was before I knew better. So, of course, I let news outlets use my pictures and tweets uncredited. Citizen journalism! God, back then, I was using a digital camera and uploading pictures on my laptop, and then tweeting them.
Twitter played a crucial role in helping me develop an audience for my writing. After all, in 2008, I was just a woman in Iowa with a blog (I didn’t even have kids then) desperately trying to become a writer. That was the year I got my first media job at YourTango and got accepted to an MFA program.
As I wrote and my stories did well, I could say to editors that people would read my stories. Sometimes in my pitches, all I had to recommend my writing was that a blog post had gone viral. Traffic was big money back then. Lots of places were willing to take a chance on a writer who could bring in numbers and who they only had to pay $50 a blog post.
I do think I would have become a writer without Twitter, but it helped me make some of my absolute best friends in the world. It’s helped me build an audience and a community of friends (you!) and writers (also so many of you!). But it’s also resulted in death threats, harassment, backlash campaigns, calls to CPS, threatening letters, rape threats, and so much more.
Twitter is decomposing. I still log in and use it as an RSS feed, but more and more, I find it boring, seedy, and annoying as hell. The dead body stench is overwhelming.
I don’t have what anyone would call a “healthy” relationship with social media, but these past four weeks, it’s been easy to log the hell off.
But I did have a few things I wanted to Tweet but didn’t.