Twitter is Confusing

Happy Friday! It’s Friday Feelings. Time to rant. OK, not so much rant. More like…make an observation.

Today’s topic: Twitter. Settle in, folks.

Now approaching minor to moderate snark. Heavy at times.

I joined Twitter back in 2016. Why? Not because I wanted to. I didn’t know much about Twitter at that time, but I saw it a platform to write random sentences and post for the world to see. Like who cares?

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I did it because I was part of a group called “Query Bootcamp” in my writing group, Scribophile. One of the tasks was to create an author platform. Twitter was on the list. I still find it odd, pretentious, and backwards to have an “author platform” when you don’t technically have a book out, know what I mean? Again, who cares? You’re a nobody. Who would follow you? You’re just a “writer” from the middle of nowhere suburbia.

But I did join. And it was actually fun. I started posting in these daily writing games. Which, come on, “games”? Who are we fooling here? These games amounted to posting a line from your WIP that fit the theme/word of the day. It sounds lame as I see it written out, but it was cool. 3 reasons. 1) It helped streamline your writing. A tweet was only 140 characters back in the day, so you had to make each word count. I can be a bit longwinded. Shocking. This helped me tighten up my sentences. 2) It gave me more confidence as a writer. Granted, I wasn’t hitting it outta the park, but those likes or comments made me think, hey, maybe I don’t suck after all. Awesome. 3) Reading lines from everyone else somehow–in my mind, at least–made me a better writer. There was just something about reading these one-liners that helped me up my game. Super thankful for that. There are some hella talented writers posting on Twitter.

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I kept up with posting daily for, I don’t know, 2 years? Give or take. I was getting new followers every day, which was cool. Somehow, I made it to 5k subscribers. Yeah. Let me pause here. I’m not saying this to toot my own horn, because trust me, I don’t even OWN a horn. I’m humble to a fault–especially on the writing front. But this follower count is what I find so confusing, and the main reason for this post.

I took a break from Twitter for several months, yet I was still getting new followers. Every day. How were people even finding me? I hadn’t posted a thing in months. I do think my pinned tweet is responsible for most of my followers. That line really resonated with people. (“I’m a writer because therapy is too expensive.”) I guess we’re all a little mental? Who knows? Let me also emphasize that I’m grateful for the followers. I consider it an achievement, sorta. I say sorta because I didn’t earn it, that’s for sure.

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There is a point. I promise.

About 1-2 weeks ago, I returned to Twitter. Ha, returned. Like it was some grand event. I started posting again. Let’s put it that way. I noticed a boom in the writing community. All these new members introducing themselves and getting an insane amount of interaction.  This is a new phenomenon to me. When I joined, you didn’t say “Hi, I’m Bob. I write erotic pirate stories. What do you write?” and have 500 people respond. It just wasn’t a thing.

I don’t know how to say this next part without sounding…diva-ish? I’ve been posting random things, all related to writing. A few cat pics. And, it’s been pretty quiet in my notifications.

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I’m not a diva, I swear. I don’t make a post in order to get likes. I don’t see social media as a form of validation for anything, thank goodness. HOWEVER, I do find it slightly inconsistent that an account with 5k followers can get 2 likes on something. Why follow people at all, you know? Again, I emphasize, I don’t care. If I cared, I would be ranting on Twitter itself, not here. It’s interesting, right? Your follower count has nothing to do with how your tweet will be received. It’s about building a community, not “collecting people.” If that makes sense.

The reason I’m mentioning this at all is to prove that NUMBERS MEAN NOTHING. It doesn’t matter how many followers you have. Take it from me. So if you’re one of those people concerned with your follower count, stop. It’s a waste of time. Consider this a PSA.

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I’ll see you Monday for some tunes.

Thanks for spending some time here. Tweet on.

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