My daughter, the social-media expert, tells me I should be on Twitter. So I got on Twitter, kind of, and tweeted a couple of times. I sort of liked it. If I had more time and energy, I think I’d be pretty good at it. It’s a lot like haiku-writing: brief and to the point.
But then, I got out of the habit, I would say, which is an exaggeration, since I never really got into the habit in the first place. “You need to Twitter,” my new friend Rona chided me. “I’ve gotten a lot of traffic from it.”
Rona’s a writer, blogger and editor — and most damning of all, she’s my age. So I couldn’t ignore her advice as coming from someone of a different generation, someone who still has energy and what I used to call a “second wind.”
But another to-do item on my social media list? I’m already blogging and facebooking. I try to answer comments on my blog, even though I border on the sadly unreliable when it comes to replies. If my husband’s with me and we see a striking scene outside, I try to talk him into taking a photo for me, even though I often forget to post it on my blog. I also try to comment on friends’ blogs and link to them. (Notice I said link? After I finally learned to do one of those suckers, I went around bragging about my expertise with “hot links,” until somebody very kindly informed me that nobody but a total loser calls them hot any more. OK, OK, I can take a hint.)
I’m getting tired just listing all my social-networking activities. But I haven’t even mentioned that I text on my cellphone at least once or twice a week. Or the supportive Web group I belong to. I’m trying to stay current, I’m trying to stay wired-in, I’m trying to maintain what my agent calls a “platform.” (“I’m bet you’re sick of hearing that term,” she said a few months ago. No, I’d never heard of it before; now, an hour doesn’t pass without a new mention of platform.)
And have I mentioned I email, too? My daughter informs me that no one emails any longer, but I try to ignore her. I live for emails and carbohydrates; to me, they will never go out of style.
Tomorrow, I plan to go on Twitter. I’ll put it on my to-do list, which is handwritten and therefore obsolete. I have no idea where tweet time is going to come out of my oddball life, which is full of other social networking, reading, going to yoga, talking to my husband and finding new problems to be neurotic about.
“I don’t consider you neurotic at all,” my friend Robert said yesterday. “I think of you as very grounded.”
“She likes to think she’s neurotic,” my husband pointed out very unhelpfully, like I was a poseur or something.
Remember the story about how savants suggested shutting down the U.S. patent office in the 1890s, since everything had already been invented? Sometimes, I yearn for a time like that. If everything slowed to a halt, then maybe, just maybe, I could catch up. In the meantime, no wonder I like to think I’m neurotic.
(Copyright 2009 by Ruth Pennebaker)
Read one of my favorite posts about high-tech dilemmas I don’t want to face