Do You Tweet Too Much?

I signed up on Twitter early this month, making me the last person on the planet to join which is something I guess.

Twitter has been much more fun than it has  right to be, frankly. Those little notes I’m getting now from authors, readers and a handful of celebrities are very entertaining reading, once you figure out the language.  The language is not quite English, but that’s a subject for another day.

Once you’re on Twitter, Twitter starts finding people you might know or might be interested in following.  Like Facebook, Twitter is very good at this.  I’m now following some 60 plus people while almost 50 people are following me.  Twitter even found authors I like, some of them far from famous, for me to follow.

I’m trying to keep the celebrity count low as far as who I’m following goes, but I do have a few.

Including one author,  whose work I read like, who tweeted too much this week.

I limit myself to one Facebook post and one Tweet per day, and I make no effort to do either every day.  More than that and I could easily fall into a Twitter hole, never emerging from the basement room where I sit in a bathrobe typing this.  Honest.

Certain authors should really do the same.

One day this week a particular Tweeted several times about George Orwell.  This author was  upset about the overuse of the term Orwellian, especially by westerners in reference to Eastern governments.  (I’m still newish to Twitter talk so I can’t say that I fully understand the context.  I think I didn’t get all of the Tweets relevant to this discussion.)

Said author Tweets once about the misuse or overuse of ‘Orwellian.’  Tweets again about how this is lazy writing.  Tweets a final time about how the term was invented by a lazy writer.

I thought “Are you calling George Orwell a lazy writer?”

I suppose George Orwell was not as prolific as some, but his stuff is very, very good and he certainly wrote plenty.  And who are you to call George Orwell lazy?

Perhaps said author meant to imply that Mary McCarthy, who some credit with inventing the term Orwellian, was a lazy writer.  I’ve never read Mary McCarthy, but I’ve only ever heard good things about her.  And she certainly wrote plenty.

I suggest waiting until you are at least half as successful as George Orwell or Mary McCarthy were, which you are not, yet, before you call either a lazy writer.

Since you’re an author, it kind of makes you look petty.

And if you had stopped after two Tweets, you would have been fine.  Orwellian really is an overused term.

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4 Comments

  1. Wendy says:

    James,
    Good news! You are not the last person on earth to join Twitter. I haven’t joined Twitter, and (gasp!) I’m not even on Facebook. Anyway, I’ve been enjoying reading your posts that find connections between two short stories. I enjoyed making connections between seemingly disparate works of literature (whether they be poems, short stories, or plays) while teaching, so it’s nice to see someone do that outside of the classroom.

    1. I’m always making connections. It’s what I enjoy most about teaching literature, too. Books and stories don’t exist in isolation; they are part of a much larger universe of stories. I think it’s important, and fun, to see how they all work together.

  2. Thanks for letting me know about your new blog! It’s a shame your old one disappeared.

    Twitter has its positives and negatives and it does take a while to get used to it, but I suggest not limiting yourself to a tweet a day. I don’t go on there very much as it is a real time suck, but when I do I try to spend about an hour there, interacting with whoever happens to be about. Twitter is best when it involves a conversation. I suggest hanging around and then getting involved in something that grabs your attention – and try to avoid arguments as they get nasty quite quickly. Good luck!

    1. Glad you found the new blog, Jackie. I think you’re right about Twitter. From what I’ve observed so far, I’ll have to give up on my one Tweet a day rule. Maybe a time limit instead…

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