I Was Nearly a Twitter Quitter (and then I read a great post about purpose)

by SomeGirl on June 29, 2010 · 45 comments

I just read a great post at A Steady Rain about having a purpose for blogging. And it made me realize the solution to a problem I’ve been having the past couple of days… I don’t know why I tweet. I know why I blog, but not why I tweet.

I’ve been going crazy with my Twitter account and was just about ready to write a post today titled, “Twitter Quitter” and then close my account (drastic, hu? And I’m not even having a Periodic Mood Swing. ;) )

I’ve been going crazy trying to keep up and connect with everyone I follow, although I admit I’ve not done well at it at all. I’ve also read people posting that “good  twitter etiquette is to start conversations with lots of people by @ing them. And, as it turns out, you’re not supposed to @ only the people you know, but reach out and @ people you don’t know  to show that you are kind and interested in others (or so I’ve been told).

Last night, overwhelmed by trying to connect with the 600+ people I was following, I seriously contemplated becoming a Twitter Quitter. Then, in a last ditch effort to save my account I decided to unfollow the people that don’t follow me… if I think about it, that isn’t really connecting, it’s really just one sided.

After reading Rachel’s great post, I realize I need to take some time and develop a “Twitter Purpose Statement” (that’s kind of weird, hu?).  I mean, if I’m going to spend precious time on Twitter I might as well know why I’m doing it right? And while I’m at it, I might work up a FB purpose statement, too. :)

So, am I totally weird? Do you Tweet? Do you have a purpose for tweeting? I’d LOVE your input!

Love,

♥ Michelle (aka SomeGirl)

Update: I found it! My purpose for tweeting is to connect with YOU (my sweet reader)! So, I’m in middle of a drastic overhaul to my twitter account. If I accidentally unfollow you please @ me and I’ll follow back.

My Twitter Purpose Statement: I tweet to connect with my sweet readers and blogging buddies (so that we can spur one another on toward love and good deeds).

photo from here


{ 45 comments }

Jennifer Davis

I can empathize completely! I want to love Twitter, but like you, I become frustrated. At first, I just did it because my husband did. Then I tried to promote my blog a little. Now, I’m honestly curious about the whole Twitter community you’ve mentioned. Sure, I like to mention when I have a new blog post, but I would also like those on-line friendships people speak of. I do get frustrated, though, because I can reach out and not see people reach out in return. I’m sure it takes time like friendships where face-to-face conversations happen–I need to be patient! You’ve given me food for thought–thanks!

SomeGirl

Oh, thank you so much for your comment, Jennifer! It always helps when others can empathize! :) Twitter can be frustrating, can’t it!?

I’m so glad you took the time to comment… I look forward to getting to know you more and developing our on-line friendship! :)

♥ Michelle

Sherry

I have an account, but it got so frustrating for me. :( Glad you were able to find some sense of purpose to it.

SomeGirl

Oh, Girl! I’m still trying to find sense and purpose! I even thought about canceling the whole thing again tonight, but I think I’m just REALLY going to thin my following list out and only follow my sweet blog readers/blogging buddies. Wish me luck! :)

And thank you SO much for commenting!!

♥ Michelle

Saidah - A Proverbs Wife.com

I hope @proverbswife makes the cut. Seeing my friends tweets in my stream help remind me to visit their blogs. I really enjoy your blog so I’d love it if we followed each other…again :)

SomeGirl

Well, seeing how you are one of my sweet readers and a blogging buddy, I think there’s no reason not to follow you. ;) It’s been great to get to know you, even if I did have to unfollow you to find you! ;) lol

♥ Michelle

SomeGirl

Sorry, Sherry! You’re getting e-mails on all of these comments on your thread… hope you don’t mind! Love ya! ♥ Michelle

Rachel Pereira

Well…..I used to think Twitter was dumb….then I decided to create an account just for the fun of it and to follow my favorite group, Selah and my hubby…..then I realized that I could promote my blog through it….but that got very tiring….so now I just use it for friendship, fun, and promoting OTHER bloggers and sites. It’s a great way to check up on my other blogger friends if I’ve been thinking about them or keep up w/ news on new giveaways or events….not a very concise purpose statement, huh??? Most of my FB friends are “real life” or at least ones that I have had the chance to develop a deeper relationship with….I also occasionally update my status on my “fan” page, but depend on it more just to let me non-blogger FB friends know when I have a new post (used to do it manually every day)…….I’m so sorry for completely rambling!!
I’m so glad that my post got you thinking!! I’ll be praying for a renewed purpose for you….btw…..I would miss you if you quit Twitter!! :)

SomeGirl

I love your rambling! Thanks for thinking outloud with me (and for making me think)! I feel much better, even though I might offend people as I lower my following to match my new found purpose. I’ll just tell them to blame you. ;) lol (TOTALLY kidding)

I would miss you, too! (so I think I’ll just reassess, not quit) :)

♥ Michelle

Rachel Pereira

By the way, if you’re around there’s a Twitter chat tonight by Gather Inspirit……#inspchat….anyway, they’re talking about online friendships….should be interesting!!! It’s @ 9 EST….maybe I’ll “see” you there! =)

SomeGirl

I’m SO bummed I couldn’t be there! I have a Love and Logic parenting class on Tuesday nights this month. I’m going to go search it and read up, though!

Saidah - A Proverbs Wife.com

It was definitely worth attending. I really got to see how others felt about the value of online friendships. You’d be surprised how many people would miss you if you just dropped out of the online world whether Twitter or otherwise. I’ve met so many great friends online.

Lisa Hof

Hi there! I am a twitter quitter! Although I don’t know if I actually ever canceled it, I just stopped posting to it, ummm sorry I stopped tweeting. See I couldn’t get the hang of it at all. It’s purpose and I ended up on social network overload trying to keep up with my emails, my facebook account, and then my twitter account. Totally crazy!
But after reading your post, and finding that a lot of “giveaways” allow extra entries if you tweet about the giveaway! So I’m rethinking being twitter ;o)

SomeGirl

“Social network overload”… that’s exactly how I feel!! I thinks it’s funny this post made you rethink being on Twitter! lol… my overload made you rethink it… that makes me chuckle thinking about it. :)

You’re right, the giveaways are nice! hmmm… might need to add that to my purpose statement. ;)

I’m SO glad you stopped by and took the time to comment! I look forward to getting to know you more!

♥ Michelle

If you do get back on twitter, add me! I’ll follow back! :)

Lisa Hof

Woohoo! I just read your “update”! That’s an awesome purpose statement ;o) I will definitely follow you when I get mine going again!
Thank you for stopping by my little blog ;o) Have a great rest of the week Michelle!
Blessings,
♥Lisa

SomeGirl

Thanks, Lisa!! Btw, I enjoyed visiting your blog, and it’s SO pretty! I LOVE the verse in your sidebar… I say a paraphrased version of it to myself often! And you know I just LOVE your hearts!!! Can’t wait to get to know you more!! ♥ ♥ ♥Michelle

“For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned.” (Romans 12:3)

Joy

I need to figure out how twitter works before I can become a twitter quitter. I have an account, but that’s about it.

I just linked my networked blogs account there so my blog posts will tweet.

But I don’t get the whole @ thing. And I have two facebook accounts, one for friends one for networking. So who’s left to twitter? And do these people really want to hear what I’m talking about twice?

When I do check twitter, which so far is infrequently, I do enjoy getting updates from Ashton Kutcher. He can tweet me anytime. LOL. Maybe that’s my twitter purpose…it’s my People magazine of social networking.

(Rachel, I *looovvve* Selah! Maybe I should follow them too).

SomeGirl

Twitter as People magazine makes sense… it’s much less complicated that way! (and it’s fun to know what’s going on in your favorite celebs life) :)

I’m so glad you joined the discussion! Thanks, Joy!

♥ Michelle

Saidah - A Proverbs Wife.com

Hey Michelle,

I headed over because I was following you on Twitter but you had stopped following me. No hard feelings though.

This post is really good. I have a Twitter account because 50% of my blog readers congregate and chat.

The other 50% are on Facebook. I simply go where my readers/friends are.

I’ve made a lot of friends and have grown my readership just by striking up conversation with people who follow me.

Some tweets develop into great connections others wane.

Overall, my purpose for being on Twitter is to stay connected to my blog readers. I see that you have a great community on your FB page. If you found that some of those friends where on Twitter it would make sense to talk to them there.

Great post!

SomeGirl

Saidah,

Sorry about that… I thought I wouldn’t be missed in lists of people with large followings. But thanks for understanding!

You have some GREAT points to think about… your comment has really helped me in formulating my purpose… connecting with my readers. I’m an old hat at FB, but twitter is a new “creature” for me. I really appreciate your input!

Thank you for taking the time to comment!

♥ Michelle

Shell

LOVE this post! I’m so glad you figured it out, and you’ll still be tweeting! :)

For me, I’m following people/things that in some way make my life better. Phototgraphy tweeps that keep me inspired, bloggers who help me spiritually grow, deals of the day, organization tipsters, fellow yogis, a very few IRL people. The main theme is in some way making my life better. That’s my purpose statement. And thanks to you for getting me to define it! It makes it a whole lot easier to decide who to follow or stop following!

As for FB, those are pretty much exclusively IRL people that I know. I use it to stay in touch with people I’ve moved away from (or who have moved away from me!). I wouldn’t be good about staying in touch without it. I did make myself give up the games and all the “extra” stuff that can suck you into FB. It can waste your whole day if you let it.

SomeGirl

It’s SO neat to see how different people use Twitter… I love your purpose: to make your life better by what you read/find.

Thanks for working through this whole issue with me yesterday! I love you sweet friend! ♥ Michelle

Natalie

I’m glad you found your Twitter purpose and I don’t think it is weird. I think it’s good to know why we spend our time on certain things- even if the reason is simply to relax and socialize :) I do not Tweet because I cannot figure the dumb thing out- lol I do have a FB account and use it to connect with friends and family.

SomeGirl

Thanks, Natalie!

Yeah, relaxing and socializing is a good purpose, too (that’s probably the biggest reason I like to reply to comments). :) It’s good to have a break and just enjoy what you’re doing.

Speaking of that, hope you’re having a good time at the beach!

♥ Michelle

Leah

Hi, I’m stopping by from iFellowship. I liked reading this post and hearing some of the twitter etiquette. I am on there but don’t use it a whole lot besides tweeting my new posts. This is mainly because I am totally clueless as to how it all works. I’ve tried to send some messages by @ing people and very rarely got a response so I felt like maybe I was being weird for doing that. Also, the idea of twitter chats sound so neat but I’m just not sure I’d know what to do. LOL. It really is great to get to meet new bloggers and support one another with our visions. Have a nice day and hope to hear from you sometime :)

SomeGirl

Hi Leah! It’s GREAT to meet you through iFellowship!

Yeah, I’ve @ed people and not had them respond and thought that was weird, too. And the twitter chats are great, but the first few made my head feel like it was going to spin right off! ;) lol But it’s been worth it! Another great way to meet and support each other. :)

Now I’m on my way to get to know you more at your blog!

♥ Michelle

Leah

Cool! I just saw you will also be attending the Relevant conference. I am following via google friend connect and like your FB page now too! Blessings!

SomeGirl

Yay! I look forward to getting to know you more and to meeting you in October!! ♥ Michelle

lara

Twitter totally intimidates me. I have no idea what I’m doing but after months of avoidance I decided to open an account. And yes I just added you as the first one I am following. (isn’t that special.) I really have no idea but I thought I would put my feet in the water and see how it feels. ;)

SomeGirl

Awww… that IS special! :) I’ll go follow you back right now! ♥ Michelle

Stuart

I think you’ve discovered the selfish underbelly that is 95% plus of twitter.

Twitter is supposed to be about connecting and sharing but you’ll find that the vast majority of folks only care about spouting forth and rarely find teh time or effort to respond.

Funnily enough I discussed this on my blog back in April – http://www.churchtechy.com/2010/04/twitter-fail/ (if you’re interested).

How we get folks to respond I don’t know.

As to needing a purpose to tweet – I guess that would help but seeing it as another means of connecting or extending your network base is always a good thing. Then take it form there.

p.s. I’m here because laraG mentioned you …!

SomeGirl

Hi Stuart! It’s great to have you visit today; any friend of Lara’s is a friend of mine! :)

You have great twitter insight and I look forward to reading what you blogged when I get on the road in a little bit (my husband’s driving, not me). ;)

I’m sorry to admit I was part of the selfish underbelly. I was overwhelmed with following too many people that all I could manage to do was post my stuff and reply to those who mentioned me. I hated to do it, but I had to cut my following list WAY down so I could be more others focused and not so narcissistic. It feels much better now! And I’m actually able to follow my home stream and reach out!

Anyway, thank you SO much for taking the time to comment! I’d LOVE to have you visit again sometime! I’ll head over to your blog very soon!

♥ Michelle

Stuart

The temptation with Twitter – and this may be why folks become “twitter selfish” – is to believe you have to see / respond to everything in your timeline.

The trick, I believe, is to treat it like real life and accept that there are going to be things you miss out on. Take a best friend for example – you may know them initimately but do you have to know everything they do, every minute of the day? The answer is quite obviously no – unless you’re a stalker ;)

Do you then feel you’ve missed out because your friend did something and you didn’t know or found out weeks later?

Probably not .. then I say, treat twitter the same way and you go some way towards overcoming feeling swamped. It still doesn’t resolve how to get folks to respond though!

SomeGirl

That’s a GREAT way to look at it! Thank you! And I left you a comment on your blog… My suggestion: follow people from the south, like Texas (“the friendly state”). :) Thanks again! – Michelle (I don’t have my cute little hearts on my iPhone)

Dawn

I use Twitter to connect with my readers, and to connect followers with my blog. I do tweet periodically, but my main purpose is to connect with my readers. I tweet links to posts, or comment or retweet on others’ posts. Without my blog I probably would not use Twitter at all.

SomeGirl

Thanks for your input, Dawn! Twitter is a nice way to connect with readers, but I agree with you… without my blog I probably wouldn’t use Twitter either. :)

Deb Chitwood

What a great discussion! I love the Twitter Purpose Statement you came up with, Michelle! Two things that really help me enjoy Twitter are TweetDeck and giving myself permission to be a bad Tweeter at times.

TweetDeck helps me focus on my blog readers and blogging friends by making special groups. I have groups like Montessori, homeschooling, parenting, education, etc. I’m able to put my main readers and online friends in those groups to find their tweets more easily. Beyond that, I just read and retweet posts I like that I happen to see coming through my All Friends feed.

I allow myself to be a bad Tweeter at times like this when I’m on vacation with my family. I won’t be on Twitter much until Friday. But I’ll enjoy the time I am on it because I love the things I learn and the friendships I share on Twitter.

SomeGirl

Thanks, Deb! I’ll have to check out TweetDeck and learn to give myself permission to be a bad Tweeter (and bad FBer, and bad blog hopper). I’ve actually been known to beat myself up over things like that. But now, permission will be granted. :) Thank you! ♥ Michelle

Wanda

This is my first visit to your site. Reading your post and all the comments has been really helpful to me. I know nothing about how to use twitter but I’ve thinking about giving it a try. So this has given me a lot to think about before jumping in.

SomeGirl

Hi Wanda! It’s GREAT to have you here visiting… I hope you feel at home and will stop by again!

And if you get on Twitter, look me up: @SomeGirlsTweets

♥ Michelle

Erin @ Closing Time

I go back and forth about the whole Twitter thing. There are seasons when I love it and want to tweet all day. Other times it feels overwhelming and I just can’t go there. So I’m a spastic tweeter. I’m either all there or absent. I love that you have a Twitter mission statement. Maybe that would help me!

SomeGirl

“A spastic Tweeter”… that’s funny! Seriously, I thought I must be weird wanting a purpose statement for Twitter, but it has made a WORLD of difference! :)

Betsy Henry zen-mama.com

I haven’t quite figured the twitter thing out yet. But I just got rid of a lot of the twitterers that I really am not interested in or who don’t follow back, too. I’ll read Rachel’s post and think about the mission statement as well.
Thanks!

SomeGirl

Yeah, doing that has made SUCH a difference in my Twitter enjoyment! Hopefully it will in yours, too! ♥ Michelle

martha brady

this is a very helpful tweeting discussion. i’ll work on it some more:) it has taken me forever to begin to “get” it. glad i’m not the only one. the week b/f relevant, it dawned on me that i was probably supposed to respond to people by following them:) didn’t realize that b/f. wasn’t sure i wanted to follow everyone who was following me so that was why i didn’t. oh well. now i don’t have to delete them all:)

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