Booked til Tuesday

Life, Law & Libros

All the Thoughts: Social Media Manners

I have thoughts about Twitter (and social media in general). They are too long to fit inside a tweet, and I haven't posted here in a bit, so blog. :)

In a nutshell, Twitter has become a very depressing place.

I'm not a huge social media user. I'm not on Twitter 24/7. I just check in once in a while when I'm bored, avoiding homework or responding to a mention. Yet in the last three weeks, I haven't been able to log on once without seeing the aftermath of some book community incident.

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First of all, why? There are so many other productive uses for all this time and emotional energy and, correct me if I'm wrong, but it doesn't look like anybody comes out of these tiffs happier or healthier.

That aside, I love a good debate. Why else would I go to law school? ;) But there's a difference between sharing your opinion and attacking someone. When people operate as though their opinions or interpretations are the only ones to be had, and everyone else is wrong, stupid, bigoted, etc., it will cause friction. But people can disagree civilly. You may indeed be wrong, and I may tell you I think so. But I'll do it nicely. :) (Anyone else remember that famous "Roadhouse" line? Not "pain don't hurt." The other one.)

In social media (and in life), we need to be extra careful about assuming. Especially among book bloggers, we know that reading is a subjective experience. You can make an assumption about the writer's intentions, but it's not necessarily what the writer thought. If someone asks why you think/believe something, you don't have to explain your reasons. However, there's a difference between saying, "I'd rather not explain right now, but thanks for asking," and "YOU SUCK."

It sounds totally kindergarten, but...Golden Rule, anyone?

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I post occasionally to Twitter and Instagram. More often than not, I spend five minutes composing a tweet...and then delete it. Either it doesn't feel important enough to post (no one cares that I had soda and chips for breakfast again), or it's important, but I haven't found the right words. Even with emoticons and all caps, it's hard to convey tone and intent.

I'm not saying that you should keep silent and not share your opinion. I am saying that the manner in which we share our thoughts and opinions can leave a stronger impression than the substance of those opinions; it can even overpower and block out the message altogether.

The way it looks right now, I'm tempted to unfollow people en masse and only keep the few people I regularly interact with who never clog my feed with drama. Personally, I don't have the energy for it right now. It's just...disappointing.

What are your thoughts? Is Twitter going the way of *shudder* Facebook?

Unrelated happy note: I finally got another participant for the first debate event I'm putting together! SO relieved to finally have this ironing itself out.

In other news, I've totally taken over the big stuffed chair in the law journal suite, where I routinely kick off my shoes, curl up and (attempt to) study. I also put a whole 12-pack of Dr. Pepper in the law journal fridge. At this rate, it will be gone in under a week. :)


  1. I've been on and off Twitter mostly because of work and school, and I'm sure I'll be back to "off" next week. I hate how Twitter has turned into rants and long threads of people talking to themselves and preaching from soapboxes... 99% of the time, they're preaching to the choir, and they're saying the same thing they said last week, and it's f***ing annoying. Good stuff (sometimes), but annoying, seeing it over and over.

    I'm content with minimizing social media usage! Goodness knows I could spend more time reading. Or, errr, studying. Yes, studying. ;)

    Hurray for the big stuffed chair! I'm virtually throwing Dr. Pepper cans your way. :D

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

    1. True, it does seem to be a lot of repetition. Which is fine if that's what you want to talk about (though I may get tired of hearing it), but does it have to be so...mean? I saw one the other day about differing opinions on diversity and author responsibility, etc., and I was like, this could be a really interesting conversation, but not like this. :P (Even when one side essentially rolled over and said, "You must be right, I must be wrong" (which I had some issues with...), it remained a hate fest.)

      Studying? Oh yes, studying! That thing I'm supposed to be doing. ;)