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Exposed: My Life on Twitter

April 10, 2009

My husband outed my Twitter habit in today’s Boston Globe op-ed page. Titled I am Married to a Crowd, my husband writes of my adventures in the Twitter-verse and in social media in general. In the words of one Twitter friend, my huzz is a Twitter widower. OK, it’s not that bad at all, and I’m not that addicted. (I am writing this post without checking my tweets.)

His piece is a must-read because of his wit and insight into social media. He calls me a Twitter Queen and coins the phrase “digital Botox.” I laughed when I read his first draft and found it charming, too. Others have enjoyed the piece, too. (Some comments are, of course, mean-spirited and shortsighted, and show a lack of humor and understanding. It’s always puzzled me why people do that. Researchers explain that the anonymity of the Internet allows people to say such things. But such rudeness is not limited to the web. Just listen to even one minute of talk radio. I’m all for free speech, but … anyway, I digress.)

kitties-on-twitter1

Forget any preconceived notions about Twitter. Twitter is so misunderstood, and until you reach a critical mass of about 20 followers and 20 people you follow, you won’t get it. You have to dive in. It’s about conversing. It’s not about posting self-absorbed updates like “I’m eating a donut,” “I can’t believe I said that last night. LOL” and “Why can’t I seem to make him notice me?!!!” It’s not like Facebook, as much as Facebook attempts to emulate Twitter.

On Twitter, you exchange ideas with like-minded people who share your interests, passions or career choice. Every day, I fire up Tweetdeck and join a conversation with authors, journalists, bibliophiles and others in publishing and news media. we exchange URLs for interesting articles and conferences and discuss anything related to our work. I follow the 80-20 rule: 80 percent of my tweets are about writing, news, media and related topics, 20 percent personal. Think of it as a virtual water cooler. Because many of us work at home, Twitter is kind of like leaning over the cubicle wall and chatting with a coworker. The great thing is that you can easily find people in your field or who are passionate about gardening, food, social media, blogging–you name it–on Twitter.

My husband’s op-ed speaks to another point about us. My husband and I live in a two-writer household. We get each other and help each other in our work. And of course, we mine each other’s foibles for literary fodder. We have a lot of fun, often laughing until our sides hurt and we’re gasping for breath.

Someone on Twitter tweeted this link today about life as a two-writer couple. The post is sweet and fun–and on the mark. Have a look: “I Married a Novelist.”

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