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I’m a Facebook Girl Living in a Twitter World

My most recent goal for reacquainting myself with today’s digital marketing landscape is learning about Twitter.  I tried getting on Twitter once before so I could follow my brother at the Sochi Olympics, (writing, not competing).  It’s very telling that a) I only followed him, and b) Instead of ever making my first Tweet, I went and wrote about getting on Twitter on my Facebook page.

So, it was with much anxiety and procrastination that I finally signed up for @Dusty_Parachute and two weeks ago finally made my first Tweet.

I quickly proceeded to copy and paste links for all of the blog posts that I had written and sat back with the “If you build it, they will come” mentality, but shockingly, no one came….(Well, some did, but they were mostly interested in selling me 5,000 followers for $24.95 and what appears to be terrorist recruitment).

A week later, I decided to be proactive and put the ‘social’ in social-media.  I figured that since I’m doing a blog about life after being a stay at home mom for 10 years, it would make sense to start following the most successful blogging moms.  Easy enough, I’ll Google “Top Mom Blogs 2014” and follow the rabbit hole from there.

The first thing I realized was, “Holy shit, I think every mom in the world has a blog, (and some of them even have two!)” The second thing I realized was “Holy shit, I think all of these mom bloggers are all besties who have been partying together for years” and immediately felt like the new girl at the party who keeps wandering around trying to squeeze my way into a bunch of circles of conversation only to look down and realize I’m not wearing any pants.  Super awkward, super humbling.  I have been fortunate to make it through all levels of school without a socially awkward phase and at age 42 I thought I was safe….guess not.

I proceeded to spend a couple of days going around ‘Following’ people that seem to have interesting blogs, or who have blogs that people that I think are interesting seem to think are interesting (the rabbit hole). By the end of it, I was following about 200 people.

And that’s when the Twitter firehose exploded in my face.

If Facebook is a leisurely brunch with some of your friends and neighbors, Twitter is a weekend in Vegas with a case of tequila and ten hookers. Even with just my 200 follows (many have thousands), I was getting at least a couple of posts a second, most so clever they could have been bumper stickers so I felt this overwhelming need to read them all.

“But if I leave to feed the children, maybe I’ll miss the perfect post that I could have retweeted or commented on that would have made that awesome blogger I follow finally follow me back…..Oh my God, there went 40 more….who’s that guy? I don’t follow him, oh that’s a retweet….why does that lady retweet 100 posts at a time? I should unfollow her….but she’s funny, and oh no, then maybe she’ll find out and tell all the other BFFs that I’m an unfollower and I’ll be stuck at 65 followers forever!”

For two days I walked around like I was in a perpetual adrenaline state similar to the one I get from watching the last 5 minutes of a Breaking Bad episode. I was confused, overwhelmed and constantly thinking how scared I am of Twitter (Twittering?).

Then two things happened.

First, I started to try to just focus on the tweets from people who weren’t just going for the ‘best bumper sticker’ award, but being really authentic and interesting. I reached out to one of them who lives in Austin and she was very kind, gracious and….human….wait, these tweeters are people, just normal people despite their cool, confident tweets? So basically I’ve learned to focus on the genuine and scroll really fast through the rest.

The next thing happened just last night. I saw on Facebook that one of my favorite authors, Hugh Howey, was doing a pre-release of his first kids book. I immediately bought it and wanted to let him know how excited I was, so I posted a reply to his Facebook post along with hundreds of other fans.  I also went and made a separate Facebook post telling all of my friends about the book and did the same thing on Twitter. I went on with my day, starting our week long tour of restaurants (like we do when daddy is out of town), and almost did a spit take with my margarita when I checked my phone and saw a Tweet from Hugh Howey himself (okay, my friend insists it’s someone in his PR department, but I choose to believe.)

Sure, it was just an exchange of a few tweets about a graphic novel he wrote, but certainly more interaction than I had had being ‘friends’ with him on Facebook for the past two years.  It was cool. I was hooked. My 9 year old daughter got so excited she immediately insisted that I tweet her favorite author, Sharon M. Draper (yes, she actually said the M).  I can see how this can get addicting.

I get it now. It doesn’t have to be one or the other.  I can still have my Facebook for boring all my friends and family with non-stop updates about my kids’ milestones and injuries. But I’ve also come to appreciate Twitter for being an amazing tool for meeting interesting people (even some famous ones) who share my same interests and who I would never encounter in daily life offline.

So, while I humble myself through my failed attempts to squeeze into the cool kid twitter circles, it’s nice to know I’ve got my Facebook friends to soften the blow with pictures of sweet little faces in pumpkin patches and covered in permanent marker (yes, I literally just went and picked the 2 most recent posts).

———-

By the way, my brilliant husband recently wrote a book all about Twitter and Real Time Marketing.  Check it out here:

Fore more information on Hugh Howey’s kids book, Misty The Proud Cloud:

thedustyparachute

A former advertising director trying to figure out the next stage in life after 10 years as a stay at home mom.

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thedustyparachute

A former advertising director trying to figure out the next stage in life after 10 years as a stay at home mom.

30 thoughts on “I’m a Facebook Girl Living in a Twitter World

  1. You perfectly summarized the twitter-virgin experience. I just went through this (still learning, really) and it’s crazy how lonely you can feel surrounded by so many people, talk/tweeting nonstop! Glad to hear it is not just me. Also- Taye Diggs followed me this week, and while I understand his thing is following random people, it kind of sealed the deal on the Twitter love for me. Did you end up using any apps to manage things?

    1. I still start to panic a little when I think back to those first couple of week. Oddly enough, I do use Hootsuite to manage Twitter posts for a client I consult for but I don’t use it for mine. I should give it a try but I’m still old fashioned with my Tweeting, I feel like in order to truly be ‘social’ media, I should be doing it when the mood strikes and be available to respond if someone tweets back. 🙂

  2. The one-to-one interaction is what’s SO great about Twitter. As a food blogger I’ve had a couple of conversations with famous chefs, and I can’t imagine any other space that could happen (even if it IS their PR person).

  3. I am totally a Twitter girl (and only do Facebook because I have to). Mainly because Twitter is people I “want” to know and Facebook are people I “have:” to know. I mean no disrespect to my facebook friends and family, but Twitter is where I find NEW people who are uninteresting and I would never have found any other way.

    I suggest you start making lists from the very beginning to help you sort through people and also use an app that has a muting feature. So, let’s say there is a Twitter party of conference you are not interested in, you can remove those tweets from your stream.

  4. I like this. I especially like this as I use Twitter and Facebook BOTH to chat, and barely to promote other than to ping out shares of blog posts I enjoyed. And I have no kids, but I do have two and a half blogs 🙂

    Your description of Twitter made me giggle 🙂

  5. I have come to embrace the Twitter. When I find it overwhelming, I just close it. Someone (I forget who) tweeted something a week or so ago that I think perfectly summarizes the whole Twitter thing for me: “When does Twitter end? I have shit to do.” (I’m also curious to know what was the very first thing ever tweeted on Twitter?) I mostly prefer Facebook–there are fewer annoying inspirational and/or gooey relationship quotes (crap like “Let me just breathe you in. You are my oxygen.” I roll my eyes so hard at those it can take up to two days to get my sight back) because I pick those friends. But Twitter can be amusing. I do hate when people follow you, you follow them back, and then a day later they unfollow you. I unfollow those people right back.

    I have to draw the line at the rest of social media. No Tumblr or Instagram for this gal!

    1. Oh my gosh – I wouldn’t even know how to go about knowing who unfollowed me, but I know that it happens. I like to think that there’s some kind of Twitter karma that will come back to haunt them.

      1. You can look at the people you follow and see which ones you follow. I really only get bent out of shape if it’s like the next day. And it IS Twitter, so it ranks pretty darned low on my list of things to worry about in life. But every now and then someone will follow me, and I’ll notice my follower number drop like the next day, and since people show up in the order in which they started following you/you started following them, I’ll go look and see if I’m now following someone who isn’t following me. But it’s not one my higher priorities, I’ll admit 🙂

  6. I love Twitter just for that reason– it’s so easy to have genuine conversations like you had (although sometimes there’s a lot of link clutter to wade through). I also use Twitter a lot for consumer care help and it’s even gotten me some perks at local restaurants when I wasn’t expecting it (like one place comping our party of 6 and another giving us movie tickets since I tweeted we were eating there then heading to a movie). Twitter rocks!

  7. Yep, i feel like i’m always trying to keep up on twitter which inevitably means i fall behind. Funny, that your husband wrote a book about it and you’re just joining the party. Hopefully, he’ll give you some tips!

  8. I loved hearing about your journey of beginning with Twitter recently. I have been on there a few years ago, but admit sometimes it does still move too quickly for me, but still I try my best to use Twitter for social media purposes and also do love the interactions as they occur in real life time. But again thank you for sharing your recent experiences and happily followed you over on Twitter 😉

  9. ****Forewarning: This is not a “comment”, but rather the babbles of a woman who should probably have some more frequent adult interaction, on a daily basis. You’ve been warned. I don’t blame you should you decide to quit reading at this point.****

    First of all, the timing of me stumbling across this blog could not be described as anything less than awesome. I, too, am a newbie member of the school-day-empty-nester club. In fact, for the first two weeks of the school year, after sending my baby girl/sidekick/little love to spend an entire 7 hours NOT with me… I was still crying (at least a little bit) on a daily basis. It wasn’t pretty. I’ve been attempting to convince DH we needed baby #3 for over a year now. It doesn’t seem I’m going to win that one.

    So I, too, am slightly excited and optimistic about starting a new leg of my career path. Of being something outside of “just a SAHM”– I HATE that phrase, btw– yet still am battling the nostalgia (and potentially lost hope) of ever holding my own brand new bundle & smelling that sweet, sweet New Baby Smell… *sigh*.

    *My uterus aches*. Yes, I am still in the throes of Baby Fever. Hoping it will pass.

    So, by following your journey, I hope to have an additional source of motivation to keep checking job sites, adjusting the resume, and crossing fingers & toes that the “perfect” part-time, decent paying, school-hours job just magically crosses my path 😉

    Additionally, your idea to comment on other mom blogs proved effective! I am here only because I read your comment at The Bloggess, and the title about telling grandparents how to care for a one year old is TOTALLY what I did the first time I left my First Born!! I had to read what this obviously like-minded, crazy pants lady had to say about her experience. Girl, we have a few years difference in age (and former career experience), but I definitely feel the kindred spirits and warm & fuzzies all happening upon first read!

    Since then (earlier today), I have read each of your blog entries. I’m glad I get to join and follow from early in your journey of the interwebs. I dig your style. I truly think you’ll find an audience. I’ll happily share your links with my friends, and encourage them to do the same!

    Finally, I conclude the rambles with this:
    You, in this single post, have almost convinced me to FINALLY join the Twitter world. A feat my loving hubs has attempted for years. Seriously. I eventually told him I couldn’t give in, ever, simply because he’s been pestering for so long. The way you describe it, however, makes perfect sense! In fact, I sent him the link to this blog & told him he was doing it all wrong. He could have just said all the things you did. Boom. Done.

    Keep on keeping on. You’ve got one new fan who’s eagerly along for the ride!

    1. Your reply has made my whole day! (My month even!) I’m so glad that you enjoyed the post and that it encouraged you to brave the Twitter world…(after over a month in now, I’ve learned to enjoy it instead of dread it).
      I just checked out about every ‘career after kids’ book from the library this week, so stay tuned for any tidbits that I’m able to pull from those. Hope to have you follow along at https://www.facebook.com/thedustyparachute I’m much better at updating there than on the blog. 🙂
      Thanks again for letting me know that I’m not the only one going through this phase…and for letting me know that people are actually reading my blog. 😉

  10. Totally hear you on the mommy twitter thing. Personally, I prefer twitter to facebook. I saw this post over at mommit, and I’m going to follow you now. 🙂 I’m @stardancin. 🙂

    1. Interesting – What is it you prefer about Twitter? My husband likes it because he prefers that Twitter doesn’t choose who gets which message like Facebook does, but I sometimes feel like I’m tweeting into a black hole. Would help if any of my friends were on there! 🙂 Heading over right now to follow you too.

      1. I feel like that too! I go to twitter, and have so many random things followed, that I’m overwhelmed, and go back to facebook. LOL

        1. Fortunately, I’ve become much more comfortable with it since writing that post. I’m definitely more of a Facebook girl still but am Twitter-ized enough to even help out with consulting clients that are also scared of it. It also helps that I have a husband that wrote a book about it so I can bug him with all my questions. 😉

  11. It probably was Hugh personally. I’ve met him IRL and he definitely remembered our various exchanges on his website and via email. You can interact with him on Facebook too.

    1. That’s so cool that you got to meet him (and that he remembered you!) Hopefully he’ll come by Austin sometime. I have posted a few things to Facebook but since he has so many fans I always felt like a needle in a haystack. Can’t wait for his new kiddo book to be delivered!

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