Hey Twitter, Hey Facebook, I'm Over Here... [some thoughts]

Moral of the story: I've been seeking types of satisfaction from Twitter and Facebook that apparently--for me at least--are not derivable from those SNSs. What follows is a bit of a mangling of ideas and perceptions--I'm still working through the ideas--on this topic.

The past couple months I have been struggling with my messaging and followers. I'm no international conglomerate, so I don't have to worry about bringing in cash with my messages. Good thing, I suspect, since I'd probably go broke. But, honestly, that's kind of what concerns me, too. If I actually have a solid and decent understanding of rhetoric, technology, and learners/users, then shouldn't I be able to effectively use multiple media to expand my audience? If I don't build my audience or increase responses/interactivity, then do I actually have a skill set that is worth much?

I don't know. And like many academics, it is very easy to navel dwell and worry about whether or not my skills actually match their label.

Having said that, I've noticed my writing styles and content are sloppy all over the place like a three year old tossing spaghetti sauce on walls. Twitter is a blend of security/IT, punk rock/class war music, scholarly/genre interests, and professional development. I also use it to spit out random mood updates. Facebook is for longer thoughts. More personal stuff at times, venting or frustration or happy happy joy joy success, and a bit longer. Neither interface, though, feels really effective for me and my thinking processes.

Twitter is solid for follows, for learning, for listening to other voices, and to get schooled. But my ability to interact on Twitter just seems to fail. Not sure why that is--guess I lack those skills. I know that interactivity is only one portion of the Twitter presence, but I feel like it should be interactive, like it should be play, but I've not managed to grok that process. When play and interaction does happen on Twitter, it is terrifically fun and enjoyable. And I want more of that, but I don't know how to make it happen. Complicating matters is that if I have Twitter up on my screen, I don't get work done. Some by not being present all the time I can't interact all the time. Having said that, if I was on Twitter all the time I'd not have a job. It's that addicting. Perhaps later I will find more balance.

In a similar fashion, I've reduced my time and emotional commitment to Facebook because it can be such a time sink. And, frankly, it is social media, and I'm not sure I want to be that invested in one venue. I can't give my attention there as much. I definitely feel like there are more deep emotional connections with more people on Facebook than on Twitter, but the level of spontaneity and play on FB is less.

All of this is framed within the larger context of my absolute media consumption binge. I eat pans of brownies while watching episode after episode of (name a BBC, thriller, or mystery series). The binge has been going on for months. Partial escapism from work, partial escapism re: D's health, partial not wanting to think. But this has left a chasm of not being creative--not being generative. Just consuming and shuffling others' texts has become tiresome.

In a cheap reference of Deleuze, others' text have been deterritorializing what I consider to be my identify, attention, and energy--and it's been flattening my experience. These other texts have power largely because they are battling for my time or my attention--they are not; I conserve my attention pretty well away from most commercial demands--in a realm where I trust them and where I have little to no resistance. For example, if I were in a public space, I would be less likely to sink into passive consumption/receptivity of messages and turn to gel. However, once I come home, I choose a passive consumptive role by going to Netflix. Once I am there, it's almost like a willing form of subordination to the entertainment--whether or not I actually want to watch media. If the media is awful, then I will switch to another piece of media--I rarely get out of Netflix.

In the midst of this tangled mess of concepts, self-perception, and media, what strikes me are these points:

  • I seek voice in social media outlets, but the types of voice that satisfy my needs/desire are not appropriate for those venues;
  • those venues/speech acts which are gratifying/satisfying require more investment than social media acts (in my case, short bursts of thought), and thus often do not occur because of my time spent in passive media consumption;
  • a pattern of passive media consumptions has repositioned my concept of what creation and participation is/are.

Thus, when I generate communication or content, it is rarely satisfying. When I consume most media, it is is only partially satisfying because I know that the acts of content generation--ones that require more time than my social media acts and would eat into my passive consumption time--feel much better.

So, once again, I am trying to shift/move my online identify--or at least a good portion of it--over to this blog.

Not sure how well it will work, but six to nine months of the other approach has not left me feeling solid overall. Sure, it's had peaks and valleys, but it is not sustainable.


Props the my sis Cheryl over at Library Tracks for the non-stop good music.

Now listening: