Is criticism over a Tweet I made even worth answering? Hells Yeah!

March 11, 2011

Yesterday, I received a missive from someone I hadn’t conversed with in nearly a year. He’d been compelled to criticize me about a Tweet I’d composed a few days prior! The offending Tweet: “So, who’s giving up Twitter for Lent?”

Among other things, the man wrote: “Steff- Who really gives a shit about what others are giving up for Lent? 

Too many posts, dude. You’re starting to get the reputation as a maker of white noise. 
Might want to be a bit more selective on what and where you post. Right message, right audience, right time, right place, etc.”

Wow. With friends like that…

I remained calm. First, I told him I don’t often use Linkedin but that my Twitter feed is linked to it. (I realize Linkedin is a professional network. To his point, personal Tweets might be out of place there.) However, I also referred him to my 1,870 followers who seem to get a kick out of my tweets. And I out of theirs. Then I mentioned my blog and its growing readership. Not monster numbers but pretty good for “white noise.” Thank you, by the way.

In conclusion I told my critical friend that I get a lot of satisfaction and pleasure out of social networking. Some pain too. But that first and foremost I believe social media should be FUN. That’s why it was created. The feverish networking and self-promotion came later.

In my view, the Lent Tweet was a fun, mildly provocative question relating to addiction and social networks. Twitter is addictive. For many of us Twitter would be the perfect thing to give up for Lent! I first saw the question asked by another person I follow. I re-tweeted it. Later I composed my own version. In turn, that was re-tweeted. My point to him: others appreciated the Tweet. It was not “white noise.”

And so what if it was? I’ve gotten way more flack pimping my novels via Twitter than from random, silly Tweets. We live and we learn and we Tweet about it all. That is the peeve and promise of social networks. Perhaps my friend would prefer more links to innocuous case studies. Frankly, I prefer white noise to white papers.

Needless to say, I did not put that last paragraph in my reply. Why? Because offering unsolicited criticism via email or social networks is almost never taken as intended. I learned that the hard way. Hopefully, now he has too.


14 Responses to “Is criticism over a Tweet I made even worth answering? Hells Yeah!”

  1. tim said

    meh. I find nothing wrong with tmi. it’s up to everyone to filter.

    if they don’t care, they don’t matter.

  2. Bryan said

    Your critical friend should seek out a fiber rich beverage or high fiber cereal bar. It’s called “twitter”. Have fun with it for Christ sake.

  3. pithypants said

    Funny how 140 characters can cause such reactions. I was live-tweeting the Superbowl ads and I made a comment along the lines of, “Hey BMW, didn’t you know Americans like their Superbowl commercials funny? Oh wait, you probably think this is a soccer match.” And someone direct messaged me that NO, commercials do NOT have to be funny and that I needed to grow up. I agreed with everything he said, but I still wanted to message him back and say, “Dude. Chill out. I’m just having fun here. I don’t actually even own a television.”

    • SRP said

      Thanks, pithypants (there’s a handle for you)-
      I appreciate the comment -Really. I do!
      Also, thanx for subscribing to the blog.

  4. A.M. Kuska said

    Some people take life way too seriously. Don’t let it get to you.

    • SRP said

      Thanks A.M.-
      Doesn’t get me down anymore, at least not for long.
      Trust me. I’ve got a thick skin. Besides, it gives me a good topic for the blog.

  5. Teresa Jay said

    That’s exactly the problem with LinkedIn. It’s so much the ‘professional network’, taken SOOO seriously as the ‘professional network’ that it’s boring. All ‘professional’ hype, little substance, and very few conversations. Once in a while ‘one of these anonymous people’ look at my linked and page, and several of my connections have an updated profile. Maybe I’m just hanging with the wrong crowd. At least you get things stirred up a little. I’ve given up checking LinkedIn for Lent but I hardly think anybody noticed.

  6. SRP said

    On the matter of infamous tweets, the Chrysler F bomb on Adpulp:

  7. some people ‘get’ social media… some do not… I love your cheekiness and the levity it brings to our go-go-go world – in particular the lenten post… I actually lol… not that quips is all you offer… much is intellectually provocative, thoughtful, well expressed…

    social media makes you vulnerable and there will always be someone who sneers at the most innocent of posts… so be it… to quote the eloquent boynton ‘don’t let the turkeys get you down’

  8. For me, this sort of situation begs the question of defining the difference between digital interaction and personal interaction. Would your friend have been as offended if you’d been, say, walking side by side down the street eating hoagies (sorry, it’s almost lunchtime) and you made that offhand remark verbally?

    Probably not, I’d wager, but then does that mean if we have a little more time to consider a harmless ‘tweet’, does that give the content of the message more weight? Dunno.

    Granted some digital platforms like blogging or even Facebook provide the opportunity for longer and deeper messages, and with greater thought and intent comes greater opportunity for deeper exploration of a topic and more heft to the content as being someone’s actual and well-considered opinion as opposed to a passing thought made digital, whereas Twitter at 140 characters does not (nor, I think does it intend to) ask for anything deeper than a ‘what’s up’ sort of post, but still, for me, the question is if we put anything into the digital conversation, does it automatically have more meaning? Does the medium enhance the message?

    Also, should I give up really long sentences for Lent? Probably.

  9. Hey, Steff,

    I think you should consider giving up this friend for Lent.


    That said, I think this highlights one of the reasons I don’t link my tweets to Linkedin.

    I don’t want to second guess the fun, sometimes irreverent or just plain silly tweets that I sometimes post. Such as a recent, “The opposite of irony is wrinkly.”

    Like it or not, Linkedin is a more conservative business-like social medium. It has it’s place, and it does serve a purpose.

    And you’re right, social mediums like Twitter and Facebook are supposed to be fun and I for one don’t want to edit myself.

    But if you think of these mediums as physical meeting places, we don’t usually act and speak the same way in a business meeting as we do when we’re with our friends.

    I don’t see why we can’t do the same online.

  10. Mark Faulkner said

    What the hell is LinkedIn? Has anybody seen my slippers?

  11. Hey, Mark, Saw your slippers on Linkedin. Explains why you can’t find them.

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