Thanks, Twitterverse

Everything about Twitter freaks me out. The fact that one of my psychotic rants about cats or cupcakes could be witnessed by an editor or writer whose work I respect; the fact that everyone follows each other solely so they in turn will be followed, generating a meaningless list of thousands of people who are disinterested in one another following each other; the fact that I write the way I speak–in sentences the length of short novels, a style inspired by Edith Wharton and the Marys (Shelley and Wollstonecraft).

There’s just no place for me there, and no need for me either. Twitter is glutted with personalities trying to stand out, trying to be wittier, more timely, more followed, more relevant. It exhausts me. Most days, I already feel like I can’t keep up–with the newspaper, the blog, the book I’m writing, the book I’m editing, Facebook, and, oh yeah, all of life that isn’t writing and social media.

Still, I overlooked these concerns. Yesterday, I signed up for Twitter. I did it because I applied for the Amtrak Residency for writers, something I know I stand no chance of receiving, but it was just such an incredible offer that I applied anyway. Of course, the application demanded a Twitter handle. Of course, I debated internally for several days before deciding that just maybe it was time to take the risk and accept that all of my time would be devoted to social media–to trying to be witty and clever rather than actually doing or creating something.

The first 12 or so hours went well enough. I tweeted a photo of my completed Amtrak application, trying to appeal to the Amtrak gods:


I bantered with Erin and Rhys a little, which felt silly because we were all sitting just a couple yards apart in the same office making jokes for all the world to see. But hey, that’s social media, right?

Then  this morning, when I attempted to translate my Facebook status into a Tweet, I was informed that my account had been suspended. It had taken less than a day and a couple mind-numbingly innocuous tweets–I’m new to Twitter and was, therefore, on my best behavior–for it to happen. There was no reason given, no timeframe for how long my account would be suspended, whether it would be permanent. It was just gone.

My thoughts were as follows:

“Did someone warn them that I tend to be sassy and outspoken? They didn’t check Facebook or my blog did they?”

“Did someone report me for something? Who was it? I’ll murder their unborn children! But wait, I haven’t had sufficient time to actually piss anyone off.”

“But haven’t I heard about all these people going on sexist and racist rants on Twitter? How come their accounts aren’t suspended?”

And then I remembered that I don’t much care about Twitter, so I fired off a complaint titled “I have no idea why I’m suspended” about being suspended despite not knowing why or how long the suspension would last. Less than 1o minutes later I received the following message:


I have now unsuspended your account. If you have any trouble logging in, you can request a password reset email.

Please note that it may take an hour or so for your follower and following numbers to return to normal. Let me know if I can help with anything else.


Twitter Support


And while I appreciate the speedy response, I would still like to know why it took me less than 12 hours to incur the wrath of Twitter. Cause, y’know, it would be nice to avoid in the future. I can’t help but think how it might look if Amtrak was reviewing my application, checked my Twitter page and discovered instead that I was suspended. Plus, I was delayed from introducing the Twitterverse to the following witticism:

Screen shot 2014-03-13 at 12.32.57 PM

And, let’s be honest, that’s a freaking tragedy.

And yes, I recognize the irony of blogging about my frustration with social media and the giant time suck that is telling the entire world about how great my lunch was or silly shit my cat says. But I have to vent somehow, and this blog is the best proof I have that I’m not rolling over and giving up, despite my frustration. I work through it. I just wish the time I spent working through it could be devoted to editing the second book … or writing the third.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: