Tweeting in the name of narcissism

I tweet. In fact, I tweet a lot. I don’t really tweet anymore than I updated my Facebook status — which is tied to my Twitter account — but I do tweet a lot. Several times a day.
The reason? Because I sincerely think people like to read them.
Could I be wrong? Possibly, though I keep getting followers. Most of them are folks in Kentucky hoping I’ll know first where John Wall is going to school, however. They probably could care less what I listen to while I get ready in the morning.
But I tell them anyway.
My buddy Gregg Doyel ripped the whole Twitter phenomenon. I can’t deny that he’s onto something. Hearing Lance Armstrong blandly state the mundane portions of his day doesn’t do the job for me.
Then again, neither do most people’s tweets. It takes a special dude to assume that people care about the little things in his life, all while being almost totally unconcerned with the same details from others. I guess I’m that guy.
No, I am that guy. I have no idea what that says about me. I just know I think people actually give a damn about the random thoughts I have at a hockey game. Yeah, I do have some nerve…but you knew that already.
It’s really not that I’m that into me (though some of you, including every single ex-girlfriend I’ve ever had would say I’m totally enamored with me). I just think a lot of other people are. I wouldn’t be, but I think you are. Maybe not you, but maybe you. And you over there? Thanks for following!
Twitter’s kinda brought this bizarre juxtaposition to my attention. Most people I know that tweet often are doing so in the name of self-promotion. My writer friends tweet to build visibility. My non-professional friends? They tweet incredibly rarely…probably because they know nobody cares what they’re doing at the store.
Me and my colleagues, however? We presume you care.
But do you care? I ask that sincerely. I really don’t tweet stuff unless I think I’m offering something clever or interesting, or an opportunity for my listeners and readers to get to know in a non-sports context. I assume some people want to do that, which is either a prescient observation or self-indulgent bullshit. I’m not sure, though “self-indulgent bullshit” is always a safe guess when the discussion involves me.
There are consultants out there that tell writers that fans and readers want this connection. I think that’s true. But is it?
Lemme know what you think.

9 thoughts on “Tweeting in the name of narcissism”

  1. Because it’s possible to unfollow, I think it’s safe to assume that those who continue to follow you are satisfied with your musings.
    I don’t participate in Twitter though, so I don’t really have a point of reference.
    I just think the unfollow serves the same purpose as the “less about ___” filter on one’s Facebook homepage.
    Everyone has control over what they choose to consume. For you to attempt to tailor your output based on the various tastes of your many followers would be quite a task.
    JMHO….

  2. tweet~tweet
    I like your tweets!
    I tweet because I can, I don’t care who reads them or who doesn’t read them… I do it because I can.
    And I have had to unfollow some folk because their tweets were not very interesting…
    Keep doing what you doing ~ Bo!

  3. I joined Twitter just over a year ago based on a recommendation from a few web designer/developer folks I was keeping up with on their respective blogs/webfolios. I saw that they were sharing industry updates, links to tutorials, events, tips, tricks, etc. and being a man coming up in the craft I needed to have all the resources I could get from the best of the best. For that reason especially, Twitter has served its purpose many times over.
    After following more and more folks after time, I found that many not only had helpful, craft-related updates, but they also could be entertaining. A side comment here, random funny observation there, and that made me want to follow their updates even closer. That was the mix I wanted to have on my own updates.
    Nowadays, I’ve gained a better grasp on my own concept of Twitter, but like most cannot really explain in completely understandable terms why I find the need to update often. Even if I’m just sharing a handful of web links with web folks, a few random observations from a Nats game or about the NBA playoffs, there are a handful of folks — different strokes for different folks, of course — who will enjoy the “tweet” share. On any given day, like you I’m not sure whether what I share is “either a prescient observation or self-indulgent bullshit.”
    For your updates, I’d say you have that good blend of relevance and entertainment that I think make the best kind of Twitter updates to follow. That’s also the reason I started following your blog years back after I read you during your ESPN Page2 days. Everyone has their own standards for who to follow on Twitter, and it’s surely not everyone’s cup o’ joe, but I have found forcing people to resort to brevity on a mini web page/status updater to bring out the best in many a folk.
    Ironically, I explained my Twitter defense in “a few” more characters than the 140 Twitter allows. My bad, Bo. I will try to sum this up in 140 chars at some point down the line. Most likely when the 90 character limit is implemented on Twitter 2, or its competitor.

  4. My FB status and Twitter are also connected. And I update them pretty regularly. However, I try not to put mundane things up there; most of my status updates are there because there is a story in there somewhere, or it was an amusing thought that made me chuckle. I’ve been pleasantly surprised at who’s responded to them; people I had no idea gave a whit.

  5. i don’t care, but i also don’t tweat on you. The only one I ever read is Coach Cal’s occasionally. His is serious. Perfect for all the rabid UK fans that annoy the nation. But most of his are actually pretty entertaining i must admit.

  6. Matt Jones cant say enough good things about you so he is probably the reason you are getting a surplus of UK fans and not just for Wall, FYI. There are plenty of sites catering to UK fans now so I don’t think they are following you for just that… I read some of your blogs and you are a much more interesting read than A-Katz, which I know isn’t saying a whole lot 🙂 But I do like your stuff, so don’t be so quick to lump your new followers to just Wall-philes. Rumor has it that Wall and Mamma are UK leans and that Clifton is holding out for a signed Lebron James jersey… any truth to that?

  7. Oh Mike Eaves of Fox has interesting twitter updates while he is doing NBA games etc.. So, I disagree with Gregg “Who Pissed In my Captain Crunch?” Doyel of CBS on the value of Twittering. The thoughts of people as they make a day of it are a truer insight into the person than any biography could ever be. Armstrong saying “good morning” to his audience following is better than an irate driver giving you the finger and hitting his horn to start out your day. 🙂 He is not being narcissistic as Doyel judges, but merely saying good morning to another friend(s) as it were. Where it has gone overboard is Ashton “The world loves me” Kutcher: when he twits just to tell you the construction workers next door woke him up–you have to reply: who gives a crap, rich guy? You are doin’ Demi Moore and you have the nerve to complain? Fahget about it!

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