Twitter Brain

2018-12-13 / In categories Posts

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Twitter Brain

Twitter Brain; Noun:

  1. The condition resulting from excessive attention to Twitter characterized by intense effort toward building your personal brand and attracting new followers.
  2. A person who thinks too much about their Twitter following.

Example: Stump Mom’s writing and research and overall attention were suffering because she had Twitter Brain.

I have recently come to terms with a reality that much America has been living with or some time - It doesn’t take much to come down with a case of Twitter Brain.

When Twitter started to capture the media imagination and take the public discourse by storm I reacted to it, as a typical American seven year would react to a novel food; I didn’t need to taste it, smell it, or even try it, I knew I didn’t like it. By the time tweet earned its second definition in the Dictionary I had fully formed my identity as a conscientious Twitter Objector.

Trump’s notorious use of the platform and Twitters unwillingness to apply any of its existing applicable policy to reign him only deepened my apprehension for the platform. And I admit, I felt superior to all those poor sad saps out there confusing their lives away on the tweets. I took a sense of comfort from knowing that I was not contributing to Twitter or to the apparent political and cultural meltdown that was taking place live on the platform.

But in the fall of 2018 My personal convictions did not hold up very long against an emerging need. I was developing an anonymous, totally groundbreaking, form defying, norm challenging underground mommy blog. I needed readers and if I wanted to remain anonymous, readers who did not know me personally. Lacking any sort of advertising budget or promotional team I understood from all the media chatter that the best way to achieve my aim was to become a Twitter ninja.

Since I’m anonymous I couldn’t go out to all my real life buddies and say, “Hey guys! Support my project and follow my creative alter ego,” No “Import Contacts” for me I had to start from scratch. So I put together my profile, and started tweeting. Words cannot describe the thrill I felt when I attracted my first follower. I’m talking about you @sarahjschlott. Once I got that first taste, I was thirsty for more. There is nothing quite like that dopamine hit that comes from receiving the endorsement of social approval from strangers even when coming from a form as superficial as the “heart” button. I started carving out time in my mornings for Twitter. After spending one particularly frenzied morning focusing on zinger re-tweets, new takes and interesting stories, I tried to develop one of my posting ideas and my writing fell flat. The words went limp on the page. No sparkling metaphors, amusing tangents or clever literary devices flowed from my brain. I couldn’t on my stories, my mind was on my Tweets and my followers. Twitter had consumed my thinking and become an end in itself. Twitter had blocked up my brain. This brought me to the edge of complete and total panic.

Blog content tends to come pouring out of me in big rushes. I usually have a lot more trouble editing managing and scheduling content then I do producing it and even on a rough day I am usually good for a few disjointed yet promising paragraphs. But after dousing my brain in the social reward, live MMORPG we call Twitter I couldn’t think past 280 characters of accessible slop.

But there is good news the first step to overcoming a preoccupation is to acknowledge that you have it. So I’ve got Twitter Brain and the only cure is to write about it! Well not exactly, but the first step in recovery was starting this post on Twitter affliction.. I won’t say I have achieved ballance or that I’m happy with my Twitter habit but the following measures have helped me keep it from completely killing my productivity.

  1. I downloaded a Tweet Scheduling app I settled on Buffer but there are lots of choices. by using a Tweet Scheduling app I am able to write down my best ideas when they come to me and strategically schedule them. I can also do this without checking my feed and getting distracted with other people’s activities. This lets me sit back and enjoy family time or writing time without worrying about missing the best posting hours.
  2. I turned off push notifications on my cell phone. It seems like it will give you advanced assurance but what it really does is gets you checking your feed when you picked up your phone to look at the weather or the time. I’ve also figured out how to turn off notifications on very active blog threads all together.
  3. I have started connecting directly with more bloggers and followers. I have used popular blogging hashtags to find links to other blogs similar to mine. I am starting to build more personal individualized relationships with other bloggers and followers. Trading messages and interacting with their blogs. This tends to build more lasting connections.
  4. I’m doing what I want. When I first got on to Twitter the way that I answered my set-up questions and the first accounts I followed got me siloed into Parent Twitter. I love connecting with other parents but parent Twitter was a bit confining for my rebellious soul. I was very cautious in my early tweets, because my read of the room (which was full of parent bloggers) said that I needed to be. I’ve sharpened my content and my voice on Twitter to conform less to the parent Twitter ideals and reflect my Stumped Mom mission. I saw some pronounced follower losses when I first made this switch but I have recovered and made connections with writers and thinkers who appreciate my work and my irreverence.

If you have a side hustle or a blog how do you manage balancing your promotional activities with your core work? I’d love to hear from you all what your thoughts are on Social Media and connecting with your audience.

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