Frisky Rant: Nobody Gives A Shit How You Tweet And Neither Should You
Earlier today, New York’s women-centric blog The Cut (a site of which, full disclosure, I am a big fan and occasional contributor) published a compendium of thoughts from successful female writers, mainly of the Internet variety, and their conflicted thoughts around whether it’s okay to self-promote on Twitter. To this I ask: Why?!
This is perhaps a niche rant, as I’d like to believe that the majority of you reading this don’t exist in the shallow and vacuous world where Twitter is so intrinsically tied into your career and identity that it gives you any sort of angst whatsoever, but all the same, ladies (and men!), please stop caring what other people think about your Twitter behavior. If you want to tweet out articles you wrote, even if you want to tweet them out more than once, you absolutely should. If you want to retweet every single compliment someone sends your way, on your work or otherwise (I sure retweet every instance in which someone mentions my nice eyebrows), retweet compliments to your heart’s content. Nobody cares! I mean, maybe some people will care, but they are bitter and sucky, and can unfollow or mute you instead.
But let’s say you do care — and, to be clear, it’s okay to worry about these things, even though I’m still going to urge you not to — that doesn’t mean we need to talk to death our feelings in and around whether it’s okay to feel this way. I understand institutionalized bias that has made women second-guess their feelings, and the validity of those feelings, so I’m not going to shunt this article directly to the semi-condescending, “A man would never be asked this stuff,” rage-filled part of my brain. But I do think that, in this instance, there’s merit to the idea that when we over-fixate on something, we end up giving more power to that thing. Worrying about what your Twitter behavior says about you and your inherent likability (and getting others to weigh in on what it means for them!) does exactly that. It’s absolutely normal to seek validation from the outside world, and yes, Twitter is a huge part of how we communicate these days, but at the end of the day, Twitter is also an extension of yourself — and who can tell you how to DO YOU better than you can? How dare they?
I admit wholeheartedly that I find myself caring about these sorts of things more often than not, as evidenced by a panicky Gchat sent to my friend and fellow ladyblog editor Callie Beusman, asking whether it would be too much to share two articles to Facebook that I was particularly proud of in the same day. “That is a tough call,” she mused, but she and I both know it’s not really a tough call outside of my own brain cage, because with all the things we have to worry about in a day, how much space is “Beejoli self-promotes too much!” going to occupy in the minds of others? How much of a narcissist am I to even wonder that? (Don’t answer that, I already know the limit does not exist.)
Going forward, I plan to employ a strategy I like to refer to as “Mixtape Rapper Twitter,” which is just me proclaiming how great I am all the time. Don’t like it? Unfollow me.