The problem with text-based online social interactions is that it's hard to tell when you're annoying someone. This hit home for me again when a friend of mine de-friended me because I hadn't posted anything but twitter posts since Obama's inauguration. Given that a number of my other friends (and friends of friends) feel the same way, I suppose I owe people an explanation.
For a while, I've always had trouble with these kind of posts. For one, it requires me to be at a computer with an Internet connection for at least half an hour, usually more. This is not a small obstacle, for I no longer have net access on VT campus, and work is also right out. So, realistically, I can only post "real posts" at home, and I'm not home much during the school year, when Spiel and VTSFFC require my attention.
In addition, I find I rarely have the patience or concentration necessary anymore to sit down for a computer for a half-hour and type. There are different factors to this — part of it is that I usually come home from work pretty damn tired, part of it is that I get distracted easily (ADHD, folks), and part of it is that it feels like nobody reads my blog anyway except to leave nasty comments, so why bother? For those reasons, I haven't posted very many "real posts", but this often results in the few people who do read this blog wondering if I was still alive. Clearly, a new strategy was needed.
So I began experimenting with different methods of posting. At first, I tried voice posts. It seemed OK -- people got to hear me talk about my day, and other people could ignore it at will. But problems arose; friends lacking sound — like my friends who read LJ at college libraries — couldn't hear my posts, and nobody transcribed them. So this caused annoyance, and more work for me transcribing entries. Eventually, I decided it wasn't worth the grief and bother and went back to posting rarely. But as mentioned before, this was a suboptimal solution.
And then someone introduced me to twitter. And I liked it -- it let me post from anywhere I could get cell signal. It let me post without me losing focus. I could aggregate the day's posts into one LJ post without any major effort on my part. All seemed well — until I realized that I annoyed one person to the point of de-friending me, and others were apparently not far behind.
Twitter is annoying to some people, and I can understand why -- people post cryptically sometimes, and the twitter replies are meaningless without context; thus, many twitter posts would clog up a person's friends list on LJ for no good reason. I admit to being part of this problem, and I've done my best to mitigate it. If it's not a reply to someone else, I try to post complete thoughts on twitter. And these days, I've reduced the clutter by not including replies in my tweet posts and putting those behind a cut, so hopefully that will reduce the clutter.
I'm also open to new ideas about what to do about this situation. I don't like people having to de-friend me for being incessantly annoying, but I do want to share my thoughts with you all.