The Noise of Social Media: An Introvert Cries Uncle

Noise, noise, everywhere noise. I’m so saturated with it, even my pores are shouting.

new years me

But do you want to know the worst part? It’s completely under my control.

Because I voluntarily put myself out there. 

What do I mean by “there”? The online world, of course.

Twitter

Facebook

WordPress

Goodreads

Google+

Forums

Internet link after link after link

And everything under the sun

Build a brand, they said. Make yourself visible, they said. Eat an M&M for every blog post you read, they said. (Well, maybe that last one’s on me.)

So I did. Or at least I tried to. You know, that book promotion and all. And the positive? I enjoy it. Communicating with people from all over the world is an amazing online gift, and I’ve gained so much in the process.

But perhaps I overdid things, because while I was doing it so was everyone else, and now I can hardly keep up.

Yep. She's going down. (Image from Microsoft Clip Art)

Yep. She’s going down.
(Image from Microsoft Clip Art)

What prompted this post?

1) A fishy follower: 

Recently I was followed on Twitter by seven “different” accounts, all of which retweet the original follower’s content. So basically all seven followers are the same user, just dressed up in different Twitter clothes.

Sure, I don’t have to follow back, and I didn’t. But the whole issue left me chapped. It reminded me of all the noise. For example, my Twitter timeline and lists are so full of retweets, promotional spam, and linked content that my up is down and my down is up. In other words, my head is exploding.

Don’t get me wrong—I am no innocent victim. I spew plenty of noise too. As a result, I’m trying to be more conscientious about what I tweet and retweet, so I hopefully won’t clog up other people’s timelines. Fortunately, I have wonderful tweeps who do the same, and I always enjoy their content.

I don’t mean to blame Twitter alone. Facebook is just as bad, if not worse. Are hourly updates really necessary? I’m lucky if I have something worth saying once a week.

2) A simple yet profound tweet:

The second thing that triggered this post was the above tweet.

For a long time I’ve been more mind full than mindful. If I want to enjoy life’s moments; if I want to finish my third novel; if I want to keep my head from exploding, I’m going to have to cut back.

But I’ll still be on social media. There are so many people out there whose words and pictures I love, whether in the form of tweets, Facebook updates, blog posts, or holograms (ha, wouldn’t that be cool). I just need to learn to do it more judiciously. If I miss a blog post or tweet, life will go on, and I’ll have to trust the online friend will forgive me.

But for a perfectionist like me, it isn’t going to be easy.

And now, for the opposite of social media…

My treat for the week? Eating Bull got a book review in a real-live newspaper, the Akron Beacon Journal. What a nice surprise to find.

abj EB review

Are you feeling the online noise? What was your treat for the week?

*     *     *

Rubin4Carrie Rubin is the author of Eating Bull and The Seneca Scourge. For full bio, click here.

370 Responses to “The Noise of Social Media: An Introvert Cries Uncle”

  1. La La

    First of all, I’m so happy to see things are going well for you, Carrie! Secondly, as my Facebook soulmate (or whatever that goofy quiz said), I feel inclined to tell you I never saw this post and started writing on the social media/distraction topic to post tomorrow. It’s an important one! Glad to see I’m not alone. Xoxo

    Like

    • Carrie Rubin

      You are definitely not alone. In fact, I have a post planned for Monday that mentions I need to step away from my blog a bit (some health stuff going on with my mom). It’s just not possible to always keep up with things. Thanks! I look forward to your post.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. reocochran

    So cool about the Akron paper and especially exciting since your main character lives less than an hour from Akron, Carrie. Congratulations on this review. I still believe in newspapers!🙂
    I am sure we discussed Cleveland but I grew up in Sandusky until 3rd grade, 3- 7th grade in North Olmsted and 7- 12th grade in Bay Village. I went to BGSU where a lot of Cleveland grads went.🙂

    Like

    • Carrie Rubin

      I didn’t know you grew up in Sandusky. We’ve made several trips there over the years to stay at the Kalahari. A good place to take the kids for a few days when they were younger.

      Like

  3. Celine Jeanjean

    Well first, congrats on the review in the paper, that’s fantastic! How exciting🙂 I can totally relate on social media – I find it pretty exhausting generally. I don’t know how you do as much as you do!

    That tweet about mindfulness is brilliant. It’s like being busy vs being present. (although one M&M a post is a brilliant concept – I may have to borrow it)

    Like

    • Carrie Rubin

      The nice thing about M&Ms is that a few go a long way.🙂

      Thank you. I’m learning there are other ways to sell books than online alone, so I’m trying some different things. But I still struggle to keep up with social media, even though I enjoy it.

      Like

  4. Ted

    I lasted two weeks on Twitter. All I received were spam emails about tweets of people I never knew existed – then dumped it.

    I’d much rather be on the road meeting people than spend inordinate amounts of time on Social Media – heck half the time there’s no Internet connection anyways. Sure, I may not get as many unique visitors to my blog, but at least the ones which do come are there because of reciprocal comments or I’ve met them personally.

    Like

    • Carrie Rubin

      I suspect were it not for my platform as an author, I’d approach social media the same way as you. I do like Twitter, but it’s getting trickier to cut through the noise. I need to do some housekeeping over there.

      Like

  5. reinventionsreena

    At times, social media resembles a MLM network, which recycles, but neither creates nor respects creativity. But there is no inno-wise kid to shout “The Emperor has no Clothes”.

    Like

  6. MamaMickTerry

    I thoroughly enjoyed this post, Carrie. I’m so sorry to be…two weeks late? What? I have to figure out why I’m not getting notified on your new posts.
    YOU are my online/author/blogger idol (not to be creepy or anything). But, you handle social media, blogging, branding, etc with grace and authenticity–I’m learning from you.
    I try to keep my social activities to once or twice/week. I’ve ‘launched’ an Instagram project, but I’m already in too deep, got swamped at the day job, and had to take a two week hiatus from Instagram. Not enough hours in the day!
    Thank you for always providing such great content to read – on and off your blog. True honor to know you🙂

    Like

    • Carrie Rubin

      Thank you so much for your kind words. What a wonderful way to start my morning. And for the record, I think you’re a great example of grace and authenticity too.🙂

      I’ve heard I should go on Instagram–Pinterest too–but I just don’t know where I’d find the time. As it is, I’m trying to back away a bit. Guess we’ll see what the future holds. Good luck with your own Instagram project.

      Liked by 1 person

      • MamaMickTerry

        Pinterest is my “me time.” I absolutely love it! It’s where I hoard ideas for gardening, cooking, fictional characters, books I want to read, favorite quotes. I love LOVE it! The perfect introvert site because you don’t have to be overly social to enjoy. It IS a time suck simply because I really enjoy the hunting and gathering and sorting. Not trying to give you another ‘thing’ to look at, but I think it’s the most enjoyable of all social media sites. My two cents🙂
        And, thank you for your kind words. Have a great week!!

        Like

  7. roughwighting

    How’d I miss this post. Ten days later, I’m so glad I found it. I agree. YIKES – what did we sign up for? I love love love blogging and meeting so many amazing blogging friends, writers/non-writers alike, who give me a glimpse into their lives and open up my life because of it. But after that, I’m concerned about being mindful, and not mind full, for sure. (Wonderful tweet you show us here…) Even blogging takes up too much of my time, but it’s all so positive, I don’t resent it. I’m down to tweeting or reading tweets just a couple of times a week, which I think defeats the purpose of Twitter, but I just don’t want more. I connect with friends on FB a lot, and they are great supporters of my novels, but holy mackerel, it could suck up a lot of MIND if you let it. I try to not let it. Social media has its purpose, but I think we writers need to relegate it better; otherwise, we are not getting done what’s most important — the WRITING.
    BTW, Great review. CONGRATS.

    Like

    • Carrie Rubin

      Thank you!

      And I agree–with social media we writers risk neglecting what we should be doing: writing. We need to be involved on social media for visibility, but it’s amazing how quickly it can spiral out of control.:/

      Like

  8. Jim Noonan

    I’m with you! I bailed on Facebook at the beginning of the year (but don’t call it a New Year’s Resolution). Mostly because of the political echo chamber effect I kept encountering. I’m too old (and my brain’s too calcified) for Twitter and I don’t even know what those other things you listed are. That’s good, maybe.

    I like things better here on WordPress though I have seen some sketchy behavior, “fishy followers” as you so aptly put it. People who, once I follow them, immediately “Like” every single one of my posts. Within seconds. I can only conclude they are bots of some sort.

    But most of my experience has been great. I run into great writers (some who are even reviewed in an actual, physical newspaper, congrats!) and I get some positive feedback and encouragement for my writing.

    So, thanks for posting this and may we all become more mindful!

    Like

    • Carrie Rubin

      Thanks so much for taking the time to read and comment! Facebook is the one I’d drop if I had to let one go. I don’t use it very well. I limit my personal site to mostly family and don’t do a very good job of updating my public page.

      I encounter some strange blog followers too. Sometimes the bots are so well disguised it’s easy to fall for them!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. michellejoycebond

    Hey Carrie! I agree–on Twitter especially, it can get tricky. If I check out someone’s page, and they have more retweets than original content, I don’t follow them. I get kind of annoyed because, if I check someone out, it’s because I want to know about THEM. You are very good with your social media–I don’t know how you do it! You were the first person to respond to my blog post. You are always conscientious, witty, and kind. 🙂

    Like

    • Carrie Rubin

      Thank you so much for your kind words. I was having dinner at a hotel with my iPad when your post came up in my reader, so that’s why I got there so quickly.🙂

      I turn off retweets for most people I follow, but the retweets still show up in my lists. I don’t mind a few–after all, retweets are how we spread the word, and of course I’m always grateful when someone retweets me!–but like you, too many of them and not enough original content makes it difficult to navigate.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. marymtf

    ‘I’m lucky if I have something worth saying once a week.’ You’ve got something there, Carrie. I call it anti-social media. It’s stifling real communication. I must admit, though that I love looking in on my fellow bloggers. They give real meaning to the term global village.

    Like

    • Carrie Rubin

      The global part is what is so appealing to me. To be able to communicate so easily with someone across the globe is amazing!

      Like

  11. Book Club Mom

    Wow, this is a great topic. I know exactly what you mean. It’s hard to keep up and when I stress about it, I think, “Keep up with what?”! I don’t even have a book out there. (yet!) That’s when I know I have to step back a bit. When I look at my Twitter feed, all I see is a blinding mass of fast-paced self-promotion! And if you ever go on Tweet Deck , it’s even more obvious. Once you start following over a certain number of followers, that’s what happens. So, like you, I try to find the ones who actually interact and then I put them (you!) in a special grouping. Then I can look at those filtered tweets and relax a bit. I credit my 20-yr-old son with all this knowledge – he has given me great tips.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Carrie Rubin

      Yes, it it weren’t for my Twitter lists, I would never be able to function over there. But even my lists have gotten noisy so I need to do some housekeeping. I enjoy the site–far more than FB which I don’t visit much–but I have to find a way to rein it in. I’ve backed away a bit and that’s helped.

      Speaking of Twitter, thank you for sharing this post!

      Liked by 1 person

  12. J.B. Whitmore

    My tolerance for online noise is not zero exactly. Maybe one? Sends me on big backslides, regularly. Especially during the holidays, and mid-summer. Odds are against me in the publishing world. Pathetically checking Twitter every three or four weeks isn’t going to do it.

    VERY COOL newspaper book review. Congratulations!

    Like

  13. raeme67

    Congrats on the book review! I guess I pretty much dumped Twitter. It was more of a hassle at the end then a joy. It only promotes my blog now.

    Like

  14. Jay

    I definitely get burned out on Twitter – there’s 80% junk and it makes it hard to find the stuff I’d like to see from my friends. I try to cull but it’s overwhelming. Of course, my 2016 has been off to a quiet start – recovery has left me largely away from the computer as it’s just not comfortable or sometimes even possible. I miss the connections, but no, not the noise.

    Like

    • Carrie Rubin

      I hear you. Even with lists, my Twitter noise has grown hard to handle.

      I’ve been thinking about you and hoping things are going okay. Sounds like it was a tough surgery with a tough recovery. Hopefully Sean and the pups are giving you lots of love.

      Like

  15. butimbeautiful

    Congratulations on the real news story! You’re getting famous! As for tweets, try as I might, I can’t see the point. Actually, maybe I’m not really trying…

    Like

    • Carrie Rubin

      Thank you! I still like Twitter. In fact it’s one of my favorite social media sites. But I guess I have to do some housekeeping over there to quiet things down.🙂

      Like

  16. Luanne

    Congrats on the review, Carrie!!! That is fabulous! Yes, I understand about all the noise. You have a lot listed, too. I don’t do Google+ or Forums, but I do Pinterest and sort of Instagram. I say sort of because I don’t really see the point of Instagram for a writer. It’s not a useful tool and most of my Instagram followers/follows are my Facebook friends haha. So I get the same pic twice. It becomes overwhelming and not all that effective. Sometimes what we think is effective is just our own loud voices coming back at us. hah That said, I just followed you on Twitter hahaha

    Like

  17. August McLaughlin

    The “over strategizing” (as I call it ;)) noise of social media you mentioned is exactly why I’ve finally implemented Twitter lists of my faves. Like you, I’m choosy about who I follow and connect with.

    Wow, congrats on the review! So great, and well deserved.

    Like

  18. Sheila

    I feel exactly the same way, which is why I have to disappear in the virtual world every once in a while. Whenever I disappear, my mind is about to explode.🙂 Then I miss everyone and feel guilty but there isn’t enough time to keep up with everything and work a regular job and finish a book. I’ve wondered how you do it (and it makes sense that chocolate has something to do with it)!

    Like

    • Carrie Rubin

      Yes, chocolate has magical powers, doesn’t it?

      Since publishing this post last week I’ve stepped away a bit. I still check into my social media sites every day, sometimes twice a day, but I’m not beating myself up if I miss things. Or at least trying not to…

      Liked by 1 person

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