I think I’ve had it with social media.

I’m pretty much done with pictures of people’s rabbits and children and train journeys.

I tried twitter, and though it provides the occasional moment of entertainment, mainly it feels like hundreds of strangers jabbering at each other for no particular reason.

(Yes, I know someone finished her sweater because an all-points-alert tweet located the right yarn, but…well. Just but. When the Arab spring comes to London, I’ll reconsider.)

Back in 1974, my friends and I pored daily over the original facebook — the Harvard freshman register with its pages of black and white photos. Perhaps it all feels a bit too much like regression.

I’ve never bought a book because someone’s told me how great it is on social media (it’s nearly always the author telling me).  And while twitter is fantastically addictive for reasons I can’t quite figure out (the possibility that someone someday might say something entertaining?) it clearly gets in the way of reading actual books and speaking to actual people.

I’ve started wondering whether an author’s interface with readers should be achieved by writing books.

In any case. As of today, I’m cutting back.

Except for blogging. I like blogging.

Any tweeting you hear from my vicinity will be actual birds. The ranting, however, will continue as usual.

 

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19 thoughts on “I hope my publisher isn’t reading this.

  1. jackie 5 years ago

    I bought a book, The Fox Woman, recommended by someone on facebook. Since then I have got to know the author, as much as you can through this interface and worked on the cover for her next book. Oh, and I met that other woman author, what’s her name, Meg. Yes. Meg, That’s it!
    But yes, cutting back would be good for me too as I spend too much time here and not enough at the paperface! And I am guilty of posting pictures of cats ( and soon to be posting pictures of knitting!)

  2. Sarah McIntyre 5 years ago

    Glad to hear you’ll still be ranting. I’d miss that.

  3. bookwitch 5 years ago

    I can only apologise for the train journey. Although I can keep my Glasgows and Edinburghs apart, unlike some.
    I posted some babies yesterday. I’d been feeling bad and the two yellow babies provided just too much temptation.
    Very sorry.

  4. Sara 5 years ago

    But don’t you want to hang around and see a picture of the cat I am knitting (cleverly posed reading the book I am writing?)
    I’ve just popped over here from FB and am feeling very curmudgeonly indeed – all these people talking “at” you and very few talking “to” you.
    And yet, a good blog feels more like a dialogue than a monologue, strangely. Which is why this is the only thing I’ve been compelled to comment upon after a half hour spent drinking tea and browsing around the interwebs.

    1. Meg Rosoff 5 years ago

      Oh please do send me a picture of knitted cat. That would make me happy…..

  5. Bazza 5 years ago

    Meg, I would be grateful if you could have a word with Mrs Bazza and point out that she doesn’t have to check out who said what on Facebook every hour! Do you provide that kind of service?
    The sad thing is that every social phenomenon eventually becomes ‘monetised’ (I despise that word but it serves a purpose).

  6. Alex 5 years ago

    Sorry to say your editor IS reading this. Of course what I ought to be doing is reading your rather brilliant ms and getting back to you on it, as well as looking after sickly daughter. Proof in itself of your point about social media getting in the way of the really important interactions. Now back to work/taking temperatures . . . (but do please keep blogging).

    1. Meg Rosoff 5 years ago

      EEK! Hope child is feeling better….

  7. Nicky Schmidt 5 years ago

    Thank you for voicing my own grouchiness on the subject!

  8. Jody Casella 5 years ago

    This is probably going to make me sound like a reader of a men’s magazine–but I like Twitter because of the links to articles. I follow a bunch of people in the publishing industry and keep up with news in the industry. But you’re right–most of the time it’s a giant time sucker

    1. ej runyon 5 years ago

      Used for good reasons like this, yes, Twitter can be a quick way to show your ‘literary finds’ — and I like it for that reason. passing on the links to great books or articles.
      I like telling folks that Meg or one of my writer friends has a new book in the works. and I like an easy way to point to my own blog when I have a new post up.
      I read a lot and I want to share that info. But, also — as a brand new author, Twitter is a form of my ‘online presence’– which my contract states I must foster.

    2. ej runyon 5 years ago

      P.S. – Great Kitten!

  9. Shelley Souza 5 years ago

    I love your books, I love your blog, and I love my cat. However, I agree that social media for writers and authors is highly overrated, and twitter seems to be a complete waste of time.

  10. Antony John 5 years ago

    I’m completely with you on this one, Meg. True, I’m a complete Luddite, and so I was unlikely ever to branch into Twitter in the first place, but almost every author I know wishes they had more uninterrupted writing time. Yet, several of the same authors admit to updating their Facebook status more than once an hour. I wonder how many more books might be written if Facebook and Twitter ceased to exist.

    Like everyone else, I love your blog posts, so I’m glad you’re not ditching us entirely; but I thoroughly respect your desire to filter out the dross.

  11. Tabitha Suzuma 5 years ago

    This definitely rings a bell! I spend way too much time on Facebook and confess to an addiction to checking it compulsively for updates while I’m writing. At times, it interferes so badly that I have to logout and turn off the internet. Never understood the attraction of Twitter though – I find the character-limit really irritating and the ‘text speech’ often difficult to understand. The tweets all seem to be jumbled up and part of a much longer conversation between several people I don’t know and so most of the time I just don’t understand what they’re on about. I shamelessly use it for self promotion though and tweet about any book events I am due to take part in or retweet positive comments about my books. I also use it to promote my brother, who is just stepping out onto the ‘world stage’ in the tremendously competitive arena of a concert pianist.

    On FB I too find cats or other pets particularly annoying, but also any mention of food or drink. Train journeys are annoying unless they’re funny, but I am guilty of posting kiddie photos: my godsons and twin niecelets are the love of my life but because they are not strictly MY children (although one godson does live with me) I feel more comfortable bragging about them (and my brother for that matter) than I would my own progeny. I am certainly guilty of complaining and as a depression-sufferer have been known to mistake FB for my therapist: I kicked up quite a stir when I posted a photo of a young woman holding a gun to her head beneath the heading ‘How I Feel Today’. This was actually picked up by the head of my publishing house, who alerted my editor to it, resulting in a very concerned voicemail message on my mobile the next morning… :-S

    I have a blog but haven’t managed to really get into it yet, mainly because I feel I should write at least so much and that it should be very well written etc, so it ends up feeling like work. I also get thrown by the lack of comments after posting – on FB I have nearly two thousand ‘friends’ so I usually get a response to my post within minutes. My blog I’ve only just started and haven’t got much of an audience so comments are few and far between which makes me feel like I’m talking to myself! I’m going to try and start using it more though. 🙂

  12. Geraldine Brennan 5 years ago

    I like Facebook for the alerts to blogs such as this one, which I find I keep missing if I try to follow them individually, and the kind of wide-ranging discussions I used to have when I worked in an office. I’ve found that my new phase of work contacts, mainly people I meet on courses, are more likely to keep in touch on Facebook than email. I have cut back on Facebook time though and as a result I am reading more books.

  13. Jody Casella 5 years ago

    Oh, Meg Rosoff! This has nothing to do with twitter or kittens but I must tell you that I am halfway through There Is No Dog and it is just so luscious and clever and funny and heartbreaking. Now, off to finish…

  14. from an anonymous student in worcester 5 years ago

    Hi Meg
    This blog post was funny. I am the same, I find I pick up a book and after 2 pages or so, want to update my twitter status. I think I may need to quit twitter for a while so I can actually finish a book before Christmas!

  15. Peter Bryenton 5 years ago

    Books: no batteries required. I like to take mine with a hammock on a fine day, well out of range of WiFi/3G.

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