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Thursday, April 14, 2011

You Are What You Tweet, So Make It Suck Less

Posted By on Thu, Apr 14, 2011 at 8:55 AM


I used to do a lot of work-related tweeting and my boss really encouraged it, but now I just don't feel like it. I work 10 hours a fucking day. I'd rather tweet about what I had for dinner, but I kind of feel bad, like I should be tweeting about work. I'm not obligated, but I do feel the social pressure to tweet. What should I do?


I personally think tweeting about dinner is about as provocative as naming your split ends, but I see what you mean. The more our personal and professional lives are intertwined through social media, the less control we have over our work-life balance. Whatever we view as an obligation makes us automatically view it as a burden, and therefore it's easy to become resistant to its potential usefulness and charms. Plus, you're clearly not following any of the Kardashians.

Because you work 10 hours a day, I'm inclined to say, "Fuck your boss' social media demands," and leave it at that, but if I don't answer your question, SF Weekly said it would stop selling me discounted Luna bars! A cursory glance at your stream tells me that you don't do a lot of two-way communicating, which is one of Twitter's best functions. Within seconds, you can get advice, ("Should I lance this boil?"), recommendations ("What's the best way to marinate a squirrel?"), and even potential gigs or job offers, ("We at Squirrels Gone Wild just loved your recipe. Won't you come on our show and share your secrets?"). And so on.

And let's not forget the sheer entertainment value Twitter provides. A random string of today's links led me to a video of Mickey Mouse break dancing, a caricature of House Speaker John Boehner inside a uterus (warning: You can't UNSEE this), and Beaker from The Muppet Show meeping his way through a "to do" list. Of course, if you're an insurance adjuster or something, tweeting about The Muppet Show probably won't thrill your boss, but it makes your feed seem human, which is a surefire way to garner more followers and karma points. Tweet a cat, save a life -- or whatever the expression is.

If you really just don't want to tweet about work, then fake it. Set up an auto-twitter feed or two of a website or blog that regularly posts interesting articles in your field. That way, whenever said website posts a new article, your Twitter feed will automatically tweet a link to it. Sometimes this occurs at 3 a.m., which has the added bonus of making you seem REALLY dedicated. My lazy ass uses Twitterfeed, which you can set up here, if you're so inclined:

All that said, if compulsory work tweeting is stressing you out, then by all means, drop it like a nun's habit that is on fire. And don't forget to read my recent column on curbing your social media habits for other tips on maintaining a healthy work-life balance. 

Social-media mistress Anna Pulley likes to give advice about how to play well with others on the internets. If you have a question about etiquette involving technology, shoot her a question at

Follow us on Twitter: @annapulley and @ExhibitionistSF

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