By Lori Perkins
I’ve been on Twitter since 2010.
I joined because all my romance-writing friends were on it, and I was TOLD I needed to be part of the conversation. I thought I had nothing to say, and that it was purely for publicity/sales purposes, so I asked an assistant to tweet for me. He regularly announced new books when they were published, and we had maybe 10 followers. For a long time.
And then I got sick. Stay-at-home-sick. Stay-at-home-in-bed sick. I pulled my laptop to my bedside and started tweeting. I retweeted a bunch of feminist-related articles I found interesting. Maybe a review or two. And a few personal opinions. A recipe for the Greek chicken soup I make to heal all ills. We got a lot more followers. And the next day I was feeling better and made a cake with peppermint frosting, a picture of which I tweeted. Followers went up again.
More articles were retweeted. More opinions shared. As well as personal photos such as sunsets over the Hudson from my apartment window. I started following a bunch of writers I read and admired. Many of them started following me.
Suddenly I was in the middle of both important and frivolous discussions about my slice of publishing as soon as they came up. It was fun. It was scary, but it was real and timely.
I also realized that I was getting news as soon as it happened – news that I would not be aware of otherwise such as earthquakes outside the US, and other disasters, as well as weird art history and archeological findings that I found interesting. Twitter rounded me out, but also fed my bubble, but it made me a fuller person.
I don’t need Twitter, but I like most of what it brought into my life. When the trolls and asshats come for me, I just ignore them (usually about some feminist statement I made or retweeted).
A few people mentioned that they were surprised I was such a “feminist” (I kept my maiden name) or that I was so “liberal” (I have three LGBTQ+ imprints in my publishing company and I live in NYC) or that I was a Christian (my mother is a minister, but a woke one). What Twitter has done for me is to allow me to show the fullness of who I am, and to see that in others. I’ve blocked a few people from my past who share things I don’t need to see and I’ve found new friends and allies that I never imagined I’d have.
So I’m staying on Twitter for now because so far none of that has changed.