Tuesday, May 29, 2012

When Twitter users go bad

I received an interesting tweet this morning. Not the nicest tweet, mind you, of even the most polite. But I'm used to the occasional sniping from the peanut gallery, as that's the deal I made when I decided to go into media. Usually, I ignore it. This time, I won't. Here's what showed up in my tweetstream:
@carmilevy Do you ever work, or have you become another talking head?
I had tweeted earlier in the morning that I was going to be doing a radio interview. I'm guessing this missive from someone who likely ought to know better was in response to that note.

Here's the deal: Anyone who knows me knows that I do interviews like this - on radio, on television and in print - fairly frequently. Doing so helps raise awareness among editors and it makes it easier for me to secure writing work. Oh, and I love the process. Live radio and television is like working without a safety net. You're totally on, totally in the moment, and totally in the hands of professionals hundreds of miles away who you may have never even met. It's as unreal an experience as you can imagine, and I get to do it on a regular basis. And not a day goes by that I don't count my lucky stars that this is what I do, that doing so opens doors to me and my family that would otherwise have remained slammed shut.

So, to answer your question, oh misguided tweeter, yes, I do work. Fairly often. Fairly hard. Fairly non-stop. Like now, as I settle in for a long night of writing before tucking in for a few hours, then waking long before dawn for another round of pre-breakfast interviews and research. Then it's off to the office for the day before I return home and start the cycle again.

Because this is how I market myself, build my brand, build my future for me and my family. I'd invite you to look over my shoulder and see just how much I work, how far beyond "talking head" this work is, how much effort it takes to achieve any of this and how profoundly I enjoy the privilege of journalists across the country calling me - silly, backward ballcap-wearing, bike-riding, irreverent me - for my opinion, but I'm guessing its easier for you to zing the occasional slice of snark into my tweetstream because I figure this is infinitely more entertaining for you than, oh, being nice.

I can probably go back into the archives and pick out at least a dozen or so similarly themed messages from you. I've ignored them all to-date, probably because, shockingly, you're a friend of my extended family, because I figured it wasn't worth raising a fuss over. But today I've chosen not to. And I realize I'm probably overreacting, probably making more of it than I should, probably missing the brilliance of your apparent humor.

Or maybe you're just being a dick. Either way, stop it. Because considering how little free time I have these days - working, you know - I have absolutely no patience for dicks.



15 comments:

Linda said...

Love it, Carmi. Your answer, that is. It sucked to get near the end and realize this is someone with whom you are more than just a mere acquaintance. I just put a phrase up on my FB status from another friend that I think applies here. "Judging someone does not define who they are... it defines who YOU are." He finally defined himself, whoever it is. Most of us know better!

Lisa Shafer said...

This is when you use the blocking feature. :)

Carmi Levy said...

Linda: Thanks for the validation. I think the fact that we're somehow connected, albeit distantly, riles me more than it might have been from a complete stranger.

Lisa: I haven't blocked or unfollowed him yet. Will watch and see if he chimes in. Doubtful, but you never know.

Anonymous said...

wa trying to make a joke because you have been on the radio so Much lately. Sorry it was not recieved that way.

Dick

Christine said...

I'm with Lisa. Block all dicks. Who has time for negativity?

...and if it turns into a good ol' fashioned throw-down, I gotcha back.

::running off to get my brass knucks::

Jeff Sage said...

Haters gonna hate. In this instance, not worth your time or consideration. You're an inspiration to most of us.

Kalei's Best Friend said...

Its obvious that 'tweeter' is an asshat... and loves to get or try to get a rise out of whoever... I don't tweet, but is there a way to block that person? That's one way of getting back/showing them up.

AussiePomm said...

I'm simply exhausted trying to keep up with you and your crazy hours!! You and your brand are doing quite well, perhaps unlike said tweeter??

utenzi said...

It's unfortunate that being in the public eye opens you up to this sort of nonsense, Carmi, but it's nearly unforgivable when it comes from people you know. I hope you both can work it out.

Karen S. said...

Wow! I came around looking for that TP work thing you do here and as the smoke settles I notice that Dick (?) replied (with tail between his) well anyway, I would buy it except when one is trying to be funny, or make a joke the talking head part is just plain mean really. I've always had a problem with people thinking that hurting people's feelings or laughing at their pain or if they fall down as being humor, because really it's not. And now Dick has probably knocked the fun right out of your TP thoughts!

CorvusCorax12 said...

love the quote Linda posted....could be just old fashion old envy.

Karen S. said...

I came in search of your TP (just another thing you do for others) and I find hurt. I know a quote about no matter how good a friend someone is, they're bound to hurt us every once in a awhile and we must forgive them for that. Possibly jealousy reared it's ugly head again? But as my mom would beg you, Rise above it, shake yourself off and just be you!

Titanium said...

I've found that the only people who ever anonymously snark at me are folks who know me in real life and use the thin veneer of anonymity to mask their identity for a cheap shot or two.

You DO work. Hard. Your beautiful family and the closeness that you share with them is evidence of the work you do to provide for, nurture and care for each one.

It doesn't lessen the sting, but for what it's worth: some of us know what it's like to pull the long days, late evenings, wee hours of the morning. And we're still here with ya...

Mark said...

Journalism of any sort these days is a stressful job, and doing it well is particularly trying. I have been a journalist for a living, so I kind of know. The fact that you are doing it well enough to be called upon as a source by other journalists speaks volumes. No, not all such sources are credible, but you can only do what you do, and if anyone lumps you in with "talking heads," it is their mistake.

That said, it is very hard to convey a joking tone of voice in a tweet, an e-mail, or any other written missive. I rarely do so except with those whom I know will not take it wrong.

lissa said...

Sounds like he's judging out of jealousy. Honestly, I've gotten this kind of comment too - and feeling everything from defensiveness to a need to explain, I finally realized it isn't anyone's business what I do. If they know me and still make those comments, I know, then, who I'm dealing with; if they don't know me, they matter very little.

You'll handle this perfectly - you always do. And keep on tweeting your interviews coming up, if I don't know via Twitter, I can't listen or watch! ☺