So, I’m not even sure if this is worth a blog post, but I am just so confused by a baffling series of event on Twitter today, I wanted to share it and get feedback. There is an author I greatly respect and admire, I follow her on Twitter. Today she posted this:
“Think I can feel a bout of focus coming on. Fingers crossed. #adhd”
Just in case you don’t know ADHD refers to Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder which is a disorder that, among other things, can make it difficult for a person to focus on a task. I responded thusly:
“I think getting off Twitter would help you focus! : ) looking forward to your next book!”
Now, in the world of great humour, that joke is not going to go down as a classic. You know, take away the distraction of Twitter to help you focus. Funny, right? I mean, not hilarious, just a small observation from a fan. And to make sure that the nature of the Tweet was clear, I put in the funny little emoticon, and then mentioned that I was looking forward to her next book. Just a harmless little burst of nothing, like so much on Twitter.
Hours went by, and then I received this reply:
“@drewbeatty Please don’t presume to give me medical advice. Thank you.”
Wow. Presume. Getting off Twitter as medical advice. I was, frankly, surprised. But hey, at least she said thank you, that’s polite, right? So, in an attempt to clarify, I sent this:
“Sorry, it was only intended as a slight joke, not medical advice. No harm intended.”
See, I even admitted that is was just a slight joke. But then came the real shocker.
I had been blocked by this user.
It might be the first time I have ever been blocked before. I have had lots of users unfollow me, usually spammers that I didn’t follow back, but I don’t know of anyone blocking me. Until today.
So, to recap, I sent a slightly funny Tweet to a favourite author, intending to be supportive, and then an apology, and she blocked me.
I have to wonder if she was really offended by my joke, as though I was making light of ADHD, but I do not feel the text of my original Tweet has that connotation. Or if she is easily offended about it, then why Tweet about it with a hashtag?
But let’s look at what I lost.
1. Some respect for an author I like. I probably will not read her other books, not out of some childish spite, but more because in the back of my mind it will niggle at me. “She block me for that Tweet!” I will be thinking, and that will take me out of the story. And it’s not like there isn’t a HUGE backlog of other books I would like to read.
2. A Twitter follower. Wait, she never followed me anyhow. So I lost access to her Tweets.
Let’s look at what she lost.
1. An avid fan. I have bought or borrowed most of her books. I have discussed and recommend her work with friends. I have blogged about her readings, I have mentioned her as an inspiration for Lost Gods. So, she was never going to retire on what I could do for her, but it’s not like she is making Stephanie Meyer book sales.
2. A customer. Now I know I have already talked about her books, but this is bigger. Along with being a writer, she also mentors writers. For $2000.00. I was seriously considering trying to scrape the money together to do this, not this year, and probably not next, but in the future. I really, really won’t be doing that now.
So, here are all the facts as I know them. What say you? Was my first Tweet rude or insensitive? Was I playing god by telling someone to get off Twitter? Leave your responses in the comments, please. I’m really curious.