Today I want to talk about a problem I see in the community of writers on Twitter: a growing sense of entitlement.
We writers work hard to build our platform. We’re told how important it is, so we put our time, energy, and hearts into the effort of building our potential audience. And there are certain unspoken rules, as most of us know. Tenuous things such as, If I retweet your blog post you’ll retweet one of mine soon, and If I add you to my list of awesome writers you’ll add me to yours. Most of these rules come down to the idea of digital karma. If we support and promote other writers, they’ll do the same for us. Which is usually true.
Except when it isn’t.
And who knows why sometimes it isn’t? Maybe someone just didn’t like your blog post this week. Maybe they don’t want to be associated with your genre, persona, or presence. Maybe they’re busy. Maybe they just forgot. There are dozens of fair and unfair reasons that someone might not do what we wanted, hoped, or even expected them to do… which is when our sense of entitlement rears its ugly head.
Which is the perfect time to step back, think, and remind ourselves what’s what – and what’s worth it.
What We Are Entitled To
- The right to tweet how and what we want.
- The right to follow or unfollow anyone we’d like.
…And that’s pretty much it. (But that’s a lot.)
What We’re Not Entitled To
- Being followed.
- Being followed back.
- Being retweeted, @ mentioned, or otherwise shared and promoted.
The Bottom Line
It’s easy to mistake courtesy with entitlement. Is it polite for a person to respond when we @ mention them? Yes, of course. But they are not obligated to. Would it be nice if everyone we followed followed us back? Yep. But that’s not how it works. [Read more…]