Monday, February 4, 2013

The Opera Disease

by Jemi Fraser

My dad was a straight-shooter. If you did something he was proud of, you knew it. If you ticked him off, you knew that too. He didn't pull a lot of punches - ever.

One day he grumbled about someone having the Opera Disease. When I asked him what it was, he asked me if I'd ever heard an opera singer warm up. Um. No.

He said when they warm up they sing, "Mi, Mi, Mi, MI!"

It took me a few seconds - come on, I was a kid! - before I realized what he meant. Me, Me, Me, ME!

In the Twitterverse lately, I've come across a few folks inflicted with this hideous disease. You know the ones:
  • every tweet screams Buy My Book! Look at Me!
  • they never talk about anyone else
  • they don't have real conversations
  • they tweet their own links continuously
  • they unfollow you a week or two after they follow you so they look important ... at least to themselves
Thankfully the Opera Disease isn't contagious and, if you take sensible precautions, you won't be infected.

Have you seen any breakouts of this terrifying disease in your Twitter travels?

Jemi Fraser is an aspiring author of contemporary romance. She blogs and tweets (responsibly) while searching for those HEAs.


Old Kitty said...

I don't tweet or have an account or ever dream I will but manners is manners is manners! LOL!! Take care

Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

What a clever way of putting it! Ha!

Yes, I've seen that disease making the rounds. :)

JeffO said...

Sounds like another good reason to avoid twitter, and it's the second twitter-blasting blog post I've seen today!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Yes, and I catch the ones who unfollow right away with and unfollow them right back!

Jemi Fraser said...

Old Kitty - exactly - manners is manners! :)

Elizabeth - thank you :) The disease is making the rounds!

Jeff - that's funny! I actually really enjoy twitter for the most part - but some people do try to hog the show!

Alex - I use mrunfollower & twitcleaner to do the same! :)

L. Diane Wolfe said...

When I do think about Twitter, it's usually just to post a link to my blog host. I know, hate me now. I need to get more involved.

Jemi Fraser said...

Diane - not possible to hate you Diane! It's the folks who tweet their links repeatedly all day long who drive me nuts! :)

Sophie Perinot said...

You see it on FB all the time--in a longer form that twitter--the author who posts every review link in every group he/she belongs to.

LOVED the post and the diagnosis!

~Sia McKye~ said...

Actually, I've seen it on many social networks. After the first few I tend to sigh and tune out.

I've always said, authors, you are more than A BOOK. you want followers for ALL your writing, not just the one book you're trying to shove down my throat. Some learn, some don't.

brighton said...

Twitter is weird, I don't go on very often. And when I do I sometimes see I've gotten new followers, and then I click to see who they are (I rarely know who they are, but most of the time they are other writers) and find that they've already unfollowed me already, and when I look at their numbers they have like 3,142 followers and follow 3,142. So clearly I didn't follow them back fast enough so they unfollowed me.
This whole follow me and I'll follow you back thing to bolster everyone's follow count seems silly to me. Why should I follow back some stranger who is just trying to bulk up their follow numbers? Plus having so many people you're following would make it a huge hassle to read the tweets of the people you follow that you actually want to read their tweets, they'd get lost in the deluge.
I've been told before that I'm rude because I rarely ever follow people back. I think it's rude to expect someone (especially a stranger) to follow you back just because you've followed them. Twitter should be about reading interesting tweets, not how many followers you can rack up.

SC Author said...

YES I HAVE SEEN IT! I try not to follow those people :D

Nas said...

Actually yes!

Lots of shouting by everyone, "me, me and my book!"

Jemi Fraser said...

Thanks Sophie! I haven't joined FB yet - but I'm not surprised to see it there too! :)

Sia - exactly! And you're so right - some people just don't learn!!

Brighton - dead on!! It should be about connections - making friends, not yelling at people about yourself!

SC - I'm with you! I find them exhausting!

Nas - it can be too much, can't it?

Shelley Sly said...

I love this phrase -- The Opera Disease. I will have to remember this from now on. You've got a great point.

When somebody follows me on Twitter, I check them out first, making sure they have plenty of @ mentions in their feed and not just their book pitch tweeted over and over.

Great post, sorry I didn't get the chance click over earlier, but I'm glad I did. :)

Jemi Fraser said...

Shelley - thanks! It's a great idea to check out the personalities before following - I have to do that more often :)

Melissa said...

Yes, I see a lot of this "disease" going around too. It can be pretty annoying and it makes the person look like a robot. When someone follows me on Twitter, I go to their page to see what they tweet about. If there is no actual interaction with others, I don't even bother to follow them back. I also hate when you follow someone and they instantly send you a DM asking you to check out their latest book or their website. I find that to be rude or pushy.

Jean Oram said...

What a great name for it.

I've also seen a bunch of beating of dead horses. Yikes.

Jemi Fraser said...

Melissa - yes!!! That drives me nuts too - a great way to get people to UNfollow you! :)

Jean - thanks :) Yup those poor horses take a lot!

Medeia Sharif said...

Yes. I'm seeing this more and more.

Jemi Fraser said...

Medeia - me too - and I'm hoping we can stop the spread! :)

Debra McKellan said...

Jeff, don't blame the car, blame the driver. lol

I can't stand when I follow someone and all they have is links to a new review a reader just did on their book, or constantly hinting at the subject of THEIR book, and/or just plain "Buy my book!" Especially when it's not a good book. X)

Most people on Twitter don't do that, though. They're actually people behind their tweets.

Sharon K. Mayhew said...

I'm with Brighton on this one...I look at the numbers too. Unless you are an editor or an agent or famous (or I "know" you) I don't follow back if your numbers are really lopsided. It's like they are collecting people. I'm much more likely to buy a book from a blogger I "know" than a twitter person I don't have any interaction with.

Jemi Fraser said...

Debra - you're right! I know a huge # of twitter buds who are amazing and fun people!

Sharon - me too! I've bought dozens and dozens of books by people I've met online - but not one of them is an in-your-face promoter!