Do you Find Women Writers on Social Media Annoying?


Do You Find Women on Social Media Annoying?

Do You Find Women on Social Media Annoying?

Wherever I go on social media, I meet other women. I’m not complaining, I’m not out to meet men (I’m in a very happy marriage, thank you very much), but really, do all groups on the internet have to be heavy on women?

I interact with more women than men on Twitter, on Facebook, on my blogs, on Linkedin, on Goodreads, Google+, on Triberr.

(The same in real-life groups I visit—most participants at writers’ workshops and symposiums are women, a lot of women in writers’ critique groups or writing groups. Why do you think that is? Is it because women talk more? Ahem, Do women talk more than men? I do, don’t I, at least my husband seems to think so lol. Are there more women-writers than men-writers? Do women like more work-shopping and critiques? )

I’m a woman myself, and I’ll be lying if I said I hate All the girly support group thingie— the long-winded I-hear-you, you’re awesomesauce, don’t worry about (current enemy of choice), we’re-all-there-for-you kind of group-love shit. All the women I’ve ended up collaborating with on projects (and will continue to work with) are worth their weight in gold.

But once in a while, I long for silent, pat-on-the shoulder kind of support. Or maybe, ‘Yeah, I get you, peace’ sort of comments, or maybe a joke or two—something I mostly see from men.

Is it the latent tomboy in me that misses men on the internet and in writing groups, because, as a child, all my friends were boys, and I ran and fought and kicked with the best of them?

I consider myself very happy to be woman, but as a writer, I often find myself talking in the male voice. I wonder whether that has something to do with the fact that I often find a lot of women (and women-writers) needlessly vocal, over-friendly, or ‘over-supportive’…even noisy? I’m terrified it is all rubbing off on me, and I’m becoming one of those loud, annoying types in my social media interactions.

I hope not.

Men writers on the internet and in real life seem a lot more restrained lot, and maybe the writer side of me finds this aspect of social communication reassuring: less noise, more space to space out and dream.

Or has growing up in a patriarchal setting affected me in some kind of inverse way I don’t understand?

If you’re a woman and a writer, do you find other women-writers annoying, cloying, even false at least some of the time?

If you’re a man, and a writer, what’s your take on men and women writers on social media and the different ways they interact?

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51 thoughts on “Do you Find Women Writers on Social Media Annoying?

  1. Using words like awesome sauce, and stringing-words-together-like-this. I can only take so much of it before every female blogger sounds like the same person. I’m not sute what it is either. It was funny when men did it, maybe I’m picking up the wannabe macho aspect of the female bloggers tone? Maybe because the men don’t take themsevels seriously, and the women do to the point where it feels like they are talking down to you? Using way to many big words ( and sneaking snarky little comments in at the end of sentances like this).

    • I’ll amend this. All bloggers are annoying. There are more female bloggers, than male bloggers, therefore, reading blogs, one gets the impression that there are tons of annoying women bloggers out there.
      In reality, the male bloggers are all annoying as well, there are just less of them. The vast majority of men and women in the real world do not blog, and are not annoying.

  2. I just dropped by after my camp (lots of catching up to do on the posts I’ve been tweeting out, hah!)
    I suppose I echo most of what the other commenters have said – that it depends very much on the character of the person (introverted or extroverted) though gender does make a difference as to how much or what is being said.
    I guess I tend to be more of a silent reader, mainly because I don’t like to comment if I feel that I have nothing more to add to a conversation. Trying to fix that though :)

    That said, “If you’re a woman and a writer, do you find other women-writers annoying, cloying, even false at least some of the time?” – not really, at this moment, maybe because I don’t interact that much anyway, though the occasional “you can do it!” tweets in response to a despondent writing tweet is always very encouraging. :)

  3. I’ve been away from my laptop all of yesterday, and am overwhelmed at the amount of interest this post has generated! A lot of the commenters are first timers to this blog, and to them I want to say thanks and welcome. To my regular friends, hugs, I love you all.

    That said, I’ll try and answer each comment now, but the most remarkable thing that struck me was that this aroused so much of interest…people would stop by on an unfamiliar blog and take the time and make the effort to leave a long comment only if the topic interested them enough, and I’m a little surprised at the lengths and number of comments!

  4. Pingback: Social Networking as a Writer « A. W. Omyn

  5. I’m the girl who broke her ankle on the way to the homecoming dance, tripping down the stairs. I couldn’t even make it TO the dance floor first. I get along better with men than with women, most of the time. And, I’m not the best at what’s considered “normal” female conversation/support. I’m the kind who shows support by cracking a joke, or relying on sarcasm and funny stories to raise spirits. I’m also the kind who will tell a female friend to knock it off, if they’re obsessing over “it’s the WAY he said goodbye this morning.” Though, I will admit, I really cannot shut-up!

    That said, I don’t find women writers annoying in writing circles or social media. At least, not any more than I find men annoying in the same circles. People are people and they’ll all be different. Actually, I find that kind of nice. If we were all the same? Not only would I be bored to tears, I don’t think the world can handle more than one of me. ;)

    I’ll tweet/blog/etc. about writing, particularly on my professional accounts, most of the time. And, I will curb my tongue (in real life – truckers and sailors run screaming, covering their “virgin” ears) in order to keep it professional. But, I’ll also tweet about more personal matters – family, things I’ve read, what I watched last night, etc.on occasion. Why? Because all of that plays a part in my writing as well. The fact that I took anthropology as a college major, play video games like Left 4 Dead and Fallout (Oh my beloved Xbox, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways…), love horror movies with a passion, am a homeschooling mother, etc. – all of that will inevitably spill over in how I write.

    Besides, I know I don’t want to ONLY read advertisements. I don’t mind them now and then. I certainly want to hear about the books. But, I’d also like to be able to find something I can relate to in the writer – the person, authentic and genuine, behind the writer.

    • Awomyn, thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment.

      I know it is nice if the writer makes the interaction personal, and not just a sales pitch. Sharing about one’s life on social media to an extent just to give a flavor of your personality, is good. But I come across women who are all flavor and no personality, and that makes me wonder.

      I’m glad this post made you dwell on the topic enough to write a post all your own on a related topic. That is one of the the great things about social media: a lateral sparking and sharing of ideas! :)

      • I see what you’re saying. I guess I just haven’t noticed the same thing, based on gender. (Sometimes, I have noticed that on both/either side of the gender line) To be fair, though, I’m fairly new to sharing what I’m writing with anyone, let alone strangers online. I tend to be more hermitesque (it’s a word!) when it comes to writing. Alas, I am not Edgar Allan Poe, in his time. So, I supposed I must learn to be a little less reclusive. ;)

        It’s a very interesting and thought-provoking topic. I wonder if your observations have more to do with gender specifically and the way women are hard-wired vs. the way men are hard wired; or if they have more to do with culture and the way we generally raise girls to be vs. the way we raise boys to be.

  6. Forget women writers – I find most other women annoying, cloying, even false MOST of the time. I hate when my husband lumps me with the wives and girlfriends of his mates because he assumes I will want to talk to them just because they are women. I almost clawed my eyes out after listening to two women talk about children non-stop for an hour. They had children, and their work was childcare. Don’t get me wrong, I love my daughter, but there is more to my life than children. I retreated to the men’s group, where they were discussing remote control cars. Infinitely more interesting. When I passed the women’s conversation a few hours later, they were STILL talking about children.
    So if you’re a woman, and I hang with you, consider yourself special. I don’t connect with many women.
    I connect well with men, but I find that a lot of men no longer want to hang around me when they realise the relationship is never going in the direction they want. Why is that? Is it not possible to have an intellectual relationship? I currently have two actual male offline friends. I have a bunch more acquaintances who, interestingly, are writers. Most of my offline crit group are men! There are only two active women writers currently, which is interesting given your comment that many you know are women.
    So if you’re a guy, and I hang with you, I appreciate the fact that you appreciate me for my mind.
    For myself, I try to be honest all the time. I’m a ‘think it, say it’ kind of person, and if I said it, I meant it.

    • I hear you, Ciara, and thanks for chiming in.

      “So if you’re a guy, and I hang with you, I appreciate the fact that you appreciate me for my mind.”

      I’ve tried that, and it has led me to whole lot of a different kind of trouble, but discussing that would be digression.

      To reply to you, I think I do get bored with supposedly ‘womanly’ topics like kids etc, but that I think I can forgive those women, cos that is what their interests are.

      What I cant understand are women writers who can only talk about shades of lipstick and nappie rashes, and gushing over men etc. Even if their writing topics could be limited shouldn’t they be a lot more grounded on diverse topics in order to have a balanced perspective on their own?

  7. Maybe it’s just me, but I agree with you. I think that the mentality that surrounds women vs. men when it comes to writing is just another stereotype. As a whole, I find my writer personality more analogous to a man’s. I’m reclusive and prefer talking to men. They seem a bit more pragmatic… though I would not replace the women in my life for the world.

    • As a whole, I find my writer personality more analogous to a man’s. I’m reclusive and prefer talking to men. They seem a bit more pragmatic… though I would not replace the women in my life for the world.

      Well said. You’re much surer of yourself than I am about this, and I find that inspiring!

  8. I too have found more women ‘friends’ on Twitter, Facebook, etc. It’s hard for me, even as a women to interact with them sometimes for all the same reasons you mentioned – they are just way too vocal for me! I also fear that when I do get a male friend through one of my social media outlets (more than just a follower, but someone I actually talk to regularly) that I might latch on too hard LOL Because I’m just drawn to the quieter essence of them. *shrug* Who knows. I was raised mostly by my Dad and I also ran with the boys when I was younger. Maybe I to have some deep psychological thing going on. Frankly, I have found I just relate to men easier. LOL I know it’s crazy. I’m a woman and I barely understand women at all.

    This is an interesting topic for sure! Glad to see someone else out there feels the same as I do!

    • Anastasia, we know each other from A to Z, so hello and welcome back! Thanks for your comment…my post was exactly in the spirit of your comment–just wondering and questioning, that’s all…which has been misunderstood in some of the comments above, I think.

  9. As a romantic suspense author, I frequently interact with other romance authors and often these are women. I love the warmth and friendliness of women writers, and don’t experience it as cloying at all. I’ve noticed male writers might be more direct at marketing me their novel, which I don’t really enjoy (especially without the warmth of knowing them first). I find a lot of men to be funny so I wish more male writers were out there to make me laugh on social networking.

    • Jennifer, I’m glad you had good experiences with women writers. I haven’t had any bad experiences, either, mostly because I’ve stayed away from women who’ve rung the alarm bells….cloying, etc.

      What you say about men marketing books I’ve come across only in one case….and yes, they’re universally funnier than women, me included!

  10. I also wonder if this is more of a introvert/extravert issue rather than a male/female issue. I’ve experienced some of what you described, except with genders reversed. Yes, I have encountered more women than men in my writing circles online, but they all take their writing seriously. There are personality differences across the board, and there are certainly chatty men as well as more reserved women. Perhaps you need to seek out those more similar to you, regardless of gender. The problem is that introverts, by nature, will be less visible.

    Maybe it’s also worthwhile to examine where you choose to congregate online and how that may attract more of one personality type. My place of choice is http://www.agentqueryconnect.com And who knows, maybe it’s not a bad idea to turn the critical eye inward and see if there isn’t something about your own personality or how you conduct yourself online that attracts certain personalities to you.

    • Welcome to the blog, J.Lea, and that thanks for the link, will go check it out.

      I agree, it could be an introvert-extrovert thing. I’ve only wondered about this in my post….whether men in general are more reserved on social networks and women less so. I’ve also wondered whether it is something in me..as you can see in my post…but I haven’t come to conclusions yet on either.

  11. I’m not sure how this is a “legitimate” topic. It seems to further the divide between men and women, and almost scorn some people for being friendly/chatty/open. Extroverts rule the world and in social media, I suppose that’s the same. I’ve seen obnoxious acts from both genders, but far more often I’ve seen, and received, amazing support, encouragement and honesty from my fellown writers (of BOTH genders). Posts like this, in my opinion, engender suspicion and silent questions of “who do I interact with that has something ‘wrong’ with them so maybe I can marginalize, ignore or unfriend them?'” If you want an all boys club, then only follow boys. *shrug*

    • Janet, welcome to the blog.

      Anything I choose to discuss on my blog is a legitimate topic as long as I’m not making hurtful or inflammatory statements. Which I’m not, if you read through my post.

      Never have I said that I’m following (or being followed by) only ‘boys’…which you would have noticed if you read the number of comments from women above, some of whom are quite obviously friends. And I have mentioned women who’ve been very supportive as collaborators, some of whom have commented above as well.

      Posts like mine encourage discussion, obviously, because you’ve taken the time to stop by and comment.

      Comments like yours, on the other hand, do criticize without backup without reading the entire post thoroughly. But it is your opinion and you’re welcome to it.

  12. First of all, I think it’s pretty brave of you to post this opinion. I also think it’s a legitimate topic, one that is very individualized for each writer/user of social media. As a person I get along with men better, seem to have a more free exchange of ideas, and form deeper connections…that is what happens in real life. I do engage with more women than men on Twitter, but I’m not sure why now that you are making me think about it. Maybe there are just more female writers using social media? Stay at home writer moms and all that? I don’t find their presence annoying in general. I enjoy interacting with women this way since I don’t have a ton of female friends.

    • Welcome to my blog, Sara.
      I’m not brave at all. This is my blog, and my opinion is on a very non-crucial topic like women on social media…the truly brave are those who fight on their blogs for equality and justice, and I’m nowhere in that league.

      It is interesting that you would call it brave, because you must have met women who would sharpen their claws at such topics—we all have :)…but thankfully they’re the minority.

      Like you, I’m still wondering as well: “Maybe there are just more female writers using social media? Stay at home writer moms and all that?”

      This was not an opinion piece, as much as seeking-an-opinion piece.

  13. Interesting. I do find some women cloying and overly girly, like “OMG…guess what I saw…like I am so…” but that observation does not seem to apply to the many women writers I’ve met online, and like you guys I know way more female than male writers. Sure, the ladies are slightly chattier, but I don’t think in an overly cloying/pretentious kind of way. I think as writers, we have to remain pretty grounded anyway, don’t you think?

    • I think as writers, we have to remain pretty grounded anyway, don’t you think?

      Yes, I think. And that is the point of my post here.

      A little fluff is good, but a lot of it…No.

      I’m happy I have women like you and Li to work with, who are grounded, strong, professional, yet friendly women. All my friends (online and off) are more or less like you both in some ways, and I consider myself fortunate.

      It is just that in my experience I’ve had to work a lot to separate the wheat from the chaff, and I’m wondering if there should be so much chaff.

  14. Actually it is mainly men that have given me outstanding support with my writing. And these have written me excellent reviews too, even though my books are Women’s Fiction. There are women writers too but not like you describe.
    Sorry I have not called in lately but I am not spending much time on the Internet these days. My only writing now is an occasional blog post. So my computer is getting dusted more than used!

    • My reviewers are divided down the middle- 50-50, and both have been equally supportive, so I got no grouches there. And no worries about not stopping by enough Gladys….too much of our precious lives are frittered away at the computer :)

  15. As a guy and a writer, one thing I’ve noticed is that the female writers I’ve met on twitter spend more time talking and the male writers tend to spend more time hawking links to the books. Personally I prefer the former. I don’t mind seeing links to a persons work. I get it. We’re all proud of our work and want to sell as much as we can. However, it’s nice to see the human being behind the marketing machine as well. As a result I tend to RT or shoutout to the female writers more because many times I have at least a marginally better sense of who they are not just what they’re selling

    • Rick, I agree with you on some men hawking their books. I’m thinking of unfollowing a guy simply because he floods my stream with links to his 101 ebooks! But thankfully, he is the exception.

      That said, women who perpetually rant about their kids throwing up, or their being lost in traffic or whatever makes me want to unfollow them too. I’m happy to get to know a person though a personal-ish tweet or blog post or whatever…but too much of any thing is not a good thing. Unless the blogger or tweeter has a particular audience in mind—and I’m definitely not that audience.

  16. The basic difference between men and women is at work here. As I understand it, men have taken a secret vow of near silence. My husband explained it to me this way…women feel the need to give every bit of detail to every situation. We do not leave anything to chance. Men, on the other hand, work on the “need to know” premise of things. They only tell us what we absolutely need to know with not a drop extra. So when a man tells you about his day, he says, “I went to work and when I was done working, I came home.” A woman will tell you about each minute detail of her day, from her morning coffee to her evening commute. We are hard-wired by nature as storytellers. Men, on the other hand, are hard-wired to work. So even men who are storytellers themselves will be a little less giving on the day to day details. They save it all for their work, and dole out only what we absolutely need to know. I have a lot of male writer friends, and they are very supportive, but they just don’t gush about it. Hey, that’s ok by me…I don’t have time to talk with them AND my women writer friends. We girls just talk to much.

    • I have a lot of male writer friends, and they are very supportive, but they just don’t gush about it.

      This echoes my thoughts sometimes, Erica. I wish some of us women would be less gushy and chatty some of the time. Not all the time mind you, but a a little less of it won’t hurt anyone. I probably miss out on a lot of good friends simply cos of their gushiness (which is not a crime, after all lol)

  17. My basic take on men and women writers on social media is thus:

    The women writers seem to be a bit more chatty than the men. It almost feels like a lot of the women treat writing like a hobby vs. a true pursuit (because of all the other chatter about the myriad of random stuff going on in their life.) Men, seem to be a bit more professional. I would say perhaps a higher percentage of their tweets are about writing, and it seems they take it more seriously.

    I’m not saying men take writing more seriously, it just seems like that because they don’t really relay much about their personal lives.

    As to why there seems to be more women? I think that’s simple. Men are raised to be ‘self-dependent.’ So instead of going to a workshop or hopping on twitter, they sit at their desk alone with their computer.

    • “The women writers seem to be a bit more chatty than the men. It almost feels like a lot of the women treat writing like a hobby vs. a true pursuit (because of all the other chatter about the myriad of random stuff going on in their life.) Men, seem to be a bit more professional. I would say perhaps a higher percentage of their tweets are about writing, and it seems they take it more seriously.”

      Michael, sometimes that is exactly how I feel, and that disturbs me. Being a woman myself and all.

  18. This is something that immediately struck me when I began blogging, but I think our view has a lot to do with the type of blogging circles in which we engage. If you start looking towards politcal topics or subject matter that has greater male interest levels such as sports I think you’d see those circles heavy on male bloggers.

    Also, I think men tend to be more stressed by jobs and careers and in down time away from work they just want to vege out in front of the TV or something, whereas women are more accustomed to staying busy with many different tasks.

    These are a couple of my thoughts and I think there are a number of other reasons as well. As far as being annoying, I find that many male bloggers or social media afficianados can be equally or even more annoying than many females–there is no gender driven propensity for being annoying. I just think you are seeing more females due to circumstance.

    Lee
    Tossing It Out

    • A very well-balanced opinion, Lee, and your longest comment by far on my blog :)

      You point out that political and sports blogs are heavy on males…I was actually wondering whether writing in general is heavy on females, or females are more vocal and more open, while the men writers are more hermit-ey?

      I don’t want to go into generalizations, cos that is always a tad dangerous, but I can’t help noticing that of all the blogs I follow, 20 are by men, and about 80 by women, and this after I got curious and tried to dig out more male writer-bloggers.

  19. Hey, this post rings a bell in my soul. I too, see many more, and more vocal women in social networking sites. You know, the types who add you as a facebook friend, and simple and open soul that you are, you accept because you have doezens of ‘friends’ in common. And next thing you know, their lengthy posts are all over your page without so much as an introductory hi and by-your-leave. They do a great job of pushing their writings in progress and books (yes, the lucky devils) . And yes, I’ve seen the sugary sister acts as well.

    But I wouldn’t say this sort of behaviour is a man-woman thing, or confined only to writers groups. It’s simply how some people are wired. Some people, whether men or women, are outgoing, garrulous and let’s pat each other on the backs sort of groups.

    Which reminds me, I’m the quieter, “I hear you, peace” sort. So stopping my uncharacteristic ramble here.

  20. Some days I find everything about social media cloying . . . but that’s probably just me! Initially I found myself agreeing with you, and then I went to check – I have about 50/50 men and women across the various social networks, and I interact about the same with the men and women. So perhaps my initial reaction was based more on my early impressions of such female cliques – the ones I avoided like the plague through high school and uni as I couldn’t stand the petty back biting that inevitably raised its head. Maybe with age I’ve just learned to spot the signs that things are headed that ay and bow out. Life is too short and there are too many other not petty or snarky conversations to investigate, after all!

  21. Oh yeah, there are a LOT more women than men in the circles I travel in. However, the ones I gravitate to are not those who are into social networking on a huge level. Most of us writers are like hermits and are not tweeting or facebooking all the time.

    My not-so-live critique group has three ment and four women. The men aren’t so much into social networking, but what I like about them is that they’re sensible and their suggestions are on point. Men are also very good at pointing out the things that don’t ring true.

    When I think about it, I don’t come across too many men who are rabid networkers – unless of course, they’re selling something.

    • @J.L.Campbell, check out the Internet Writers Workshop, a site consistently on the Writers’ Digest best sites for writers list. It’s a rock solid critique group with great ongoing focused discussions. I’ve learnt much of what little I know of writing there, and feel it’s the best place for writers from all over the world.

    • Joy, I don’t have anything against women or men networking per se…it is when my gut tells me to stay away, when something tells me they aren’t being sincere, that’s when the alarm bells ring…usually it is overwhelming and somewhat ‘trumped-up’ support from a complete stranger.

      But in this post I was just wondering, and I don’t think I’ve formed an opinion yet.

  22. It’s hard to judge all this. Yes, I have seen a lot of what you describe, and I’ve backed out of groups that are like that. It often feels like a huge High School clique. If you are on the outs with one person, EVERYONE takes sides, instead of letting things be. They also tend to only follow you if you comment on their ______ of the day. Photo Fridays? Pass. I have nothing to say. Share a video Tuesdays? Pass. He/She done me wrong most days? Really…enough sometimes.

    Give me something worth reading. Something uplifting is really preferred, or something to think about.

    I don’t see this as much with writers groups, but I’m not part of that many. I wish I could find more writers groups and leave the “bloggers who love to blog” groups: that is where I find most of what you are talking about. So..if you can suggest some groups, please do.

    The MLM/SEO groups only care about numbers, so they don’t get into anything personal.

I love comments, and I always visit back. Blogging is all about being a part of a community, and communities are about communication! Tweet me up @damyantig !

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