So far this has been a strange week. Strange in terms of unexpected emails and questions, a few of which left me scratching my head as to how to explain.
One question that seems to call for a reply had to do with why I hadn't confirmed a "friend" request on Twitter and Facebook. If by some chance you have that same question in mind, let me assure you that it's nothing personal. I deliberately limit my Facebook "friends" and Twitter "followers" to either friends in "real life," or to "friends of friends," or colleagues I work with, or people I either know through email and other communication venues or somehow know of. I use these two social networks primarily to keep in touch with family and friends who live some distance away, even in foreign countries, or to communicate with my readers--answer their questions, update them when a new book is due for release, or reply with other information they've requested.
I don't--I can't--claim to have thousands or even hundreds of "real" friends, but even if I did, I couldn't possibly stay in touch with all of them, either on Facebook or Twitter or anywhere else. That's reason enough for me not to "collect" as many followers or friends as I can muster.
I do enjoy the occasional surprise of being contacted by a friend I've lost touch with years ago or a family member I've heard of but never met. And I have always loved hearing from my readers and maintaining close contact with professional associates. But time and a number of other factors make it necessary for me to control how much I do in the way of networking and social activity. I use Facebook and Twitter primarily to stay in contact with my readers and keep in touch with what's happening in the publishing industry--and life in general. I'm a news junkie, and so I enjoy hearing "the latest" without keeping a radio or television tuned to the world outside.
So although I do appreciate your thinking of me, if I don't respond to your invitation, that's why.