Just one day

In 2009, I started a Christmas tradition for myself.

Some might call it “quirky.”

Others might call it “old-fashioned.”

You might even want to tell me to get with it, because “social media doesn’t take a day off.”

All I ask is that for one day — Christmas Day to be exact — I don’t have to read your advertising bullshit on my Twitter feed. I remember the first account that started it all … a realtor was pimping out his repossession listings.

Ugh, I thought, that’s in bad taste.

And I unfollowed that account. In years since, whenever I see a business Tweeting anything advertising-ish, anything outside of “Merry Christmas to all our followers,” I ditch ’em like a hot potato.

Because, you see, that’s the beauty of Twitter. If I don’t like what you’re Tweeting about, I can unfollow you. The same goes if you don’t like my posts.

I did, however, mention it to one of the accounts I stopped following, knowing that I “engaged” with the account in the past and I knew who was behind the Tweeting. I simply said, “Take a day off, eh?”

Two days later — today — I received a reply. Social media doesn’t take a day off.

No, it doesn’t. It doesn’t take even a second off, unless we’re faced with the mighty Fail Whale (which makes several people I know suffer panic attacks). But it’s up to us to use our accounts wisely and responsibly.

“Sometimes entrepreneurs don’t get a day off, xmas or otherwise. You were there reading the tweets!”

Yes, yes, I was. But on Christmas Day, I wasn’t working. I wasn’t Tweeting links. And I wasn’t trying to convince my followers to hire me for my writing, editing or community management skills. I also wasn’t Tweeting on behalf of any of my clients, giving their followers a day off from the chit-chat (even the Australians who were already done and done with Christmas).

Yet amid the joy of following along with friends and acquaintances as they tweeted their gift openings, I got blasted with: Blog it up for you (sic) business! We will set up your WordPress blog for free!

OK, sure, the grammatical error irked me wildly. The slammers (news room speak for exclamation marks) made me wince. But come on, we can’t take one day off?

We can’t give our followers a break, maybe just wish them merry Christmas and good tidings of the season?

It just seems like a Christmas-y thing to do.

We’re blasted by Christmas from the second the Halloween decorations come down (in some stores, it’s even before that!) and Santa barfs all over everything for at least two months, leading up to Dec. 25.

I’m no religious zealot. I don’t even believe in organized religion, so Christmas isn’t a Christian pursuit for me.

I do believe Christmas is a wonderful time for love and family and joy and sharing … even sharing on social media.

But not for pimping your business.

Just give us one day off.


  1. I remember seeing this exchange. I was cheering leading for you. Amen for sure. Related: I stumbled across this post early this morning because I was creeping your blog for free advice from a professional writer. I wasn’t sure if it was correct to indent your paragraphs on a blog. I’ve got a bunch that I’ve drafted but need editing now. I’m using yours as an example of how it should be done. So I went to the place I know I could find out how it’s done right. Kind of how I think about the Twitter accounts I follow too. Please pardon my grammatical errors. I’m not a pro. Cheers

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