I had been adamant about not joining Twitter. It wanted me, but I didn't want it. Finally, it came after me and won. I really thought it would be a huge time waster and that basically more of my life would get sucked into useless stuff that takes away from writing time (thanks, YouTube).
But, after using it for a month or so, it really isn't that bad. I have never asked anyone to follow me, I have never put Twitter links on anything else that I do and I have never marketed my stuff through the site, so I think I've avoided most of the major pitfalls as I see them. I think that if you don't avoid those three things, you can get seriously caught up in and end up with less writing time and more stress. Here's why:
More followers = crap
Getting more followers means nothing unless you're just using the site just to market your stuff. If you're marketing, pushing your links onto "friends," etc., then yeah, go for followers. Otherwise, I have actually seen some poor, misguided souls bragging about having more followers than other people. It's worn like penis size or something. That's just a waste of time.
Twitter links = irritation
"Follow me" links are irritating, without exception. Ick. Want followers? NEED followers? Get therapy.
Twitter marketing = meh
Yes, I do have to write articles about how good Twitter is for marketing, and actually, it kind of is- if you have something great to market. If you do have something great, word of mouth is probably better, but Twitter is good too. If you don't have something great to market, tweeting about it won't make it become so. Tweeting isn't alchemy that will turn crap into gold. I think Confucius once said that.