A concept created by Author Angora Shade.
Actors are famous; some with millions of LIKES and with FOLLOWERS numbering in the hundreds of thousands on social media sites. Meanwhile the writers that supplied their lines remain mostly unknown.
That is the world that writers live in.
In an often vain attempt to be noticed, Authors are required to have an online presence that includes (at a minimum) the following:
- Tweeting daily.
- Updating their Facebook status frequently.
- Blogging weekly.
- Maintaining a website.
- Being an active participant in many organizations and groups.
- A book trailer on YouTube.
For most, the commitment to social media is over twenty hours per week of a writer’s time, assuming they did not get drawn in- endless surfing. You see writers are inquisitive by nature. We wish to experience new ideas that make us think. We may later write using this new found inspiration. We also want our words to affect others. There is a certain power that we feel when others are moved by our words. It can be a teachable moment.
THIS IS THE TRAP.
We cannot stop ourselves from commenting on interesting posts and we cannot stop surfing for those posts. If we stop, we might miss something that could have changed a life or gone viral. We are like kids begging to stay out later. Surfing social media can become addictive. If you are not careful, you will find yourself unwashed, in three day old underwear, still looking for the next opportunity to contribute. Books do not get written or published that way.
I have made many mistakes in my short time immersed in social media that I will now share.
1) DO NOT OPEN YOUR SITE UNTIL YOU KNOW WHAT YOU ARE DOING. I bombarded my early followers with friend requests over and over again. Bless them for sticking with the newbie.
2) DO NOT ATTEMPT TO ALTER THE THINKING OF OTHERS. I am well known for my anti-substance abuse stance, so in one post I questioned Australia’s idea of legalizing or decriminalizing drugs harder than pot. The group that posted seemed to think that by making these drugs more available it would remove the burden on law enforcement, reduce the backlog in the courts and empty the prisons ultimately saving tax dollars because drug treatments are cheaper. They kind of missed the point that habitual drug users do not wish to be treated. Always one for being philosophical, I suggested that “Mankind makes enough mistakes without being intoxicated.” If it was a jail, I would have been gang raped. Their responses ranged from “Your parents should have used protection.” to “Go f@ck yourself.”
3) DO NOT PRESUME THAT YOUR ON-LINE “FRIENDS” ARE LIKE YOUR REAL-LIFE FRIENDS. I think of writers as well educated thinking people in search of noble things like awareness and understanding. The ones I have associated with in real life have open minds, have journeyed into their inner selves and who freely engage in friendly banter that may include jest. They are witty. They understand and appreciate sarcasm. Recently, an author that I had conversed with several times on-line, posted the results of one of those “Who is (Her Name)?” tests that came back as being perfect in every way imaginable. You are smart, beautiful, sexy, an amazing lover… yada, yada, yada. The photo on her page (if actually her) was of an extraordinarily attractive woman. I was sarcastically questioning this personification of perfection and was almost immediately swarmed by others on the post. I was told that “If I had nothing nice to say, that I should say nothing at all.” I attempted to explain that my comments were a tease but to no avail. The Author told me that “she would be happy to stick her eight inch heels up my ass.” I had run into someone with a “mirror mirror on the wall…” complex who believed her own press. She obviously has some self-esteem issues that manifested in her oversensitivity. Her worshipers- presumably readers, would not allow a non-worshipper to talk to their goddess in that way. None got the joke and that is the moral of the story. The UN-FRIEND button was used on this occasion.
4) DO NOT PLAY DEVIL’S ADVOCATE. Recent world events have polarized many people into “for” and “against” and neither is willing to look at the opposing viewpoint nor are they interested in finding any common ground. It does not seem to matter whether the group is talking politics or religion- there is no give in their stance no matter how inhumane or ridiculous that stance may be. Do not waste your precious time.
5) DO NOT ATTEMPT TO EDUCATE EVEN WHEN IT APPEARS THEY ARE ASKING FOR HELP. Offering up unsolicited advice is never welcomed in the “on-line community”. Despite your “friend” status, you are a stranger and they probably do not know anything about you. When you are asked, you must weigh your words carefully- remembering that people tend to ask for your input to help them be more comfortable with a decision that they have already made. They are looking for peace of mind and not looking for answers that may require them to strike off in a new direction.
6) NEVER ENGAGE IN CONVERSATIONS AFTER MIDNIGHT- ESPECIALLY ON WEEKENDS. People get hammered and go on-line thinking that they are smarter and more communicative when they are in that condition. These are the same people that use liquid bravery to meet others in bars. In either place the results are the same. Incoherence and impaired cognitive function does not make for good conversation. The key to identifying them is by their tangents. I say “The dog is red.” and they come back with “You don’t like dogs that read?” Do yourself a favour and log off right there.
7) DO NOT ENCOURAGE ON-LINE CRUSHES. You do not know if this person is real or an axe murderer serving a life sentence. All you have is a profile that they wrote.
8) DO NOT BELIEVE ANY POST ON THE INTERNET. So far I have seen a city in the clouds, a massive underground ancient city, more blurry UFO’s and apparently there are four different species of aliens that are running everything. Research everything to establish whether what you read is fact or fiction.
9) REMEMBER WHY YOU ARE THERE. For most of us, it is part of the job. Do not let your addiction get the better of you and do not let some fools take the fun out of it for you.
10) IF YOU NEED TO RANT; DO IT IN YOUR BLOG. Your blog readers probably enjoy your personal views but Facebook, Twitter and YouTube should not be used for rants unless they are comedic.
SOCIAL MEDIA IS ABOUT FLUFF.
If you want to be on-line without any grief, simply do the following:
- Keep things light.
- Be encouraging.
- Tell people what they want to hear.
- Never get involved in controversial posts.
- Post pretty pictures.
It is not what good friends do, but that is the point.
When you have put in your twenty plus hours a week on social media, sit back, pour yourself a stiff drink and weep for humanity… but for the sake of all that is holy, do not go back on-line.
Ms. Creant: The Wrong Doers!
Life with Women: the long awaited instruction manual.
Talks of relationships, health, life, biology, philosophy, sociology, theology, genetics- even physics as well as HOW EACH OF US MUST ANALYSE OUR RELATIONSHIPS.
Go make some friends… ideally in the real world.