Friday, August 14, 2015

SOCIAL MEDIA: Despite What the Experts Say, Use Sparingly #Opinion @KarynGerrard #SocialMedia

Again, I make no claims to be one of the "experts" this is merely my own opinion and I draw on my own experiences. Everyone's interaction on social media is completely different.

In explaining to my husband of yet another social media meltdown, I also had to explain what doxxing was to him, (Urban Dictionary: It's publicly exposing someone's real name or address on the Internet who has taken pains to keep them secret. Also spelled "doxing.") The hubs has no use for social media in general. Though he is a teacher, he refuses to have a Facebook page or any other presence on the web. Good for him, His life does not have a huge gaping hole because of it.

It was then I realized if I wasn't a published author, I doubt I would be on Facebook, Twitter, etc either. But I am an author and on social media, because in this day and digital age, the two go hand in hand.

The net is a nasty place. Trolls and monsters abound, ready to jump on you and tear you in half with their velociraptor claws just for the pure fun and sport of it. I learned this early on when I was moving about in the Sims gaming community, so I came to romance publishing with a sort-of semi-thick skin already in place. I hit a few potholes early on, but learned as I went and adjusted accordingly.

Because I am on social media as an author and nothing else, I personally do not feel compelled to share my opinions on current news or any hot-button issues. Along with my identity, to me its private. Just how I roll. I look at it this way, does anyone following me (reader, writer or otherwise) really care what my opinion is on any particular issue? I would bet very few.

Looking at recent drama happening all over social media, it usually starts with someone offering a very decided opinion on one thing or another and it escalates from there. Sometimes you have to walk away, but other times, I admit to getting out the popcorn and exhaling a sigh of relief I was not caught up in the melee.

There are a lot of writers out there who are forever embroiled in  controversy or loudly offering their opinion on it. Whatever floats your boat. As a rule, I try and stay clear. If I don't like a particular post on Facebook or find it offensive, I either unfollow, unfriend, or block, whatever the level of disgust. But I keep my opinion to myself. Some don't. Again.., to each his own.

I take who I follow and friend seriously, and for the most part my timelines are vitriol free. I use the 'I don't want to see this" feature on Facebook quite a lot. My feed, my option.

I am also not inclined to pull back the curtain on my private life. One romance author vividly described her sex life on Facebook and I cringed. Hey, I'm not a prude, but whoa. TMI. Judging from the comments, her readers liked it. Sorry, I can't do it. As much as experts urge authors to share a piece of yourself on-line to readers, I can only go so far. It's not something that can be forced.

So don't feel compelled to offer your soul to the internet because experts claims you must. Do what is comfortable for you. Also, think twice before posting a rant on whatever subject. The sharks will smell the blood in the water and go in for the kill. For my own sanity, I will continue to stay clear, and outside of promo for myself and others, instead tweet or post about food, hot guys, shows I like, baseball and that's about it.


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