Social Media=Noise

March 22, 2013

Sometimes it feels like we’re all shouting the same things at each other. Do you ever notice that? I mean, on social media we tend to follow like minded people. When something terrible happens, we’re all yelling our outrage. Agreeing and yelling and outraged.

And then, if we’re an author, we want to talk about our books and our accomplishments. If we’re agents or editors we want to offer helpful advice or tell people what not to do. If we’re a company we want to sell a product.

And then, if we’re a person of any kind, we want to vent our frustrations, laud our accomplishment, show off pictures of our kids/pets/lunch etc.

We’re all talking, but we aren’t always listening. Sometimes I spend so much time on social media it starts to feel like noise. This agent says do this while this editor yells to NEVER do that. One author you admire sells a billion books, and so does one author who’s writing you just can’t get into and you wonder…why?

You try to engage with someone who doesn’t want to engage with you. Someone who you don’t want to engage with approaches you.

You speak, and no one responds.

It’s all…noise. And mainly we’re not so much listening to each other as we are yelling louder and louder to make our voice heard.

And then, sometimes you are heard. And you feel like someone out there shares an experience with you and it soothes the savage beast or the crows of doubt or something for a little while.

Sometimes social media has the power to make us feel better, ease our hurts, share our joys, point us in the right direction.

Sometimes it is just a cacophony of discordant sound that pushes us further into our shell, further away from our dreams.

As a person, I’m struggling to navigate it all without it affecting my self worth. As an author with a recent release, I’m trying to do all the right things to make my book seem like something you’d like to read.

But as the characters in my WIP are currently figuring out about their own lives, maybe there is no right way. There is only doing the best you can do at any given moment, right or wrong. And, just like social media, sometimes that is a relief, and sometimes it is a terrible burden.

Nicole

What To Say

September 21, 2012

I’ve been struggling with this whole blogging thing lately. Here and at my author blog. I’ve been struggling with what to post on Twitter and what to not. What I should share, what I should keep in the space of “real life”. What I should keep in the space of my head only.

I’m not sure what brings on these moments of introspection. Change or the opposite? Procrastination or productivity? Too much coffee or not enough?

The thing is, I’m in a place where I don’t know exactly what to say. What people want to hear. What I want to have them hear.

I keep a list of authors I think do social media very well, and I keep a list of actions on social media that drive me up a wall. I thought this might help. In an analytical way it kind of does, but at the base of it all, it really doesn’t. Because I’m not going to mimic what author A does or do the opposite of what author B does, because that makes me someone who’s only being someone else or the opposite of someone else. It’s not…me.

So, as I’m weighing this and that, I’m curious… what are the types of things you want to read in blogs? On Twitter? Can you think of someone who does social media really well? Or even better, what are your social media pet peeves?

Nicole

Social Media Overload

June 29, 2012

So, if you follow me on Twitter you already know this: I LOVE Twitter. In fact, I love social media. I remember way back when Facebook first came out and only certain colleges could get on it and I was so bummed. I am not the writer complaining about having to have a media presence, cause I love it!

I think a lot of this has to do with being shy/being a writer. In person, I am a terrible conversationalist. I rarely know what to say or ask. I even have awkward silences with good friends on occasions. I’m just not good at it. (I still remember when I first met Hubby and he kept asking me question after question because I kept killing the conversation dead and I said, hey, this is THE man for me).

But, give me time to formulate a sentence or two in writing, and I can seem like less of a social dunce. Currently, I am a mother of two kids 2 1/2 and under. Social media is a way to connect with people without the stress of taking two kids out into the wild.

I LOVE social media, but it definitely gets a little addicting. I check Twitter way too often. Occasionally when Hubby is trying to have a conversation with me. (In my defense it’s usually if he’s talking about something I don’t care about like finance news or hockey).

Anyway, I promised Hubby since he’s off work this week that I would unplug, except for email. No Twitter, Facebook, or blogs for four days.

Is that fluttery feeling in my chest panic? I may be a little lightheaded. Um, no Twitter?? How will I keep up with people?

Truth is, I will go on without social media and Twitter will go on without me. It will be weird and I’m sure I’ll reach for my tablet on more than one occasion to tweet something only to mentally slap myself.

And on Monday, I’ll be back on Twitter with a vengeance!

So, are you like me enjoying the benefits of social media? Or is it a hardship for you? Something you dread or only do because others are doing it?

Nicole

A few weeks ago, I had a wake-up call. Tweets and blog posts I write in the professional realm are subject to scrutiny by those looking for information about my personal life. Of course, I knew this was possible. The Internet is a public forum. But—call me naïve—I thought people had better things to do.

So I’ve got to ask…does it bother you that random comments posted on Twitter, Facebook or blogs could give negative people information to use against you? Do you write under a penname to complicate their search or to protect your family and friends? Do you censor your words, hold back?

Maybe it’s a generational thing. Having not grown up with the Internet, this necessary invasion of my privacy to benefit my career is creeping me out a bit. 🙂 I’m desperate to know if others feel my paranoia or if I’m alone out here on the edge.

How do you balance privacy and publicity while partaking in social media and building a writing career?

Elley

Over the weekend, I experienced a breech in security. My oldest son’s friend decided to follow me on Twitter. This is a first for me. Of course, I blocked the kid. I told my son that I follow adults and we talk about adult things, but it got me thinking about the whole social networking thing and who is following me and what they are seeing.

As of this writing, I’m just shy of 160 followers. That’s nothing compared to some “tweeple.” And I wonder once a person reaches 500 or 1000 followers, how does she know who’s following her? Does it matter? Is there something we can do to protect ourselves?

Of course, some writers don’t worry about this because their kids are babies or they’ve gone through great pains to hide their identities. But kids get older and unpublished writers become published. They build websites. They post headshots. They give online interviews. They answer readers’ questions for a blog. And all of this leaves a permanent online trail that could lead straight to their true identity…and an inappropriate, underage follower on Twitter or Facebook—or a silent “stalker” on a blog or webpage.

How do you deal with that? Do you temper what you say?

My husband says, “Change nothing.” He says that it’s not about what I write but instead about the fact that kids do not belong in an adult “work world.” And I agree, because even though I worked for the world’s most kid-friendly company (Disney) and held a social media presence, I would have blocked known children who followed me.

Kids don’t belong in an adult work world. But that doesn’t mean they won’t find a way in…

How would you feel about a friend of your teenager following your online activities? Do you think the only answer is protected (locked) social media accounts? But how does that look to readers, editors and agents—in other words, the appropriate audience you’re trying to build? And what about blogs and websites that can’t be protected? Should you censor what you say? Or is it just an oh-well-who-cares topic? Share your thoughts!