Thursday, August 28, 2014

What I *Don't* Post or Say on Social Media



Social Media

I had a disagreement with my husband recently about social media and what information should be shared. He is a passionate well-informed man about many of the hot button topics: Politics, Religion, Medicine, etc. He researches in depth, verifies information—this is what he does with his free time.  Me? I read fiction. (This is not saying I’m not aware of what is going on, far from it).

He doesn’t understand why I’m not more open and sharing of my views on social media, because so many others have no problem doing this.  He made me think long and hard about this. Why don’t I?

Because as an author I have chosen to entertain, it is my purpose and drive. 

Don’t get me wrong—I have very strong views on a variety of topics; but I choose not to address them on my platform. This is not saying I hide who I am, contrary, I don’t. Instead, I have no problem chatting about it in person. Ask any of my friends, they’ll tell you this is true.  Besides, I prefer it—because even if there is a difference in views; I get to see their perspective, and I can ask questions and provide the same.  

Let me clarify this; I am not slighting or casting aspersions on those entertainers (Writers, Artists, Actors, etc) who incorporate this into their platform (like Inspirational or Suspense authors). This is their choice and it is an aspect to their personality. 

In addition, there are some social issues I will discuss that I feel strongly about--- My vehemence against Human Trafficking, and my compassion for those with auto-immune disorders.  These are occasional subjects, not something I will Blog, Tweet, or Facebook about continually. (If I do, I better open up a new account to create a new platform). 

We've all had toilet paper on our shoes
There are many who have a different take on this. I understand this. But, my feeling is I am here to interact, entertain, and reach out to others. My job is not to tell you what to think or how to feel, but to share aspects of myself within reason. We all have opinions, views, etc. I respect this (or try).  I know as a consumer myself—this is what I want from those I’ve enjoyed watching in a movie, or book read. I want to see what makes them happy—not angry. 

This all said—I’m only human and there are times I do break my self-imposed rule. Heck, we *all* do. Some days it slips, like the toilet paper dragging from your shoe (or worse the back of your pants) and before you know it—there it is—out there for all the world to see. What do I do then? Pluck off the toilet paper—brush off my pants and carry on. 

What do I share? (Besides those embarrassing photos from the 80’s) : I am inherently a sarcastic person who likes to laugh, and talk about my journey in writing, some of the business discussions, my stories, love of caffeine, exercise, and cooking. Occasionally, I’ll share a slice of my life, or experiences. I enjoy encouraging others; and being around motivated people. *This* is what I will talk about. 

My embarrassing poodle hair from the late 80's....
Now, my husband, who does not get on social media, may never truly understand my take on it; at least accepts my decision. 

How about you? What is your take on what entertainers post? 

Note: The first two pictures came from this site: http://all-free-download.com/
 

10 comments:

  1. Bravo, M.V.! Personally, I resent when an actor, actress, athlete, author, or any entertainer preaches to me like they're smarter than I am so I should mindlessly follow their position on something. They're entitled to their opinions, but so am I. Don't disguise brainwashing or conversion techniques as entertainment.

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    1. Thank you Marissa, agreed. I honestly think they forget where they are, it always reminds of being at a party and a voice gets too loud saying something outrageous...

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  2. As an author who started out as a reviewer, I have a huge laundry list of things I've seen authors do--both within their works and on their social platforms--that I've slowly added to my 'Don't Ever Do That' refuse pile. Usually it's attempts at political conversion, and I particularly resent it in authors aimed at a Young Adult audience. (That's manipulation, and bookish teenagers -are- bright enough to recognize it.) Touching on political things is fine if you can be tasteful about it, but deliberately making your villain an outspoken subscriber to the political side opposite yours is just...wow. The term for this is Author Intrusion.

    Don't get me wrong. There's always going to be situations where an author's convictions, and pretty much anything they may be dealing with at the time, may bleed out into their writing. But there's no reason to beat a reader over the head with it just because you feel entitled to your personal catharsis. Show some finesse, people!

    Of additional concern to me, professionally speaking, are the fellow authors I see going out of their way to alienate huge sections of their potential audience. There are plenty of deep subjects worth bringing back to the public consciousness that aren't really controversial. Speaking out against things like human trafficking, animal abuse, eugenics, or misogynistic educational practices will primarily lose you points with the souless--so yeah...there goes your audience of vampires, sociopaths, and third-world dictators. >.<

    What gets hairy is when authors decide to camp on some pet controversial issue, which the masses are pretty evenly divided on, and proceed to paint all who disagree with them in a mocking, if not outright hateful light. I see this too frequently, and I cringe every time. Especially when I know and care about these authors personally. Because while I might not gleefully throw myself headfirst into that bag-o-worms, I will quietly distance myself from that author. Even if I AGREE with their stance, I can't stand a haughty presentation. I'll be far less inclined to cross-promote that author, because I don't want to put off or confuse my own readers by association. (I'll say the same of friends in any profession. I have several friends who freelance various services, but there are one or two I don't regularly recommend to people--not because they aren't good at their job, but because they have a knack for offending nearly anyone with a pulse.)

    Please, please, authors...don't be "That Guy."

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    1. Exactly Angela-- and well said!
      I particularly like how you mentioned the vilification of others -- which is so highly unnecessary and highly prevalent, especially if you have a differing outlook. It's like people forget themselves for a moment.
      I say; we need to sit down to more tea! :) Coffee...and kettle bells. :)

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  3. Oh, and M.V. ...your hair?

    Spectacular. ^__^

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    1. Thank you Ingrid! :) It's hard sometimes though!

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  5. Excellent post, and I liked Angela Blount's reply.
    I , too, don't care to involve myself with personalities on social networks who spout their political/religious agendas, and I hope I keep these to a minimum myself. It grieves me to have to block people who do, but I simply haven't got the energy to carry their flags. Ditto bloggers raging about body image, girls' wardrobe choices, and other issues that make me want to argue out loud to my computer - a complete waste of my time.
    There's quite enough controversy in publishing news to follow and spout about with my writer friends already.
    It points up the need for a "branding iron" that identifies you online. You, M.v., I identify with coffee and kettlebells and writing motivation.
    How do my posts identify me? (And feel free to email me if it's bad and you don't want to embarrass me on your blog!)

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    1. Thank you Pamela--
      I agree with you as well; now how I see you--I see your posts identify you as a writer struggling with writing, motivating others, and discussing industry related news, and marketing. That's how I see you--all good! :)

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