Social media – love it or hate, but most of us are living it these days. Of the social media channels listed above, I currently have six (I think I also have a MySpace account floating around somewhere, which is kind of scary). Facebook seems like the best platform to connect with readers, and it’s also the handiest place to find all those awesome animal videos I waste so much time on. Best way to get me to procrastinate? Find me some goats screaming videos.
I enjoy Twitter, too. I follow lots of interesting authors, publishing industry types, and historians, and also the accounts of museums, newspapers, political sites, historic English estates, and even a sheep farmer in Northern England (awesome account, btw). I actually pull a fair amount of research from Twitter, following links and info posted by various experts in fields that interest me. Sometimes those links take me down a rabbit hole, but you never know when you’ll find an interesting little nugget to spark a story idea.
Pinterest–used to spend a LOT of time there, but it began to feel overwhelming. Now I just use it to store pictures I might want to refer back to at some point. Oh, I also have a zillion recipes which I NEVER look at, so that’s kind of pointless. Let’s just say that my Pinterest heyday passed a few years back.
And then there’s LinkedIn. This is how I feel about it:
Yeah, it’s a bit too scary. The murky minions at LinkedIn always want you to add more and more detail about your work life (and sometimes your personal life), which is then open to perusal by an incredibly large pool of strangers. Um, no thanks. I’m a pretty gregarious person, but my dad taught me long ago to fly under the radar. I know LinkedIn can help people get jobs, but I also think it must be a really swell venue for serial killers to began tracking down their next victims. So my LinkedIn profile is full of holes and I intend to keep it that way. Plus, it’s just weird that people you’ve never met get to decide that you’re an expert in something–like blogging, when my blog has been collecting dust for months.
I guess in some respects I’m not bad on social media. Between my Vanessa Kelly and VK Sykes facebook pages, I have almost 13,500 “friends.” Of course, the vast majority of those friends never see my posts, so there’s that. But, hey, it’s a fun place to hang out and catch up with readers, and also look for cute posts by my friends and those ever hilarious goats screaming videos. On Twitter, I have over 7,700 followers, although I’m not sure that really means anything. After all, I follow over 6,000 people myself, and I’m sure as heck not reading most if any of their tweets!
The truth is, I’m pretty inept when it comes to social media. Oh, I can do the basics, but I only figured out how to do gifs on Twitter just last week. Sad, I know. As for memes and graphics? Hopeless is my middle name. I can’t do up a meme to save my life.
Guess I need one of those tech nerds to do them for me – oh, wait. That’s exactly what I do – get someone to do them for me!
Social media can truly be a window into the wider world – other people’s worlds that I would never be able to glimpse (see: sheep farmer in Northern England). But I have to confess that I’m starting to get a bit weary of it all. It feels too intrusive, taking over bits and pieces of my life in ways I’m beginning to resent (as if it’s out of my control–which it is not, of course).
I suspect the American election might have something to do with that. You want social media cesspool, that’s a first class breeding ground right there. I try to insulate myself from it to a degree, but I do have family and friends on opposite ends of the political spectrum, and they like to post A LOT. I invariably get irritated and huffy and vow that I’m going to quit social media, but then hubby looks at me like this:
Yeah, it never happens.
But I have cut my social media interaction by about half, I’d say. And what I’ve gained by that is more time to work on my books AND more time to tackle that monstrous TBR pile by my bed. You know what? I feel better for it–calmer, more focused, and not reacting like a hair-trigger six shooter to the latest social media outrage.
Even better, I’m reading a lot more. Social media can be fun, but books are just way more awesome.
There is, however, one social media element I refuse to quit–goats screaming videos. IMHO, you can never watch too many.
What’s your take on social media these days? Are there sites you avoid; do you set limits on your time spent on facebook? Or do you revel in the craziness of it all? Just leave a comment for a chance to win my latest VK Sykes contemporary romance, SEE YOU AT SUNSET.