Social Media and I have an uneasy relationship. It’s like avoiding your drunk uncle at the family reunion and then discovering he’s the designated burger flipper. If you’re hungry enough you’ll swallow your discomfort, walk up, and say hello.
My job is writing, and if my intention is to share the words I write with anyone other than a few close friends who think I’m clever, I have to put myself out there. What that means anymore is Social Media. It stands as the gateway to my dream.
It’s an avenue I avoided for years, a place reserved for hipsters and the intrinsically cool to share their thoughts and opinions on everything from cat videos to the current political clusterfuck. Not the place for someone like me—holed up at home hour after hour engaged in what I think is serious writing.
I used to scoff at friends obsessed with constantly checking their Facebook page. And let’s face it, me sending a tweet is as effective as shooting a message into space via potato gun, then sitting at the Very Large Array (VLA) and waiting to see if there’s been contact from another life form, i.e. hipsters and the intrinsically cool.
But here’s the thing about Social Media. I got involved, surfed the learning curve; I posted and tweeted. And my self-esteem walked itself back 15 years. I don’t mean my crow’s feet lessened and my body leaned up. I mean there’s nothing like someone calling what you felt was a clever reply to a post, stupid. Nothing smashes someone’s self-esteem to smithereens, like being called stupid. It pushes every button we have, and most of us have a stupid button among the others residing near our fragile egos.
Twitter. How cool, I thought, to follow writers whose books you’ve studied every word of, or comedians and celebrities you admire. You can actually send them a Tweet! And just like in real life, they live in one world, the rest of us in another. This pretend place will not bring us closer together.
Perhaps I’m playing in the wrong sandbox. (Also, crow’s feet reduction should be a pre-requisite on this crazy play date). Honestly, I don’t think people are as nice as they used to be. I need the Social Media where people encourage and champion each other. The one where I can bounce ideas around, and hear what other people think who don’t have to spit on me when they speak. Please tell me that place exists, and then if you would, kindly send me the directions.
In the mean time, I’m getting younger by the minute doing my job, writing and navigating the gatekeepers to get my words out there, and hope to hell someone will read them. Otherwise I’m headed to the VLA and beaming my shit out into space.
Also, don’t bug me because I’m checking my Twitter and Facebook Page every few minutes to see if anyone’s liked my last post.