Let’s face it: I have a love-hate relationship with social media. While I have accounts in 4 different networks with only 3 that I can claim any kind of activity on. (If you count Reddit, I have 5 accounts, but I still only am kindof-active on 3).
Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram get the bulk of my attention, with Instagram being my favorite… to browse. The interesting thing is how much I am posting, or in other words, how much am I really doing anything other than looking at posts from other people? The answer to that is very little. And no matter how much I’ve “tried,” I fail to make any bump in activity from my end. Really, the would “trying” means that I’ve thought about it, and that’s about as much as I’ve done.
As a writer trying to make it a career, there is the idea that I need to produce an active social networking program as part of an overall marketing program. Having a paltry marketing program, it stands to reason that my lack of social media presence is a part cause, or perhaps a tool that I have yet to utilize properly.
Then there is of course my other problem with social media and social networking: the word social.
In the past, quite often actually, I wrote about how I am very antisocial. In a recent interview with Tim Ferris, Susan Cain outlined perfectly what I actually am: I am a shy introvert. I am shy in that I cower away from social situations and I am an introvert in the sense that I very much prefer low-key, low-stimuli environments. I am not so much anti-social as I am overwhelmed and fearful of social situations.
Social media, especially with its negativity (Twitter more than the others for the negativity), is like a torrent of my worst fears in social situations coupled with the deluge of sensory stimuli. I become overloaded with the idea of posting, effectively eliminating any possibility of making posts, taking that tool of marketing out of my pocket.
There is also the false idea that in getting on social media that I NEED to comment on whatever meme or topic or whatever popular thing that is trending. It is indeed false, but I somehow hold onto that idea letting it fester with the perceived notion that this is all a big party that I am at, hiding in the corner, really only there because I happened on it rather than being invited.
There’s another perspective that I should be looking at it from. I could treat social media simply as a corkboard, a place to simply place up things about me that I find important. It doesn’t have to be important, it doesn’t have to be anything noteworthy, so long as it is mine. Why look at it like I am trying to grab people’s attention to have a conversation? If that brings me stress, why am I operating it in that way then? Why not look at it strictly as a tool in this way? It is a tool.
In order to utilize social media in this new way, I must decouple the “social” from the “media.” Granted, the entire point of it is social. Marketing is a social endeavor. It is like jumping up and waving my arms, demanding that people look at me. If it were just a corkboard in my office, I would have a differing idea behind it. Others could easily pop in my office to see what is on that board. They can even stop me to talk about it. But even with this happening, I don’t stress what I pin up there.
It may take me some time to get into this better mindset. Abandoning social media when I am a writer trying to etch into the world is a non-starter. It’s a tool that I need to learn to use.