Author Topic: How do I resolve my entirely negative feelings concerning social media?  (Read 215 times)

Offline gretchrhammond

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Dear fellow authors,

When I was writing the manuscript and proposal for my current project, I took a hiatus from social media and, not only was able to devote the necessary time and energy to my work, but found myself increasingly contented, more optimistic and far less aggravated in general.

Now, since the overwhelming opinion is that publishers want to see a platform, I've had to go back. I've found everything about social media to be even more abhorrant tban it already was.

To explain, my feelings about social media were always entirely negative:

It has created and thrives off the chasm that has opened up between increasingly extremist ideologies.

It is powered by hatred and has obliterated constructive debate between people in favor of vicious attacks in 280 characters or less.

It has bastardized interpersonal communication, emotions and discussion through insipid GIFs, or memes.

It has allowed bullying and the violent degradation of our fellow human beings to be perfected into a science.

It has given rise to the revolting and insidious presence of “influencers” who have made a career out of exploiting gullibility with the utterly banal question “Who’s with me?”

It has led to a person’s worth to be gauged only by their number of friends or followers.

It has further reduced the standards and integrity of my own profession, since there are now l journalists who make a living  doodling 400 words on "Crap People Tweet About."  Others create articles not with the intention of seeking or reporting truth but winning the share lottery.

It has disfigured humanity as a whole. We block when we should talk, judge before understanding, believe without evidence, unfriend when friends are supposed to be treasured, not collected or dispensed with, and we simply do not see or try to understand each other anymore. For an example, see the bizarre spectacle of adults declaring an intention to “unfriend/unfollow" anyone who does not share their beliefs (as if that was some earth-shaking act when the word "friend" has been rendered utterly meaningless by FB).

That said, I appear to be stuck with it for the time being.

I went on Twitter yesterday and I tried, I really tried to tweet something in a trending topic but I could no more bring myself to join the sheer volume of hatred underneath any one hashtag, than I could stand by and watch, or worse, join a mob robbing a helpless victim or attacking them on the street. But if you don't tweet, you don't get followers. I'm not political, so that's out. I don't even want to air an opinion about a movie because I really could care less whether people agree or disagree with it.

Look I know social media is a necessary evil. But how do you even embrace something for which you have nothing but comtempt? Where do you begin? I mean is it like a job you hate but have to do as a means to an end? But if you hate it, you're never going to do it well so aren't you beaten before you start?

 Is there a way to like social media?

Genuinely curious and grateful in advance.

Gretchen


« Last Edit: August 23, 2020, 08:11:18 AM by gretchrhammond »
Multi award-winning investigative journalist
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They say our profession is dying. They say that we are obsolete or fake. But as long as we can see our communities, as long as we are brave enough to amplify their voices and as long as we make sure we never lose our own, our stories will not be silenced."

Offline jcwrites

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You should submit this as an opinion piece to The Atlantic.

Thoughtful and trenchant.

Offline 217mom

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Social Media also has a positive supportive and resource-sharing aspect. This forum is an example. I (completely) stay on that end, helping and building and sharing encouragement.
But your reservations are valid. I think having your own self-hosted website, replete with information you want to share using your own aesthetic, is enough web-presence for a writer who is not self-publishing. If one is loath to be on the big SM sites, there is no law that forces them to. I have two writing friends who do just that. They are not big names, but they write literary (friend one) and up-market (friend two) fiction, and are traditionally published.

Offline JeanneG

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The positive thing about social media is you can define where you post and what topics you post about. Rather than feel obligated to post about trending topics, for example, you could simply limit your posts to writing, publishing, genres, etc. A lot of people in the #writingcommunity do this on Twitter. I never see them anywhere else, but some have a large following.

You also have your choice of social media to use. Instagram is probably the least political of all social media platforms, and it's heavily populated with writers and readers.

My advice would be to frame your posts around your subject matter and the writing life and pick a platform that you're most comfortable using.

JeanneG
Debut novel, BLOOD OF A STONE (Tuscany Press) released in March 2015; winner of IPPY in national category of religious fiction and currently a finalist for IAN Book of the Year. My work-in-progress: THE DOUBLE SUN.
FB: https://www.facebook.com/JeanneLyetGassman
Twitter: @JLyetGassman

Offline gretchrhammond

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Thank you for the advice, all.

I'll swallow the negativity down with some toast smothered in Marmite and the most disgustingly flavored Sports drink I can find and start posting things. It can, I guess, be a means to an end despite my aversion to it on moral (and morale) grounds.

I just hope there's a day when it all goes the way of Chia Pet, Psychic Hotline and, lately, A Place for Mom commercials.

Gretchen

Multi award-winning investigative journalist
"
They say our profession is dying. They say that we are obsolete or fake. But as long as we can see our communities, as long as we are brave enough to amplify their voices and as long as we make sure we never lose our own, our stories will not be silenced."

Offline JasonHamilton21

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I think the only good of SM is like how we use it here and for seein the kids' little league hits. Otherwise I can't stand it. Resist away!