Friday, August 26, 2011

Social Media: Don't Like It? Don't Use It

While dining with a friend of mine this past week, the subject of Google+ came up. Her reaction. "Oh God!  Another social media site I have to learn about and join!" As she is my very dear friend who also visits this blog, I didn't roll my eyes and ask, "Who says?" Instead, I told her, "You don't need to. They can't hunt you down and make you join."

Social media can seem overwhelming between all the "twatting" - thanks, my darling cousin and Vince Vaughn. With Facebook, MySpace, Foursquare and Tumblr, even this blog, doesn't it just feel like you have to be connected all the time? Well, no, you don't.

I say this as someone who loves Twitter. It's not intervention level just yet, but pretty darn close. I'm on Facebook, started a Facebook author page, and joined Google+. Still, of all of these social media sites, Twitter is my favorite. Why do I love it so? The connections. It's evened the playing field for me - where else could I chat with my writer gods, like Jeanne Kalogridis and Colin Falconer? I tweet while on my way to work, at work, on the way home, even on vacation. Two applications are always open on my PC: Outlook and Tweetdeck. Yet, when I'm busy with books, family concerns, the 9-5 gig etc. no problems checking out. Two extremes puzzle me - the true Twitter addict, who tweets everything in their life, and the Twitter recluse, who hides from this and other social media as if the bubonic plague went viral on the Internet.

If you do engage in social media, you have to do it well. My example? Be yourself. I share general aspects of my life, my work as an author, and articles that interest me on Twitter, Facebook and Google+. If you're considering social media, remember, just be you. Let others know what you're passionate about, the things that fascinate you. Who knows, they might like them too.

Are you an active or inactive user of social media? Why? What do you love / hate the most about social media?

P.S. For my fellow authors on Twitter: want me to unfollow you? Then, I suggest you tweet about NOTHING except your books, your brand all day, every day. That's you, the author. How about you, the real person behind that Twitter account?

4 comments:

N. Gemini Sasson said...

Oh dear! I had the same reaction about Google+. Thought you were talking about me for a moment - except we haven't had lunch (although we should someday). I've found the internet a great way to meet some very interesting people, but if someone doesn't have the time or interest, it's certainly not one of life's necessities. To me it's like chatting at the water cooler. But you still need to get your work done, the next book written, spend time with your family, clean the house, get some exercise...

Lisa Yarde said...

Haha, nope not you! I find teh whining about social media particularly strange - some people feel they have to engage to be relevant and seen.

Anita Davison said...

I was led to believe I needed some of these social networking sites for promotional purposes and that 'keeping a finger on the pulse' was vital. I have been offline now for three weeks and - the sky didn't fall in! I no longer check my updates on an hourly basis, and I can actually concentrate on my writing! Which was the idea in the first place.

Lisa Yarde said...

Anita, since I already know how to stalk you when I need to, no worries, you're not missing a thing.

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