The Problem with Social Media

As an author, I have become very intimate with social media.  Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, a blog, and so many other things require my daily attention.  However, there are huge problems with each of them.

Yesterday, as I looked at my private news feed on Facebook, I found seven sponsored ads.  Ads for shit I don’t care about.  Ads for Amazon Prime, except I’m already a Prime member, am I really Amazon’s target audience?  Ads for David’s Bridal (uh, won’t be needing that… E V E R), just because I’m in a “committed relationship” of long term, doesn’t mean I’m ready to drink the Marriage Kool-Aid.  There’s a good chance, I will never be ready to drink it.  That’s just the way I am.  The ads are an annoyance, the private posts are even more asinine.  Yep, I said it… I’m glad Person A loves their kids, it would be awkward if they didn’t, I don’t need daily photos of their children though.  First, I don’t really like kids, even other people’s kids.  Second, the daily capturing of their kids’ lives are cluttering up information I might find interesting (My SO’s aunt fell and hurt herself, another had a relative pass away, one posted an article on the new Harper Lee novel set to release… I just had to wade through 37 posts about children to get to it).  I belong to a few groups, three get posted to prolifically.  I not only get to see those posts, but I get alerted about them.  Seven days in a row, one author has posted the same message about his books being on sale… to a group of authors.

With Twitter, I have to figure out hashtags.  I know that doesn’t sound like a big deal, but it is.  First, I don’t need every post by every person I follow.  Sometimes, they are things like “see my children, aren’t they angels?”  Probably not.  Second, when I tweet, I have to figure out what hashtag to assign to it.  I don’t use it to promote my books, I mention when they release, that’s about it.  So… for every other tweet, I have to figure out a hashtag.  For example:  I hated 50 Shades of Grey.  #hatersclub  #epicfail  #readbetterbookswrittenbysparrows  For the record, the only book I hated more than 50 Shades of Grey was Anna Karenina.  (Also, I have reasons for hating 50 Shades of Grey that cannot be explained in 140 characters or less, including hashtags and book titles… see The “O” trilogy… for clues)

Most of the users of Goodreads are normal, decent, book-loving folks… But there are always a few bad eggs.  I get that not all authors or books are created equally.  But hating a book is not reason enough to smear the author (I’m not campaigning to have Tolstoy removed from the annals of history because I hated Anna Karenina).  So it wasn’t for you, I read lots of books that way.  I once downloaded a book sample that was a “mystery.”  After the first 100 pages, it devolved into a romance novel and the mystery got lost in the hot sex and giving of flowers… Not my sort of book, to say the very least… Nowhere in the description were the keywords “love,” “romance,” “erotica,” or anything even remotely close to those things used.  It wasn’t classified as a romantic suspense.  It wasn’t even secretly coded in the blurb or in the first 100 pages.  It fell into the book out of the ethereal.  Needless to say, I did not enjoy it.  I like blood, gore, scary scenes with boogeymen… I still didn’t smear the author.  Other people liked it.

Ok, I’m done ranting about social media.

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