Pros and Cons of Fake Internet Points (a.ka. Social Media)

It was with some self-reproach I recently thought about my online activity and actually listed the sites that I am currently active on:

  • WordPress (obviously)
  • Reddit (probably the worst time sink)
  • IMGUR
  • Facebook
  • Goodreads
  • Amazon
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest

In my defense, Facebook and Twitter largely act as synced sources of other activities, IMGUR and Pinterest are largely mindless surfing were things of interest are saved and shared, and Amazon, Goodreads and WordPress are where my reviews and blogs posts are held (really I only keep posting to Amazon because I know it helps authors and thats were the most snarky and combative [i.e. the most fun] comments happen).

Reddit I probably can’t justify as well, while I do spend most of my time in writing related posts, the website acts as a sort of online black whole that one look up (or slightly across and in the corner) and realizes two hours have passed.

Social media [presence] is generally touted as something aspiring and current authors ‘must have’ but if one isn’t careful one simply wastes time and effort better spent actually writing. So without further ado, please see below my thoughts on social media which I hope will either help streamline your own activity or at the every least procure a laugh or two (please click like and subscribe blah blah blah VOMIT)

The Pros:

  • It can be good practice ‘reading a room’ so to speak, being able to interact appropriately and positively online – after all you do use the written word to get results you want
  • Social media can provide a good platform to ‘market’ your work (more on this below)
  • Connecting with other like-minded folk online can provide learning you might not have found elsewhere, helpful relationships and generally provide a good incentive to keep going

Just a wee tangent on this controversial subject. I want to repeat that in almost all cases its still more productive to actually write, rather than develop your online ‘presence’ however have some connections can be helpful. Foremost is that agents and publishers may be looking for a writer to work with you has some self-marketing potential. Secondly you might actually be able to market your work through your networks.

I just want to add a big fat caution in here that this isn’t about becoming some sort of snake oil blog merchant, nor do I actually think that online marketing is actually that effective at straight out sale (willing to debate the issue). What are you wanting to do is having a potential ‘infrastructure’ (for want of a better word) where you might find people to say review your work, or share it on their networks where overall you might start making sales.

My point is if there is nothing to sell, or people are wondering whether its better to push the social media thing or work harder on quality work its definitely the latter.

The cons:

  • As alluded to already, social media can become a massive black hole of wasted time
  • Along with time wasting getting addicted to fake internet points is a real thing, and worrying about social media can also waste a writer’s brain space (i.e. no-one lost a writing contract because Big_Bunny121 unfollowed them)
  • Being tight for time and effort can also make social media work against you, I have latent paranoia that my older and more snarky reviews will come back to haunt me one day, and in a similar vein poorly managed, offensive or desperate social media activities may turn people off

I’m sure there is sooo much greater depth to hit this topic, but as per my own advice I’m going to hold off. Also I have a very very cute recently two year old who literally just fell asleep on my lap so I better work a magic ‘sleeping nappy change’ before beddybise.

Chuck me your thoughts about social media below – I still have tonnes to learn

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#toomuch?

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