Tuesday, January 7, 2014

The Problem with Facebook

So the launch of Chapter 1 is complete, and I am working to finish up Chapter 2 in time for next Monday's release. But in the meantime, I am having a little bit of trouble harnessing my online networks to get my first easily available work into the public eye. And it mostly has to do with Facebook.

The Power of Facebook

So, I know that a lot of folks -- especially of the younger type -- believe that Facebook is over. There are Tumblrs and Twitters where young can congregate away from their parents' prying eyes. I can certainly (even at 32) see the draw as my parents' generation have also infiltrated what was once a network for college students only.

However, as much as articles about social media want to tout the phenomenon I described above, the numbers fly in the face of that observation. And no, I'm not talking about number of Facebook accounts or even number of active accounts. I'm talking about when I'm reading an interesting article that I would like to share on my social media networks, my default is to go straight to Twitter. But more and more, I am noticing that the Facebook 'shares' or 'likes' are double or triple the amount of Twitter 'tweets'. Obviously, peeps still love Facebook.

The Problem with Facebook

The thing is, unlike Twitter or yes, even Google+, where the audience of people I actually know in my personal life is limited to mainly 'safe' people (that is, people who already approve of my literary endeavours) Facebook includes a whole slew of folks who are either completely negative or at best more or less indifferent. And then there are the ambiguous folks. Who knows how they will react??? The entire thing makes me want to run and hid under the covers. The old shame at daring to be talented rears its ugly head. With strangers, no problem! You can read my work and I know next time I see you -- if I ever do -- you won't be squinting at me and trying to analyse what buried feelings I possess about you that come out in the work. I know for sure that you won't look at me any differently because you've never met me before. But my family and friends reading my work and having me knocked out of whatever pigeon hole they mentally have me in! Baaaaaaaaaah!

Finding my Bravery

Of course, what I should say to myself is that none of the above is my problem. I have gathered a little clutch of people who actually truly believe in me and the rest of my social world, I should tell myself, can just deal with it. Haters gonna hate, essentially. To that end, I have actually set up an author page on Facebook and I have invited those 'safe' people to like it. But I really should extend the invites and truly promote my page. More likely than not it'll probably happen in the next few days -- it's just at this point a matter of talking myself into it.

The same kind of problem exists when I think about LinkedIn. After all, I consider my writing a professional endeavour and I have different folks on that network than I do on Facebook. But still I resist. Maybe it's just time that I took myself seriously enough to overcome all that fear and all that resistance. Maybe it's time that I let go of all that shame.

Alright. It's decided. Time to 'harness my networks' as they say. In the meantime, I'll leave you with this little bit of Chapter 2 preview: