Monday, December 9, 2013

Online presence

As writers, we're constantly told we need an online presence even before we have a book to sell.  So we blog, we tweet, we Facebook, we join online communities and we splash ourselves every whichway across the Worldwide Web.

Which is great.

But how we present ourselves, and what we say is important.

I have a friend (not a writer btw) who has no real filter when it comes to social media.  She posts whatever she feels on Facebook, whether it's about her job, her homelife or her friends.  While in some ways I admire her honesty, I also worry about the effect her often negative posts might have in the future.

People do care about social media.  One of my staff admitted to Googling me today, after a conversation we had last night.  When I went to my first job interview at my current job, the owner had Googled me and found my blog.  A lot of my staff in all my previous jobs, and my current one, follow me on Facebook and Twitter.  So do many of my suppliers.  And my editor.

So I'm very conscious of what I write and what I share online.  People are watching.  They're noticing. They're paying attention.  And no one likes a Negative-Nelly.  You get no respect from people if you bitch about your job or the horror of your latest edit letter.  Those are the things you talk about with your friends over a glass or five of wine.  Or with your critique partner/group in a private email or forum.  You don't air your grievances for all to see.

Unless of course it's something funny or trivial or laughable, something that will make you human to the people following you.  For example, it was so windy yesterday, my clothes started assaulting me when I tried to hang them on the line.  I think in protest, my clothesline decided to break in half, flinging laundry across the fence into my neighbor's yard.  It was funny until I discovered a new clothesline is going to cost $300....

Do you know anyone who uses social media purely for complaining about the world?  Do you keep following them?


  1. Yes to both questions, but I find it difficult to cancel my family bonds :-!

  2. People who tend to be negative online (or in the real world) don't often see me as a huge supporter, unless they have legitimate grievances they articulate smartly. I think we can always use more of the latter.

  3. Thanks for visiting my blog! I feel really awkward when people 'air their dirty linen' on Facebook etc. Some people really don't know when to keep something to themselves! Even worse, those cryptic comments that seem to be asking for sympathy without actually saying what's wrong. Grrr!

  4. $300??!! What in heaven is that thing made out of? Here, people could buy a flat-screen TV for that! (And you must admit a flatscreen would be a lot more fun than a clothesline.) On FB and other places, I like to laugh and be entertained, to forget about my troubles for awhile. So I enjoy peeps who post funny things and I try to also. Dirty linen is definitely a no-no.

  5. Thanks for stopping by! And I really enjoyed your post. I don't think people can be too cautious about what they put on social media. Actually, I can't understand why so many don't care as there's no pulling it back once it's out there.

  6. If there's one thing I've never been accused of, it's not having a filter before I post things. I'm definitely the cautious sort because I'm afraid of all those things happening. In this internet age, sometimes people forget a little anonymity is a good thing.