The universe of social media is a vast, strange veneer of tweets, likes, pins and hearts over a current of swift weirdness.
I like you and you may or may not like me. Simple as that. It doesn’t have to get strange. If you’ve spent more than five minutes scrolling through your feed, you’ve probably come across the post where someone is cutting back on their friends, or followers, because it’s so overwhelming. Oh, the price of popularity. Excuse me, you freakin prima-donna. You are unfriending people because you are too tired from the exhausting grind of public adulation?
What are you? A Kardashian? I bought your fricken book and interacted with you online and you cut me off? Now that I’ve been used, you toss me into the trash heap. I can’t “do anything” more for you. I’m a burden… No, you’re a burden, you self important prick. Um…sorry there. I don’t know what came over me. This may, or may not have happened.
I understand, I really do. You have only so much love to give and to friend the great unwashed masses (including myself) would make you look less than your perceived image. So bask away in your stream of hearts and likes for cat videos, writing and social media advice and political opinion pieces.
The point is–it’s only social media. A like ain’t gonna hurt nobody. But, what if someone sees that I liked something, and they don’t approve? It’s really interesting to see what happens when someone posts about a subject that isn’t warm and fuzzy to everyone. I saw a post this week were a guy–a really talented writer, one I really respect, put up a post and it dared to have a gun in a photo. It didn’t say anything that could be construed as an extreme right-wing message to bear arms. I wasn’t a leftist anarchy message either. It simple had a photo of his family out shooting. He lost followers… Granted these were probably not a great loss in his social media world, but it speaks volumes about the hypersensitive world we live in.
Oh, my God! A gun. I can’t like that. An anti-vaxxer! I can’t like that. A thought opposed to mine on any subject under the sun! I can’t support that. Or, I’d like it, but what would others think of me? Remind anyone of high school locker gossip?
There is plenty of room for opinions, beliefs and yes, politics. Just keep it civil–no hate, or hate-baiting. If your opinion is expressed well–boom it gets a like. It may not be what I believe, but that doesn’t mean I don’t like you. Spread those likes and heart around. It doesn’t hurt.
I know, if you’re a writer, or professional types who depends on the charity of others (sometimes literally charity), you take a neutral tack and try not to alienate your public (all five of them). I get that, especially on an author page, but hoarding likes and awarding them to your hobbits as if they were the one true ring, seems a bit phony to me.
Don’t take it so personally–it’s only social media.