Blogger: Rachelle Gardner
Lately I’ve had several conversations with people wondering about the value of social media. There are so many upsides, but we wonder… do the disadvantages outweigh the benefits?
♦ I’ve heard people joke about their perfect yet largely fictitious Facebook personas. Many of us are expending valuable energy creating whole lives and personalities for ourselves online—not that we’re making things up, but we’re carefully curating what we want to put out there. I’m beginning to wonder what this might be costing us in terms of both time and mental energy.
♦ Many people are using social media to promote their beliefs—religious, social, or political. It seems to create an environment ripe for conflict. And even when there’s no conflict, it can feel like an assault if you’re scrolling through your feeds encountering nothing but passionate rants, one after the other.
♦ More and more, our social media presence can be used against us. Readers criticize authors for spending too much time on Twitter when they’re supposed to be writing that long-awaited next book. Authors criticize agents for writing too many blog posts and tweets rather than responding to their queries. An editor may post about taking a vacation, but heaven forbid somebody out there is waiting for an answer from that editor—how DARE they take a vacation when they owe me something?
♦ Lately it seems even the most innocuous comment can incite scathing insults from complete strangers. The extent to which people lose their filters when interacting online is downright scary. Nobody has ever criticized me to my face — or even directly in writing — as cruelly as I have experienced on social media.
No matter how carefully we manage our social media presence, we can run into problems because of it. There’s a downside to being so “transparent” online, as misleading as that apparent “transparency” is.
What do you think? Have you experienced this from either side? Have you responded negatively to someone’s Twitter post because you don’t think that person is spending their time doing what YOU think they should do? Have you had someone criticize you because of something you said on social media?
Are we all just too available and open for criticism here?
Does social media leave us over-exposed? Agent @RachelleGardner wants to know. Click to Tweet.
“More and more, our social media presence can be used against us.” Thoughts from agent @RachelleGardner. Click to Tweet.
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