Hello, dear readers!
It’s time for the latest discussion post and this is a topic I’ve been thinking about a little bit recently. It’s not a complex one by any means (though, after writing this entire post, perhaps it’s more complex than I originally thought?), but I’m just curious how others navigate it, so I figured I would put it out there and then see what everyone thinks! My question is:
What is your relationship with social media, especially as a book blogger?
Personally, I have an odd relationship with it, in that it plays a lesser role in my life, yet I feel the pressure (and the guilt) that it should play a bigger one; that I’m missing out or doing others (and myself) a disservice by not being more active across all the media.
I have a personal Facebook account where I don’t really connect anything to it. I only add people I’m actually good friends with (so if you’re an author and you’ve added me there, that’s why I prolly didn’t accept and I do apologize for that!), as I want Facebook to stay my more private social media platform (ironic, in light of….everything, but bear with me). I also use Twitter and that is probably my main “platform,” as a writer and a blogger, and the one I spend the most time on (yet I’m still shit at retweeting others I want to support and I almost never do the tags because I’m just not good at those?!).
I use Instragram, but I’m not a Booksgrammer. I’d love to be that talented to take enough pictures to make a platform like that, but I don’t think that’s in my realm of expertise? I just like to take pictures of food and the doggo. Then, there’s being a BookTuber and while I have a YouTube account, it’s just to listen to music while I write (and Vlogbrothers videos, naturally). I never post anything and I don’t think I am technologically savvy enough to make that work.
I’ve recently created a Reddit account, after I’ve been told it’s pretty integral to have one, as a fantasy writer/blogger. But I’ve struggled to check it regularly or stay active on it, because who has the time to do all of this. I’m also using Discord a little bit more (but also shit at checking that, which I’m really bummed about, because I recently got invited to an awesome group of wonderful people and I just feel like I can’t keep up because I don’t have enough time and I’m sorry, I want to be your friend, I PROMISE). I’ve never even had a Tumblr. I only use Pinterest for my own stuff and don’t link anything there. I’m pretty active on Goodreads, too, but just posting reviews. I’m not really involved in groups there and I’m still trying to get Amazon to approve me to post reviews there.
And those are only the mediums I can think of off the top of my head! I’m sure there are loads more I’m not even aware of, yet it’s recommended to be a part of to build your audience and your platform.
But that’s the thing: where is the time we’re supposed to use for all of that!? Hells, Twitter alone takes up more of my time than I would like already and I’m already trying to actually cut back on my social media usage, simply because I want to use that time to do what I love the most: writing and reading. Yet in order to have a good platform and build an audience to receive the work I put into this blog and my books–once they’re published for you all to read–I need to spend time on various social media, to build that platform and keep it active.
But that’s exactly what I struggle with. I just don’t know how people are able to spend time on all of them and still stay on top of everything else life offers. It might not help that I took off all the social media from my phone two years or so ago, now, so I never check it unless during slow times/breaks at work. But I like having a life without feeling like I need to immediately respond to every tweet or spend every time waiting at a bus stop scrolling aimlessly, when I could be sneaking in another chapter.
I dunno, I’ve just been thinking about social media and its impact a lot recently, since I’ve been trying to get into Reddit and failing miserably. I think there are a lot of great bonuses when it comes to social media. I have made some wonderful friends and connections online and it’s amazing to have a community where I feel heard and understood, as I don’t always get that in person, in the real world. But at the same time, there is just so much of it out there, on so many different platforms and I struggle to keep up with it. In that struggle, I start to feel guilty that I’m not as active as others, I don’t retweet enough, I don’t post enough, I don’t partake in X medium to help promote myself and other writers/books, so that must mean I’m a failure, right?
So…I was just curious, with today’s discussion, on your relationship with social media, if you’re comfortable enough to share it. How do you choose which platforms you give your precious freetime to? Is it part of the job to you, as an artist (whether that’s a blogger, writer, reader, painter, musician, you name it) or is it something you use to pass the time? How do you balance it all and what do you wish you could change or do differently? I’m really curious about everyone else’s responses, as I definitely haven’t magically figured it out yet, so thanks in advance for any discussions we end up having!