Monday 4 June 2012

The social media saturation point

Several weeks ago, I've clearly reached the saturation point when it comes to social media. I like the idea of "circles" - there's the circle of intimate family (hah, small group, that) and friends, the circle of close friends, then casual friends, close contacts, contacts, remote contacts, and, the last circle is "I'm aware they exist". The widest of them all is, of course "total strangers".

Recently, I've lost the will to follow the drama of contacts, remote contacts and total strangers. If we're continuing with the circle idea, I can really expand my awareness only so far. To be blunt: Somebody somewhere on the internet is an asshat. If I go out looking for asshats, that's what I'll find (and usually I only have to look for five minutes, especially on places like Facebook or Goodreads).

The usually pattern for me was to get pointed (or stumble across)  an asshat's asshattery (on a blog, review place, forum) and then work myself in a lather over their asshattery. Needless to say, that really didn't do much for my writing. It either took time away from my current book, or it killed the spark to write. Or it throttled my faith in the genre.

The thing is, if you keep horses, they produce horse shit, not gold - it's not rocket science, but it took me years to understand that. I'm an INFJ - this shit really distresses me. I pick up moods well before most others do (yep, that would make me a good financial investor, if I could be bothered to crunch the numbers more often). I'm the canary in the coal mine. I feel this shit like a dog feels an earthquake before the glasses start shaking in the cabinet.

Well, this particular canary has now found a way to move the cage OUT of the coal mine. Because those places are fucking dangerous, with all the gas leaking out and killing *me* first. This includes, BTW, not following Google alerts. Boy, the stuff I've read when following those search terms (my name, usually) and all the pirated copies. All the nastiness. Gone. Done.

There were times when Goodreads was my second home on the net. I do respond to comments and every now and then sweep in to check reviews of my current releases, but I used to start threads and posted there a lot. A LOT. I had a lot of friendly contact there. I also had a lot of less-friendly contact there. I thought leaving behind the trans*-baiting and trans*-phobic Goodreads M/M Romance group was a good start (for the record, I don't say every member is a transphobe, but the moderators' attitudes are pretty clear on that count).

Maybe it's the perception that Goodreads is "for readers only and authors SHUT UP!" that's quite annoying and aggressively pushed by pretty militant readers who resent authors in general and on principle. I've been bitchslapped on there several times too often, and frankly now can't be bothered to make a large contribution. Firstly, I don't have the time, secondly, it detracts from my writing. In terms of Goodreads, I'm saturated. I'll still check in, but only because I have friends on there and for professional reasons. Answer emails and questions, and leave discussions well alone before a reader tells me again to "get the fuck lost".

Then review blogs. I frankly only read those of a few friends - unless published by one of the places I wouldn't visit if it was the last blog on earth. That's it.

And that's plenty for me. I'm still just one tweet away, and I respond to personal emails, and do everything else according to ability and free time. But the times when I let any of this nonsense take away from my writing (or editing, or exercise, or overall joy in life) are over. It's not my drama. The people driving the drama are doing a splendid job on their own, nobody really needs my help.

I'll be over here, writing.


  1. Completely agree with your whole point. My experience with asshatery came from online games, MMOs for the geeks out there. (yes I am that big of a geek >.<) I played on and off for years but just got so fed up with all of the drama mamas and rude behavior that I just logged off and never went back. I'm actually really pissed off to find out the Diablo 3 I was so anxiously awaiting has to be played through my old account log in. Thankfully only a handful of people have that one and those were the ones I could actually stand conversing with. (ok it's early , I haven't finished my first cup of coffee and I am rambling, bah!)

    I get what you are saying and feeling. Not sure if you saw my link on your last post about the golf balls but it really holds true for me in situations like this *shrug*.


  2. Oh dear, I'm so sorry Aleksandr that you've been pulled in that awful pit full of drama mostly because you are quite sensitive at that. On the other hand I'm glad you finally made up your mind not to bother anymore. Yes your writting is more important than that. I'm sorry to hear that readers on Goodreads have treated you that way. One might not like some author's work but respect should be mandatory towards another persons work and opinion. In the end, we (the readers) depend on authors to provide us the pleasure of reading...
    And Kassandra, I feel you completely, drama goes around on every group there is out there. Be it Hollywood, the writers circle, MMOs its the same all over the place.People simply can't enjoy anything without "blood".

    I wish you the best mood Aleks and the serenity you need to finish your current book. I have a feeling this one will be quite interesting.

  3. If this is where you'll be, then this is where I'll come check on you. I really enjoy your blog.
    GR is great for finding new books/authors and reading reviews but you're not the first writer I've heard say its not the healthiest environment for authors.
    I've lurked around a bit here and your comment about being an INFJ spurred me to say hello. I am one too and completely understand the drive to connect through the Internet and social media (great for introverts!) but also the need to pull back, get disentangled, and stay clear of drama.
    I'd say you've endured enough shitstorms to last a lifetime so staying over here and focusing on your writing and your sanity sounds like a good plan to me!

  4. When people told me what my art was about I tried to shrug it off. I enjoyed positive reviews but the negative just weighed so much more. Eventually my shoulders got tired. I haven't created anything in a couple of years now and the loss is mine.

    To have others opinions infect your creativity is so easy to do and so difficult to rise above. Kudos to you for being the canary and flying free.

    I'm testing my wings again and your words have often given me illumination.

  5. Good for you. I can tell you, stepping away from all of the BS that hangs out on those places has done wonders for me.

    Much love to you and big hugs.