Twitface: the pros and cons of social media

I just deleted my Facebook account.  I wanted to delete it last year but I didn’t.  I was nosey about the lives of those I went to school with and I was scared of missing out on something.  But my main reason was because I’m a writer and writers need social media to sell books.  Right?

So what’s the point in Facebook?  No, I mean it.  I contacted those I wanted to stay in contact with who I was scared of losing, we made sure our mobile numbers were up to date, that we swapped e-mails, and then I deactivated my account.

It’s gone very quiet here.  No more angry ramblings from people I haven’t seen in ten years, no more photos of children I’ve never met, no more showing off (c’mon, that’s what Facebook is really about).  It’s like a weight has lifted.

There’s still that question at the back of my mind though.  Do writers need social media?  There are a number of high profile writers on Twitter and a lot more low profile ones.  J K Rowling never tweets, Joe Abercrombie tweets regularly and wittily, and Neil Gaiman tweets promotional information and informal updates.

There are a number of pros and cons to using social media:

Pros

  • The opportunity to reach a wide audience very quickly
  • It’s easy once you’ve gotten the hang of it
  • Along with the new wave of self publishing, it is now incredibly easy to become a published and promoted writer
  • You can network, learn and share all at the few clicks of a button
  • This is way the world is going.  Every professional needs a digital platform, be it a website, blog, social media or all three.  Writers are professionals.
  • Keep up to date with the news quickly, find out about new competitions, who’s open for submissions and new pieces of advice daily

Cons

  • It’s highly addictive and so time consuming.  I dread to think how many writing hours have been lost across the world all because of social media.
  • With the ease of recognition and getting work out into the world, comes the ease of negative criticism and bullying (trolling)
  • Is it me, or are writers naturally quiet people who like to be left alone?  What writer would want to invite the world into their home at all hours?
  • It’s all very well befriending or following family and friends but chances are they’re not going to buy your books, and if they do, they probably won’t read them.  As with all marketing, social media takes hard work.

I’ve kept my Twitter account because I find Twitter more professional.  As a writer, I feel that there is a definite need for Twitter.  This is my personal opinion and that’s the main point.  If you’re a writer, the platforms you use are up to you.  It is your choice to use whatever you feel comfortable with and if that means shunning social media, then go for it.

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2 responses to “Twitface: the pros and cons of social media

  1. Good post! I agree about it being addictive. Like you, I find Twitter the most useful and professional.
    I’m one of those weird writers who is also very sociable and chatty. So I don’t mind inviting people into my life – up to a point. 😉
    I still have my FB account, but I use it quite differently from my Twitter one. Twitter is definitely more about my writer persona, FB is for friends and my driving instructor job.
    I can’t knock FB, as it reconnected me with a friend who had moved to the States and we’ve rekindled a good friendship. I even visited her this summer. 🙂

  2. Thanks Karen 🙂 I envy you – wish I were socialable! Although I am chatty once I find someone to be chatty with!
    That’s great that FB helped you reconnect. I think it depends on the kind of friends you have. I got a little weirded out looking at photos of children I’ve never met and want to be a bit closer to other friends instead of having to post where everyone can see it. We’ll see how that goes!

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