Hello, VIPs. I hope you had a wonderful Halloween. By now, you’re cuddling up in front of a cozy fire or in your favorite blanket with an awesome book. Perhaps you’re scrolling through Facebook and stumbled upon this blog post of mine. Well, that’s why I’m here today—That and chocolate. There must always be chocolate.
Here’s the thing…I’ve spent over a decade (That’s right. Over ten years.) on Facebook between two Madison profiles. (One was shut down.) In all that time spent on everyone’s most-love-to-hate social media site, one thing is obvious. It’s all about the ‘likes’ and ‘reactions’. One post about someone’s book may get five, while another’s post about their dog gets a thousand. After a while, we all begin chasing those ‘likes’ as if we are all caffeine addicts after that first cup of coffee or tea that gives us our super-human people-ing abilities in the morning. When we share another post that comes close, we’re jubilant. When our post tanks, our days are defined by the less-than-stellar reaction to it. We even debate deleting the post out of embarrassment of it not being “liked enough to be relevant”. Some, make up outlandish tales akin to those they write or have read or watched on TV in order to get that ‘high’…that validation of how awesome, fabulous and caring of a person or how kick-butt they truly are. (Go you! If that’s how you roll.)
I didn’t start this career almost a decade ago to be Facebook’s Queen Bee… I began so I could share my love of books and my books with others.
I’ve thought about this for a very…VERY long time. When we’re gone (because eventually, we’ll all be “gone”), will we be unable to rest in peace if our tombstones don’t say…
“Here lies _______.
She (or he) left this world with over five-hundred thousand Facebook likes on her (or his) author page and over a million reactions on her (or his)personal posts. Her (or his) posts will truly be missed.”
I doubt it. In the end, those likes and reactions may be a great mood booster… temporary, social media serotonin. But, that’s it. Temporary. For me, personally, I’m just happy if something I share from my day gives someone a laugh, makes them smile or helps them through their day. I’m not in it for the attention. Maybe that’s where I’ve failed…miserably (in the eyes of Facebook kings and queens). That’s okay by me. I’ll focus on writing books I love and hopefully others will love…someday.
I see social media as I see this box of chocolates. What truly matters? Is it what’s on the outside or what’s at the heart of everything?
For myself, Facebook and chocolates are necessary. But best in small doses.
Once a year, I allow myself this treat. To me, it’s too expensive and I stretch these eight Midnight Swirls for well over a month. Sometimes…months. I have a nibble and enjoy the smooth, dark chocolatey goodness as I forget my own worries and troubles for a moment or two. The next day, I may or not do the same thing. The same goes for Facebook. I log on and scroll through the posts in search of the funny, good and heartwarming real-life stories from friends. In those moments, I embrace them as I do my small (microscopic) indulgence of chocolate. Other times, not so much. Those days feel as if I took the biggest bite of imitation chocolate and I’ll never be rid of the taste.
Months ago, I stopped living for ‘likes’. The amount of those ‘likes’ or having four-thousand-ninety-nine Facebook friends (And OMG! Who will be lucky #5000?) don’t define me or make me who I am as an author, wife, mother or human being. Sure, we all love it when people we know and respect show interest in what we say and do. Or when they’re happy for our achievements, share our new releases, cover reveals, show compassion when we’re down, love our beautiful or laugh at our silly posts. We’re human. My question is… Where does it all lead? Where does it all end? Have we gone so far down the rabbit hole of Facebook that we no longer recognize fact from fiction? Or are we nothing more than mentally exhausted human beings who no longer care for reality in any shape or form and are now so blissfully unaware and willing to believe the outlandish without question?
Personally, I prefer my fiction in books and that’s where I’d love for it to stay. Pertaining to books… I’ll have one more release this year. An anthology with six amazing authors. After that, there won’t be another from me until Spring 2018. And I have no idea when my next book after that will be published. I won’t push myself to crank out a two-to-four-week book. That’s not who I am or “how I roll“. I need more time. I’d apologize for that, but it’d be an insincere apology and I won’t waste your time or mine. I’m not quitting writing…FAR from it. But, I’m not staying on the same path. This path is a dead end road for me. And I’m not leaving social media, but I’m not setting up residence there either. There’s more to life and there’s more to say… in books. It’s time for me to get back to writing the stories in my heart and I haven’t been able to do that in a very long time due to my own inability to stop scrolling through Facebook. I’m in cut-back mode and I’ll be finding my bliss in fiction between the paper pages again instead of in “Like Land”.
Hopefully, I’ll still see all of your smiling faces here or online somewhere. This post isn’t about bashing anyone for the way they “social media”. It’s simply something that’s been on my mind for a while and I thought I’d share. Perhaps, you’ll see it as “chocolate for thought”.
I’m off to grab tonight’s bite of chocolate. Hope you have a great evening and do whatever makes you happy. #BeYourself
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