Tag Archives: Facebook

Social Media Masks

I should be writing my stories right now, but instead I’m firing off a blog because I feel I owe it to you, my readers, since I’ve been lax on keeping up with regular blogging the past month.

Have you ever noticed how different people act on the Internet? “Trolls” are one thing, since the anonymity of cyberspace allows people to behave in ways they probably wouldn’t in real life. I’m talking about how people act on social media. In most cases, there isn’t as much anonymity. However, people use sites like Facebook and Twitter not only to connect with people they know, but also to reconnect with people they haven’t seen in years. This gives them a great deal of control over their image, especially with the latter. They essentially become their own PR agents. They can omit the bad and talk only of the good; they can put spin on the bad to hide the truth; or they can use it as a public outlet for grievances.

More often than not, though, people use social media to make themselves look better. How many times have you or someone you know logged into Facebook only to see another engagement or pregnancy announcement, among other such things? Many people, since they only see these positive things in Facebook feeds, assume that their friends are living far better lives than them. They don’t see the lost jobs, the break-ups, and/or the daily frustrations because those people don’t share such things. This leads to depression because, as one study puts it, the “highly idealized representations of peers on social media elicits feelings of envy and the distorted belief that others lead happier, more successful lives.” In other words, social media is a mask. It allows people to create something of a “secret identity.” They’re afraid to be honest because they want people to admire them or are afraid of criticism.

On the other hand, as I’ve learned personally, being honest on social media about what’s happening in your life can lead to backlash. Share the “wrong” thing—whether it be a political opinion, a struggle, and/or bad joke—and it will turn you into a lightning rod. You’ll be bombarded with comments from people who don’t understand you, get lectures from those who may or may not mean well, or be attacked. Internet communication lacks the nuances of interpersonal interaction, so much of the message is lost. Regardless, this leads to the above problem of only sharing the positive to play it “safe.” It’s a “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” scenario.

Honestly, I don’t what to do about this. It’s a multifaceted problem with many layers. Some of it relates to what should or shouldn’t be shared on social media, who it should be shared with, and how one reacts to what is seen on social media. There are things that can be done, such as spending less time on social media, but it’s something that must be practiced by a multitude of people, so even if you do the right thing, that doesn’t mean all your Facebook friends or Twitter followers will do the same. That’s the frustrating part.

Should you wear a social media “mask”? That’s a difficult question to answer. Personally, I’ve decided that my entire life doesn’t need to be shared on the Internet for all to see. Considering that many say whatever is put on the Internet is on there forever, it’s made me more cautious about what I share. Plus, people are entitled to their privacy. There are a lot of stories about high-profile celebrities buckling under their notoriety because everything they do is shared with the world. I don’t want that.

The only advice I can give is to use social media wisely. Decide what you’re okay with the public knowing and seeing. The rest you should keep to yourself. As mean as this may sound, most people’s lives aren’t as interesting as they might think. I don’t care what you had for lunch or that you’re at the grocery store (probably buying what you had for lunch). I have my own life to live.

And so do you.

How do you use social media? How have you dealt with “Facebook depression”? Have you changed how you conduct yourself on social media? How so?

On Shameless Self-Promotion

This may or not not be an artist’s depiction of one of my book signings. 😛

I’ve made it no secret no secret that I’m a shameless self-promoter. In fact, it could be argued that I sometimes flaunt it. However, this week I had two interesting thoughts related to that this week. Well, more like one thought and one realization.

First, my self-promotion got me in a bit of trouble. I shared my latest blog in a Facebook group I’m in, and not one but two admins messaged me after deleting my post telling me not to do that since the group had a rule against self-promotion posts (because otherwise the members would be bombarding the group with them). It wasn’t the first time this had happened. Admittedly, it was kinda my fault since I’d forgotten about that rule.

One admin asked me why I promoted myself. “I’m a writer,” I replied. “It’s what I do.” She said she wrote haikus but didn’t go around saying, “Look at me! Look at me!” I had to fight the urge to start an argument.

“Why?” you ask. Because the difference between me and this admin is—at the risk of sounding rude—I’m a professional and she’s a hobbyist (as far as I know). I don’t know if she has a blog where she posts her haikus, but if she’s okay with only a few people reading her stuff, that’s fine. I, on the other hand, want to grow an audience because writing is my trade and vocation. If I am to be (more) successful, I must get people to read my stuff. I figured that since I’d built a community in this Facebook group, that’d be a great place to generate interest. Apparently not. I understand why they have the rule, but I didn’t like the attitude I was getting from the admin. However, I can forgive it because she may not understand where I’m coming from. I know promotion can come across as arrogant—just look at Donald Trump (yes, I went there)—but it’s necessary in my line of work. If you have the right attitude, though, it can work. It may seem paradoxical that self-promotion and humility can go together, but I do believe it’s possible.

Ironically, I learned that even I have limits on my self-promotion, which brings me to my second thought. I realized that when I’m trying to get people interested in books (or anything I make/do), I’m filled with passionate adamancy. I’m a one-man hype machine. But when people come back to me and say they loved my stuff, I almost want to refuse their praise. But…I have friends who are more talented and/or successful than me! I think.

Yeah, I’m weird.

I’m not 100-percent sure why I think like this. It might be because I feel like I’m the lesser of my peers. I’m in awe of their talent and think they’re more deserving of people’s attention and adoration. Or I think that if I was as talented and/or savvy as my more successful peers, then I’d deserve the praise. In other words, I see a disconnection. Does that make sense?

What do you think, True Believers? Do you have similar struggles? How do you deal with these thoughts?

Official Facebook page created!

In the last few years, I’ve created Facebook fanpages for both Pandora’s Box and Destroyer. They were mildly successful, but I hardly do anything with them now. So, I’ve decided to consolidate to one page for everything. I’ll be shutting down the other two pages by the end of the month, probably. So now I present the official Facebook fanpage for yours truly, Nathan Marchand. Click here to join!

‘Pandora’s Box’ drawing on Facebook

Want a free signed copy of Pandora’s Box? All you have to do is join its Facebook page!

Starting today, the next 10 people who “Like” my novel on its page will be entered into a drawing for a free signed copy. There are, however, some rules I would like to lay down for this:

1. You can’t “un-join” the page and then rejoin to be entered.
2. The drawing has no set time. It will be held once I have 10 names (so please be patient).
3. You can enter even if you already have a copy of the book (though I’d then suggest you give one copy to someone as a gift).
4. Unless I see you in person, you must provide me with your mailing address so I can send you your book (I’ll cover shipping).
5. I reserve the right to refuse to send you a book and draw another name.
6. Leaving the group before the drawing disqualifies you from winning.

I may add more later, but that’s all I have for now.

So go join the book’s Page here.

Tagline Contest on Facebook!

I need a tagline for the site. But despite my best efforts, I can’t think of a good one. That’s where you all come in, readers! I’ve decided to have a contest to see which of you can come up with the best tagline. Go to my Facebook page to enter.

Here are the rules: 1) Check out the site to see what it is like. 2) Submit a one-line tagline on this status. 3) Submissions must be made between now and Sunday night at midnight. 4) Only one entry per person. 5) I will read them all and select a winner Monday.

The winner will have his tagline used on my website and receive a free autographed copy of my first novel, Pandora’s Box, when it is published in the next few months. (Send me your mailing address in case I don’t know you).

Have fun!