But I Don’t Like Social Media!

Today we have a guest post from Steve Laube Agency client Afton Rorvik. Her book, Storm Sisters released Fall, 2014 from Worthy Publishing. She has a growing relationship with social media that she wanted to share. My guess is that today’s post will resonate with many readers of this blog.

Dan Balow

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I must confess something.

I have held a grudge against social media. I resented her demands on my time. I railed against her quirks. I spoke ill of her in public places and on the phone with my agent and publisher. I did not welcome her as a newcomer to my writing neighborhood.

But things feel a bit less strained between us these days.

Why?

I have decided to embrace this new relationship, viewing social media more as a friend than a foe.

So, just as I would invest time in getting to know a new friend, I spend time every day learning more about my new pal: social media (SM). I think of her as a gal-pal. Silly, I know.

My friend SM, I think, comes from Italy. We have a bit of a language barrier.

She talks often of hashtags, tweeps, retweets, gravatars, etc. I have had to pull out a reference book or two in order to understand her. Lately, I’ve been using this one a lot: Social Media Just for Writers: The Best Online Marketing Tips for Selling Your Book by Frances Caballo

We have also had to work through some boundary issues. SM likes to hang out a lot—always seems to want to chat. Just as in any healthy relationship, I’ve had to set some boundaries. And try to keep them.

As much as I enjoy all that SM has to say and the information she leads me to, I have started telling her when I have time to chat rather than letting her suck me in at any and all random moments. I know it is a bit rude of me, but I always keep my eye on the clock while I am conversing with SM. A 30-minute conversation works best for me. Sometimes, though, I do grab a cup of coffee and allow myself a long, lingering afternoon conversation.

Now when I do sit down to chat with SM, I enjoy our time together more. I save up tidbits to share with her and look forward to what she has to say. I focus on her instead of half-hearing what she says as I try to focus on writing tasks. Thank you, Frances Caballo, author of Avoid Social Media Time Suck: A Blueprint for Writers to Create Online Buzz for Their Books and Sill Have Time to Write, for your words of wisdom in this department.

Finally, by viewing SM as a friend, I think of my time with her more as a conversation. I would never sit down to lunch with a friend and tell her all the details of my week complete with 24 photos for each day. I would ask questions, pause to consider her words, and respond with honest words from my heart. Often the specific details of my life would fade into the background. In fact, some of our time together might involve my simply listening and encouraging.

So, I recently told SM I wanted to keep working on our relationship, something along the lines of, “I’m in it for the long haul with you. Let’s keep at it.” She assured me that she has no plans to disappear on me.

Funny, sounds a lot like a Storm Sister.

Afton Rorvik is the author of Storm Sisters: Friends through All Seasons, a book that tells her story of learning to connect with flesh-and-blood women during the storms of life. Visit her website at http://aftonrorvik.com (there are social media links there, as they have become friends)

11 Responses to But I Don’t Like Social Media!

  1. Avatar
    peter missing May 19, 2015 at 8:08 am #

    Interestingly I recently exited. I spent many years on blogs, face-book, twitter and whatever else, to build publicity in support of my books. I devoted quality time to daily postings, but also spent time reciprocating. Problem is it was keeping me from my priorities, notably providing for my family, so I let go. I remain doubtful of its value as a marketing tool because it rarely deepens relationships. I can’t say I didn’t wish people would empathize with my cause a bit more, but I chose to never say as much. I do know that in leaving, I discovered that many valued my daily posts – so I don’t know. I just feel free at present – from posting and the frustration with so much indifference. Well I hope SM is kinder to you – if you are going to use it, it guess it helps to lower your expectations.

    • Avatar
      Afton Rorvik May 19, 2015 at 8:46 am #

      Ah, Peter. I get your frustration. I wonder if SM can truly build relationships. I hope so. But certainly not at the expense of face-to-face relationships. Such a balancing act, isn’t it?!

      • Avatar
        peter May 20, 2015 at 4:53 am #

        As said, Afton, if you lessen your expectations, it can work. I actually derived great pleasure from my daily postings, which were always brief (6-10 lines max, else I carried on the following day), with a well-searched illustration and never, ever contentious.There is an implied etiquette and I tried hard to sidestep anyone who tried to diverge from my values and objectives. I enjoyed the engagements so much, when they came, but more often it was a busy “like” or a rather neutral “thanks”. People are busy and have their own problems, so be realistic and don’t expect anything back … rather just be accessible to your public. A media mix might help, but this blog and a few others I have seen have a nice, light, engaging and topical formula that works. Most of all, like writing, expect it to take time if you want to get somewhere with SM, else just enjoy it and you won’t get disappointed.

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    Beverly Brooks May 19, 2015 at 8:10 am #

    Beautifully draws a much needed picture of a relationship that I ride a roller coaster with – thanks so much. You write with a coffee cup and not a hammer … so appreciated!!

    • Avatar
      Afton Rorvik May 19, 2015 at 8:47 am #

      Loved your image of the coffee cup versus hammer. I do, literally, write with a coffee cup. And Mozart. 🙂 Enjoy the ride.

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    Jenelle. M May 19, 2015 at 9:45 am #

    Afton, thanks for the giggle 🙂

    I appreciate your honesty about SM in the beginning stage of your relationship and for your comical take on your experiences of the benefits and balance of SM instead of telling us how and why it’s so important to use in platform. We all know it is. The balancing act is tricky, but I’ve found that there are seasons of time spent with SM. Some will demand more, others will be less.

    I have a published friend who hired someone to post upcoming events and news for her on certain SM sites, leaving my friend to spend more time writing and interacting with her readers. It’s made her relationship with SM much more of a love than hate.

    Thank you for the Caballo tip!

    • Avatar
      Afton Rorvik May 19, 2015 at 10:55 am #

      Yes! Great idea to get help. I do that with my website. Lots of people though suggest doing Twitter and Facebook yourself so that you sound authentic. Maybe we all just need clones.

  4. Avatar
    Carla Jo Novotny May 19, 2015 at 9:55 am #

    Afton, your smile and warm eyes drew me to consider and enjoy your words and thoughts.

  5. Avatar
    Afton Rorvik May 19, 2015 at 10:56 am #

    Thanks! You can find more of me at aftonrorik.com. 🙂

  6. Avatar
    susan schreer davis May 26, 2015 at 5:42 am #

    And just like with friends, I realize I have an introvert / extrovert relationship with SM. I press in and retreat when consistency would be best. Enjoyed your post.

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