About Being Social on Social Media

You might have noticed that I’m bad around other people. No, I don’t mean I’m rude, obnoxious, or anything along the line. I try to smile, listen to what they say, and be altogether pleasing. It’s not that. But what I’m lousy at is “collecting people” (not meaning this in a serial killer way). Just that I don’t know how to gather people around me, how to connect with others, and how to keep them entertained. Big crowds, talking to strangers, and drawing attention towards myself makes me kind of nervous. That wouldn’t be a problem if I didn’t have to attract people towards my upcoming book. The thing is that doesn’t motivate me as much as it should. I would like to get to know people because who they are and not because what I can gain from them. But I guess that is not how the world works any longer; and in a way, my upcoming book is the push I needed to be more social. A reason to find “my kind of people” (you know, I don’t exactly know what my kind of people are. All I know is I like the ones who can think for themselves. They can come in all size, shape, and color. And yes I have a sore spot for those who read, but it’s not a must in this expanding universe.)

If I try to get into the mindset of my kind of people and think where would they hang (under the tables, yes, but where else?), I draw a blank. I love Goodreads, but for years I haven’t socialized there, I (am) was happy collecting my own library for world domination and nirvana, but that was all I did. Now, as you may have read from my earlier post, I have gotten active there, but every time I comment on anything my stomach gets tight and I can imagine all the possible horrific consequences that might happen from my comments. And yes it has been rewarding and fun to get to know new people, but when will the fear go away? I have to say I am biased towards Goodreads. I like the listopia feature, communities (as a lurker), and all the books to be discovered. It’s my favorite kind of social media. I’m getting to know it better and even posted a couple of reviews. Yay for me!

Years back, I tried to be on Facebook, but that didn’t turn up so nice. Do I have to go back there? I know it can be a terrific tool and there are so many benefits from it, but last time I was there it almost destroyed my happiness. I can’t seem to handle it. I got anxious about stupid things like how many friends I have, why don’t I have as much as say my (ex-)schoolmates, and why no one likes my posts? (Now I know the reason. I posted about things that made them feel lousy: my exercising, baking, or things like that. I didn’t engage with them. I was being a dick and a moron. Luckily I have gotten older and “wiser.”)

My friend (yes, I have one — by accident) swears on the writer and reader groups on Facebook. The support they give each other and so on. But even when I’m convinced by her arguments, the whole platform makes me shudder. Not because of my previous experiences (poor me) but because of the entire worldview and system behind it. As you may have noticed, I am reserved when it comes to social media. Now in its current form, it’s more like a shouting match than a real conversation. (Maybe it is naïve to think social interactions should be about conversations, but I’m going to stick with that.) Instead of taking others/followers into account social media are all about one’s ego. I have to add that I’m not blaming the user. If you look at Facebook communities, they have sprung from the actions of the users and not the other way around. We as a human beings are social creatures (me included, my comfort zone is just bit smaller than what is normal) and desire honest interaction with other people (to be heard and understood) and social media should be developed to cater those needs and not be about advertisement and social-climbing. Posting a selfie or funny video can entertain but most of the time it won’t advance meaningful social interactions. (I like cat pics, sue me!) Luckily there are those users who use their accounts to service other users with information, opinions, and other ways and there should be a hurrah for them!

I Don’t know how to do that yet, but I’m trying to learn. Maybe if I’m honest about myself, what I do, and how I see the world it is useful to some, but what I crave for is an honest interaction with others and at the same time I’m scared shitless to have one.

Thank you for reading and post a comment if you have something to say. I would love that!

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