I’ve had an incredible response from readers after posting this blog. It seems my confession about Facebook is a timely one and has resonated with many readers. The post attracted so much attention, in fact, I was asked to speak on the radio about it! Thrilled, I jumped at the opportunity and was so pleased and humbled by how much time the hosts spent with me. Catch the full interview here where we discuss my books, balancing my career, and social media today.
THE POST THAT STARTED IT ALL:
Believe me when I say I wish I could be all light, full of positive thoughts and love all the time. I strive for that. I really do. But let’s get human for a moment and accept I’ve got my work cut out for me as far as that ambition. So with that preamble, I’m going to be honest about something. And as I get ugly-real, I wonder if anyone else feels the same way I do. Are you ready for some brutal honesty? Here it is . . .
Facebook makes me feel bad about myself.
I know, I know—I shouldn’t take social media so personally or give it so much power. But if you engage with Facebook at any level I ask, how can you not?
Now, of course, I admit my insecurities are exasperated by being an indie author. The very nature of my day-to-day business is to market and promote my books since there is no publishing house doing it for me. However, this need results in a cluttered overflow of us indies fighting for readers, likes, and comments in social media. You can see how I’m setting myself up for disappointment. I’ve already put my heart on display through my writing, and now I’m seeking validation for my work through an unreliable interface such as Facebook. Rationally, I understand people don’t have the time to coddle us, but it still hurts my feelings and causes me to question my every move. It’s like being in high school all over again, battling through a popularity contest that no one can truly win.
Self-publishing, in that regard, has been enlightening. I’ve been floored by the generosity of perfect strangers going far and beyond to champion my books. But on the downside, I’ve been truly pained and confused by the lack of enthusiasm from some of the people I thought were my closest friends. I realize people are busy with their own lives, jobs, and family, but really, I’m talking about common courtesy here. The sort of attention one might give to any of their other friends on Facebook, or to their barista at Starbucks for a job well done. I don’t understand it. Perhaps they don’t grasp what it all means to me? Or maybe it’s their way of relaying they don’t give a damn about my hopes and dreams. Or, maybe, it could simply be they just don’t like books (gasp!).
But the torment doesn’t stop there, I’m afraid. Facebook makes me doubt friendships and even my own self worth. It happens when I peruse my newsfeed. It doesn’t escape me when other friends get a flood of likes for a changed profile picture or receive a staggering list of comments on a witty post (or even a boring post, for that matter). Although I don’t set out to compare, I can’t help but ask myself why I don’t garner equal attention. Why a friend commented on someone else’s post and not on mine. Isn’t that ridiculous? I know my family loves me. I know God loves me, so why have I fallen into this pathetic need of approval from other people? A form of approval that didn’t even exist a few years ago!
So, there it is. My honest, raw feelings about Facebook. For the most part it has not improved my life, but has added a new stress I was blissfully unaware of previously. It’s weakened friendships in my mind, whether warranted or not, and leaves me feeling empty. Can anyone else relate to this or am I alone in these feelings? I would really like to know. Am I being too sensitive? Do I need Facebook therapy? Comment on my contact page. Or not.