|Except no one does.|
They say what you post online, what you make of yourself in the digital world, never goes away - and those things can haunt a person for the rest of their boring and meaningless lives.
That's if you don't deleteit, and if someone thinks enough of you to screen-grab that shit before you've done so. It happens to star folk. Many of us think we're just like those celebrities, of course, and rarely do we post anything on social media that's interesting for fear it may be used against us, for fear someone might think we're actually human and not some heavenly beacon of metaphysical prowess. We're all entities of blinding awesomeness on our own feeds.
Others have this idea they're sharing noteworthy information when they scamper to their smartphones. PaulWalker, star of the Fast and Furious movie franchise, is a good recent example. The nuclear meltdown in Japan, when it occurred years ago, is another. Social media lights up when someone dies, when something bad happens, and we all become newscasters - the people on our feeds can't get that shit anywhere else but from us. And they need to know how we feel about it. They really do.
Thank God for posters. I may scroll past their breaking news reports, as I seek something of minor relevance, but I appreciate the peanut gallery and its fabulous running commentary. I've even thought about collecting a “best of” list, compiling the dreck – as a reminder of those special days when something terrible happens. With Walker, as an example, I discovered so many of my friends were fans. How come I didn't know that?
And then there are authors. Do they know what they post affects sales, affects interest, and can steer readers away? Or do they not care? When on social media, whether it's to post an image of a half naked stud in a Santa hat, or to vent and cuss about a bad review, should authors not remember their posts reflect the product they hope to sell?
The study of authors on social media is an interesting one. You have some who post philosophical questions, some who tout other authors, post family pictures and gratitude to their readers. Those are typically the big names, the New York Times bestsellers, the ones who had sales prior to the daily vomit of social media.
Then you have mid list and small press authors, self-published authors, and everything in between. They're online all day. Many, I've noticed, are married to someone else who pays the bills, and many post absolutely meaningless nuggets of information every hour. These authors, unlike the New York Times bestsellers, post their word counts, post about their characters, and post to an audience of five people when their new book is coming out, usually speaking to those five as if they were five thousand. “OMG. Big news coming this week. You will all just have to wait!” “Who's ready for my cover reveal? Smiley face emoticon. Oh, and RIP Paul Walker” “Happy dance! Got in 5k today, going to sprint tonight after a shower. Who says being a writer is easy? Lol.”
And who's to say which way is the right way? While I lean toward the gentle serenity of big name authors, the clucking hen house brought by minor authors is fun to read on occasion, like how train wrecks are dandy to capture on video. And it could be I'm missing a vital clue here. Mid list, small press, and self-published authors may do this out of some diabolical marketing scheme I've never heard of. It could be bragging rights and nothing more. It could be a lack of oversight and super-powered, high self esteem.
And what of authors who frequently post on social media with emoticons and acronyms aplenty, failing to even start their sentence with a capital letter? Don't klaxons sound when they type that crap, some kind of internal red alert that tells them they need to set an example? Multiple spelling errors and ruptured sentence structures make other authors cringe when they read it. Occasional ones? We all do that. But seeing a daily news feed of twenty to thirty posts, all with emoticons and “DH” this and “FML” that, makes one wonder what kind of novel these writers produce. Will it be a high school text written out in long form journalism – cheerleader stream of consciousness written in thumb for the New York Review of Books? And, going back to the bestselling authors, one rarely sees a glaring error on their feed.
It could be I am so out of the loop it's not funny. But I am not alone if that's the case. There are plenty of others who scroll through their news feeds with a sense of wonder or profound distress, wondering why writers aren't actually writing anymore.
Am I lost? Am I simply too old? Lol. RIP Paul Walker.