I think most of us know that being on any form of social media can be stressful. Not just as a performative thing (because the pressure to be exciting and fresh and relevant is there) or even as another way to get an audience for your blog or shop – but also because you have to be careful about what you say*. The Internet, after all, is forever.
*Am I lowkey, not-so lowkey talking about the recent book Twitter drama? Yes, yes I am.
Especially on Twitter, where things happen instantly. Someone is always online to see what you say, and everyone remembers.
It doesn’t matter if you are a profilic author, or a book blogger, or simply a person with a large number of followers – the second you put yourself out there, you are under scrutiny. And on Twitter? Where anything can be retweeted to anyone in a matter of minutes? We have a responsibility on this public sphere to remember who our audiences are. We have a responsibility to be willing to listen to criticism and learn from that.
And as Kate @ Your Tita Kate has said, especially for those of us with multiple platforms and spheres of influence, we have a responsibility to be critical and aware of what we are posting, because we have put ourselves out there on purpose.
We have a limited character count to post things in, and while we may not mean to sometimes, things can come across as toxic and problematic, and if we are not careful, we can alienate our audience. And I have seen on more than one occasion, instead of listening and understanding, they double down on their stance and get defensive – and then wonder why people are upset. It may be your opinion, but once you put yourself out there in this public sphere, you have to be aware of your audience.*
*Seriously, Kate @ Your Tita Kate is a lot more eloquent about this than I am. Read her post.
There is a solution, of course, for the opinions that might be controversial, or the venting that you might to do – a private account. It is so simple to keep from any Drama happening. A private account allows you to control who follows you, it allows for unfiltered venting and talking to the people who you trust and who are friends rather than your (potential) audience.
If you want someone to listen to you, if you want to constantly create for your audience, than be aware of them. Listen to them.
Social media is everywhere, and it stays forever in people’s minds.