Thought for the day… that could devolve into a rant… warning…
How is it fair to hit the inboxes of working authors, asking them to step away from their writing or their lives to literally walk you through all the knots and rigors of getting published… when they don’t even know you? Just sayin’ – and not that you do this yourself… this is a rhetorical question for those that don’t and aimed at those who do this sort of thing.
For those who adopt such an annoying research method of learning about publishing, this says to me you’re not serious—because you have clearly not invested in your own personal education. This is the lazy man’s approach. You haven’t gone to a conference, taken up a writing workshop, or immersed yourself in the world of “knowledge-building” for your intended craft. What you want is a quick and dirty hand-holding session by a well-known author, so you don’t have to really do any kind of meaningful investigation on your own. Be honest. Be real. That is what you want. And you don’t care who is inconvenienced at the time, because it’s all about you. I get it.
But here’s the message you are conveying, whether you realize it or not—and I will give you the benefit of the doubt that you really don’t get it yourself: When you send blind requests to someone’s FB inbox and solicit advice, and in most cases not even being familiar (having read) that author’s body of work, it’s really disrespectful, when you think about it. The larger question is, why should that author or person stop, drop, and roll because you suddenly had a eureka? Why should they stop and do one-on-one counseling on-line (when their time is a serious premium), versus teaching at workshops or conferences where they can dispense this knowledge efficiently to a mass audience or group? Why shouldn’t they instead elect to answer such questions in the many college settings where they are compensated for their knowledge, time and talent—just like you one day hope to be? However, the FB inbox abuser doesn’t think of that because social media has made things “informal” and so casual to the point where it’s easy to lapse on basic common courtesy. Somehow being on-line seems to make people feel entitled—yes, I used the word entitled, to “hit you on FB” with a “quick question” (that is by no means quick or simple. BIG SIGH.
So, my new paradigm is “delete.” I feel like this, if I’m not jumking up your inbox with requests for money, advice, time, “quickie career questions,” financial help with my documentary film, and solicitations to join groups you’ve never heard of or care to join, then don’t do it to mine. This new world of social media has vast potential and can be fun, but the down side is that it also allows people to THINK they have the “right” to parachute into your life unannounced and to then get a reasonable answer. NOT.
Let’s therefore start to be more mindful of how we approach others using this new toy and tool. I can’t tell you how many people I’ve had to put on blast for adding me to a group that I never asked to join—or worse, posting some BS solicitation of “theirs” on MY wall—clearly an attempt to prostitute the numbers on my friend list… very tacky. I don’t post my events on other people’s walls… there’s an event invite feature to “ask” folks if they want to participate, and it’s about mining your own contacts not trying to take a free ride on someone else’s. Possibly even worse are the abusers who set up an inbox conversation between you and fifty people you don’t even freakin’ know—so that you then have to get caught up in the comments and replies of inane conversation that have NOTHING to do with you whatsoever. In order to opt out, you then have to take action—not always accessible by a smart phone… which means you have to remember to do that when you get to a desktop. But my question is why? If I didn’t start the action, if I never asked to be a part of the “group” conversation and was hijacked into it, then WTH – why do “I” have to be inconvenienced to now fix what someone else did?
My promise is to not vent about it, respond to it, or get myself bent about the level of rudeness on FB and other social media sites any more (FB being the worse offender, smile.) I’m going to start using the block feature with a heavy hand… so be forewarned would-be abusers… I am SO NOT THE ONE… (LOL!)
I guess this qualifies more as a rant than a “thought for the day,” LOL – my bad… very sorry… and it comes after cleaning out my inbox for the gazzillionth time on an early Sunday morning. I may blog this further with my fellow writer buddies at The Liar’s Club later this month, because trust me, I’m not alone. I hear this from EVERY published author I know. Seriously. I’m just the one with the big mouth from Philly who stopped this morning after cleaning out my inbox and getting annoyed who said, “Aw hell to the no. This has got to stop!” Who has time for this?
Just a Philosophical question BIG SMILE…
That said, for the rest of you lovely, compassionate, non-abusive, fun FB people and fam, THANK YOU for being the way you are—AWESOME!
BIG HUG and stay in the Light!–Leslie