Guest Post by Carrie Bailey
They follow you on Twitter and then as soon as you follow back…Poof! They’re gone like that blond girl from I Dream of Genie. Why do they do that? The old follow and then unfollow trick is probably the world’s number one social media offense.
Just for the sake of venting a little steam, Rachel has allowed me to write this guest post where I indulge my fantasy of a world where social media offenders get what they deserve and get rehabilitated. These offenses are not unique to writers, but it’s geared toward the bad things they do most.
Warning: Don’t worry if you find you’re guilty of one of these social media offenses, the facilities are quite nice and I’ll be your guard for the evening.
Crime: Asks everyone to “like” them
You contact them about this interesting tweet they posted two minutes ago and… what’s that? Could you like their fan page on Facebook? And you will, because you’re nice like that, but first you need to know their name.
All the talk about engagement on social media steams from this single issue. None of these offender’s fans know who they are. The rest aren’t even real people. They were created by software developed in India and bought for five dollars.
Doesn’t everyone know that desperation has it’s own unique odor that is so offensive, it even transmits digitally? Yeah, that’s right. We can smell a fraud half way around the globe. Even if we like you, we don’t like you like you.
Punishment: Six-month restricted Internet use: dial-up access only on a desktop computer with a 3” mouse that only runs on a special 2”x2” pad.
Crime: Assumes everyone is his or her fan
Much more serious is the offender who responds to your casual message about their recent post by assuming you are their worshipful fan. They pelt you with hype about their latest work and in the process ignore why you contacted them.
Yes, I’m glad to hear that your book Twenty-three Chapters to Nowhere is being released next month by One Man With a Computer Press, but I won your free drawing for a Kindle Fire and I was wondering when it might be delivered.
Punishment: Every profile image on their social media accounts replaced by a grainy image of a bowl of dried pasta for no less than a duration of two years.
Crime: Spamming I and Spamming II
People don’t have to be a bot to spam. They just have to lack respect for anyone who follows them online. At the first level, spamming is just over-promotion. You get too many posts that link to their work for sale somewhere else and they almost never interact with their followers.
Punishment: Spam. Spam. Spam. For one entire week, the offender gets spam from mass marketers promoting spamming software and spam the carefully processed luncheon meat-like substance. They even have to eat spam shaped like an exclamation point for every meal while reading the contents of their email spam folder.
On the next level, is serious spam. It’s spam that violates your trust. They found your address when you both attended a workshop and added you to a mass-emailing list. What they called “opportunities,” you politely tell them is spam. But careful. These spammers may be in denial of their problem and can be dangerous.
One time I asked to be removed from an emailing mailing list, a woman contacted me and insisted her spam was good spam that I should want it. I promptly blocked her. She turned around and signed me up for every mass- mailing list she could find and informed a mutual friend about her “revenge.” Jokes on me now, right? Now, I know what real spam is.
Punishment: Psychiatric care. I’m not a heartless social media prison warden, but I will be serving offenders an all spam menu while they’re in intensive anti-spamming therapy working through their denial.
Not all social media offenses come from over-promotion though. Some offenders are shy individuals with self-esteem issues who are misrepresenting themselves.
Crime: Never tells followers what they are writing
I follow lots of authors on social media, but I have no idea what most of them write. Is it a secret? I know they don’t want to spam me and I respect them for it, but they called themselves a writer in their profile. We added each other, believing we had that in common and now they’re only willing to talk about their kids. I didn’t follow a mom. I followed a writer.
These writers are often prone to saying, when I ask about their work, that I wouldn’t like it and I can’t see it. It’s the opposite problem from assuming everyone is their fan. They’re assuming they know what I like and it won’t be them. Give me a chance? No? Fine, we’ll move on to the punishment.
Punishment: Participate in ten poetry readings or…change your profile. And if they don’t write poetry? They can read their text message inbox.
Doesn’t fit the crime? Sorry. I’m actually quite sympathic toward bashful writers, but I also understand that shy plus low self-esteem plus a computer often equals profile images of people’s pets or children and if I was actually following their toddler or your Labrador via social media…yeah. See what I mean?
As author Mariam Korbas says, she’s a writer, not a model. When I’m looking for writers to read, I just want entertainment and in this era of social media where everyone is trying to be popular like we’re all at some giant digital high school talent show assembly, I find myself more and more attracted to people with the confidence to be themselves.
Carrie Bailey is the host of the multi-author blog, Peevish Penman who has recently returned to the states after a two-year academic-related self-imposed exile to Wellington, New Zealand. She is currently working on a heroic dystopian post-apocalyptic YA fantasy and/or Sci-fi series with the working title the Auck Ward Chronicles.
Check out my books on Amazon: A Walk In The Snark, Mancode: Exposed, and my latest, Broken Pieces FREE TODAY THROUGH SUNDAY ONLY on Amazon (No Kindle required!). Find me on Twitter at @RachelintheOC or my business @BadRedheadMedia. Look up the same names on G+, Facebook, Pinterest, etc. I’m everywhere!
‘Broken Pieces left me in tears. It left me raw – the wounds still chafe, but it left me astounded at the courage Rachel Thompson had shown in writing this book, in breaking taboos, in speaking out and in refusing to use her pain and hurt as excuses to hide behind for the rest of her life.
This is a book about rising above; about becoming more than you can possibly believe you ever will be at those terribly low points of your life. It is about surviving, thriving and living and I recommend it more than any other book I have read.’ ~ from Tracy Riva, Top Amazon Reviewer.
Rachel Thompson is the author of newly released BadRedhead Media 30-Day Book Marketing Challenge: How to energize your book sales in a month - created to help authors market their book. She is also the author of Broken Places (one of IndieReader's "Best of 2015" top books and 2015 Honorable Mention Winner in the San Francisco Book Festival), and the multi award-winning Broken Pieces, as well as two additional humor books, A Walk In The Snark and Mancode: Exposed. She owns BadRedhead Media, creating effective social media and book marketing campaigns for authors. Her articles appear regularly in The Huffington Post, IndieReader.com, The San Francisco Book Review (BadRedhead Says…), 12Most.com, BookPromotion.com, and Self-Publishers Monthly. Not just an advocate for sexual abuse survivors, Rachel is the creator and founder of the hashtag phenomenon #MondayBlogs and two live Twitter chats: #BookMarketingChat (co-hosted with TheRuralVA, Emilie Rabitoy) and #SexAbuseChat, co-hosted with C. Streetlights and Judith Staff. She hates walks in the rain, running out of coffee, and coconut. She lives in California with her family.
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