by Sparkle Abbey
Isn't it amazing how much we take for granted about that connection. A connection that a few years ago didn't even exist.
As authors, social media can be dangerous. You go online to check in, or see what your friends are doing, or what's new in the publishing world and....whoosh! An hour (or two) or writing time just disappeared. True for you? Or is that just us?
So then you decide you must stay offline for a while, because you need to be getting things done. But, easier said than done, right? Pretty soon you're wondering when was that book event you wanted to go to, and what happened with that situation, and what important things are you missing. And then like a big black hole you're sucked in again.
Still with all of that, even in times like these, social media connections are important. Maybe especially in times like these. With Hurricane Harvey and now Irma, as well as the wildfires in Montana, California, and the Pacific Northwest. Scary events forcing people to leave their homes and to wonder what they'll come back to. In these instances, connections via social media have been an important way to check in with each other. To share concerns and offers of help. To let each know that we're okay. Or not okay.
On a more intimate level, personal losses, health concerns, milestones, and celebrations are also things we often choose to share with our friends on social media sites. Big and small - our disappointments, our fears, and joys. We offer each other encouragement when times are tough. A virtual hug when one is needed. Or a chuckle. Because there are times when we just need a baby goat in pajamas to help us remember to laugh.
At times, we head for that "hive mind" for answers, information, or solutions. "Has anyone seen this error message? Can someone tell me what kind of plant this is?" Or sometimes, we seek opinions. "Which author photo is better? Mac or PC? Has anyone tried this?"
When we think it's too much and we ought to just opt out, we realize blessing of the many true friends we've made via social media. Readers we wouldn't have had the chance to get to know. Other authors whose opinions we value and respect. Friends. Friends we've met and bonded with through this crazy amazing (and sometimes overwhelming) medium.
So, we'd have to say in answer to the "Love It? Or Leave It?" question we posed at the beginning - though we may need a short break from time to time - for the most part we're loving it!
What do you think? Do you mostly love it? Or often want to leave it? Please share your thoughts...
Sparkle Abbey is actually two people, Mary Lee Woods and Anita Carter, who write the national best-selling Pampered Pets cozy mystery series. They are friends as well as neighbors so they often get together and plot ways to commit murder. (But don't tell the neighbors.) They love to hear from readers and can be found on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest, their favorite social media sites. Also, if you want to make sure you get updates, sign up for their newsletter via the SparkleAbbey.com website.