Hey everybody! Today I wanted to talk about social media, which is one of my favorite things. I spend a lot of time on social media websites, and although there are drawbacks (as with any technology), I feel like on the whole it really enhances my life. When people get all negative about it, it hurts my soul a little bit.
After all, social media allows me, as a disabled person, to have a richer social life. It allows me to stay in contact with people who have moved away. It connects me to other people with disabilities and illnesses like mine, which is useful both for treatment and lifestyle help and just for commiseration.
Social media also grants me access to a lot of information about the world. Honestly, my favorite thing about social media isn't posting things myself, it's reading other people's posts. I've learned so much from the people I follow online. My Ravenclaw self is thrilled by the way social media and the Internet as a whole allow us to access and share knowledge!
So here are the social media tools that I use along with the ways that I use each one.
Facebook has become something of a "staple" in the social media world. If you want to be accessible to the people in your life, you need to have one, but it's not very new or exciting anymore.
On Facebook, I have a personal profile where I'm friends with people I know IRL, along with a few trusted Internet friends. I also like a lot of pages about topics I'm interested in As such, each day as I go through my feed, I see a wide variety of information about all kinds of things. I don't post very much on my personal profile anymore, but every once in a while I'll share an article or a quiz that I liked or a personal update.
My personal profile isn't widely accessible. However, I also have a Facebook page where I post links to all my blog posts as well as various book recommendations. This page is open for anyone to like!
Twitter might be the place where I've learned the most. Through Twitter, I learned the language necessary to stand up for myself as a woman and a disabled person and to become a social justice activist. I learned a lot about the experiences of other marginalized groups as well, and how politics affect our lives, which has caused a significant shift in my worldview.
In general, on Twitter, I follow professionals in the YA lit field, which includes authors, agents, and editors. I also follow other young(ish) writers I've collaborated with in Ch1Con and other projects, and I follow a few key social justice activists. Twitter really is the social media website I go to for education, not just about social justice and politics but also about the YA lit industry. Unfortunately, with the current political climate, it can sometimes become a bit overwhelming. I still try to check it at least once a day.
On my own Twitter profile, I mostly share tweets from others that I think are important (or funny). On a regular basis, though, I post my own thoughts about issues, little pieces from my life, and, of course, book recommendations and links to my blog posts.
Currently, Tumblr is my favorite social media website. It's split generally into two kinds of bloggers: those who are running aesthetic blogs and those who are running fandom blogs (although there are also some bloggers who just post memes). On the fandom side of things, where I am, there's a lot of vibrancy and a lot of weirdness.
My Tumblr blog is pretty eclectic. I reblog a lot of fandom content, especially for ScarletVision and the Avengers in general. (Harry Potter, Doctor Who, and Star Wars are other common fandoms on my blog.) I also reblog posts that I find particularly funny and some social justice-related content, as well as a lot of "personality" type posts (i.e. "tag yourself" or "choose one") and ask memes. As with my other public social media profiles, I post my own book recommendations and links to these blog posts. Otherwise, my original content on Tumblr is mostly in the form of ScarletVision fanfiction, which I actually post on Archive of Our Own and then link to Tumblr. But I got into fanfiction via Tumblr, so I think of it as a Tumblr thing.
Because the fandoms I'm in might not be of interest to people who want to follow me as an author, I'm thinking I'll probably create an official author Tumblr once I've landed an agent. I'll continue running my fandom Tumblr under a new username, and the author Tumblr will become my "kirabauthor" account, where I'll keep posting those blog post links and book recommendations, as well as other bookish content. (Probably a lot of the personality and ask meme stuff will move over there too.) Until then, if my previous description of fandom messiness sounds interesting to you, you can go ahead and follow me at the previous link.
I spend a lot of time on Goodreads arranging and rearranging my shelves and staring at the beauty of it all. But since most of my bookishness goes into that account, with it being the place where I can track my reading, add new books to my to-read list, and rate and review the books I read, it's really no wonder!
My personal policy for my Goodreads profile, as an aspiring author, is that I only put ratings and short reviews for books that I rate 4 stars or above. That way, I'm not spreading flack about other authors. Sometimes I'll write a longer review if I feel I need to in order to really express my thoughts. I also write longer reviews for books that I win in giveaways, regardless of the rating I give them. I have a decent selection of shelves that I use to sort all the books I add, including such gems as "cover love" and "made me cry." I don't participate much in groups or lists or quizzes, but once in a while I'll pop over to one.
In terms of the people I friend, I'll pretty much friend anyone who requests it so long as they have a respectable amount of YA books on their shelves. If they don't, I probably won't be all that interested in their updates, so. *apologetic shrug* Anyone can still follow me, though.
Pinterest in general seems to be used mostly for recipes, DIY, and fashion/beauty. However, you can find pretty much any kind of content there, and my own Pinterest profile has a variety of boards. I use it kind of like Tumblr, but with less interpersonal interaction and an additional helping of art, weddings, and wishlists. All of my boards are further split into subsections, except for my art board and my reaction gifs board.
The cool thing about Pinterest is that users can follow individual boards as well as full profiles. That means if you're only interested in my bookish posts, you can limit your feed appropriately. It also means that I follow others pretty randomly, just grabbing onto whatever boards I come across that I think will add content I like to my feed.
I'm new enough to Instagram that I'm still figuring my way around. Like Pinterest, Instagram is all about images, and since I'm more of a word person, I'm not as into it as I am other social media sites (though I do like it). Part of that is also because, unlike these other websites, you can't share content from others that you find interesting. Everything you post has to be your own content, and I'm not that great at posting my own stuff even on text-based social media websites.
Right now, my general policy is that I only follow people whose personal lives I'm particularly interested in. I do follow a few Instagram accounts that share other kinds of information, mostly because they aren't available elsewhere. Likewise, I mostly post pictures pertaining to my personal life, along with my regular book recommendations. (I don't post blog post links, because that just seems like it would clutter things.)
My Instagram profile is public, so if that description interests you, go ahead and follow me! Just know that I don't post as often there as I do elsewhere.
I'm even newer to Snapchat than I am to Instagram, and much worse at it. My Snapchat is currently private. I only share with people I'm especially close to and not very often. My life, as a chronically ill introvert, is just so boring there's nothing to say! But I do want to be familiar with technology that teens use, and I like to try out new social media types. So for now, I'm staying with it. (Although the Bitmoji thing kind of annoys me because it does not have an option for dresses or skirts.)
In related news, I need someone to teach me how to create a story, because that's all over every social media website now, and I have no idea how to do it (or why I would want to). What is my story? How do I tell it? Why would people be interested in it? (Maybe I should start sharing my blog posts via my stories.)
What social media do you use and why? What in the world is a social media story for? Tell me in the comments, and I'll be back next week with a letter to my future self.
Images via socialflow.com, inboundmarketingagents.com, iconfinder.com, authormedia.com, instagramersitalia.it, and webwise.ie.
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