Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing, and Publishing ~

My Cure for Social Networking Anxiety


There are many reasons to pursue social networking.

There are as many reasons to not pursue it.

One thing I’ve learned is that social networking can induce anxiety

Readers use it to find books.

Writers use it to find readers.

Publishers use it to make money.

I’m a self-published writer who would like to make some money but would, at least, like to have folks read my books.

I’ve been involved in social networking for over ten years and heavily involved for the last year and a half.

I’ve written quite a few posts about it. Here are just a few:

Social Networking and Insanity . . .

Social Media and Authenticity

The Author’s Platform ~ Community of Interest

Selling Your Soul With Social Media

Book Promotion & Social Networking Frenzy ~ Pondering Google+

I’m the last person to tell anyone they should use social networking sparingly or, perhaps, not at all.

I’m the first person to tell everyone that social networking can cause anxiety

It began for me when I started acquiring “friends” on FaceBook. I think I stopped at 1,500. I couldn’t keep up with what they were posting and what they considered important enough to post was, to me, trivial.

Yet, I had a book that would be published and I needed people who knew me and, eventually, my book.

I added the task of acquiring “followers” on Twitter; tried to make the work easier by incorporating my FaceBook stream into an app called TweetDeck–had four columns of mostly trivia pouring down the screen.

Yet, my book was near publication and I needed to attract folks to it

Eventually, because the interest I was generating was less than overwhelming, I stopped using both of them.

That’s when Google Plus became available.

I fooled myself into thinking it would help me more

Then, I discovered an open-source social network called Diaspora.

It only took a couple months for me to experience the same lack of interest and notice the same lack of deep response.

Two things to keep in mind:

* I still feel there are valid and productive reasons to use social networks.

* I know there are some wonderful people on social networks.

Still, my book was published five months ago and sales are still slow.

I should point out that I consider this blog a social networking platform–less obvious, perhaps, yet more capable of in-depth engagement

Please understand, there are a few “passive” things going on, too. Mostly, this blog feeding into GoodReads, Amazon, and a few other spaces.

Then there’s my work as Events Manager on Book Island in the virtual world, Second Life.

EDIT 10/7/13: [I no longer work on Book Island but am still very active in Second Life]

If you’ve never created an avatar for yourself and walked down a street full of shops run by authors, editors, publishers, and artists; never sat your avatar down in a virtual cafe, ordered a cup of espresso, and listened to a poet, then engaged with them in discussion; never stood in front of a group of people from many different countries and shared your written work; never just hung-out on the beach or at the houseboat or up on the mountainside and chatted and laughed with friends; if you’ve never experienced the Reality of a virtual world, you’ll find it hard to understand why Ive made a firm decision to halt my attempts at interaction on the familiar social networks and use that time to visit more places in Second Life, make more real friends, let them discover, naturally, that I have a book they can read, with another to follow

Of course, my new wanderings in Second Life will be mostly as an “ambassador” for Book Island. I work there, I love it, it has value for Readers, Writers, and Publishers, and it has more capability to generate lasting friendships and memorable experiences.

I let the prevailing opinions of the value of common social networks invade my planning, upset my life, and keep me from the activities that can help me find worthwhile interaction without the anxiety of sweating out ineffective attempts to engage in what, to me, has become the most raucous, disrespectful, tiresome, and time-wasting Space on the Internet—FaceBookTwitterGooglePlusDiaspora………

I’m going to shift gears–from overdrive to cruise–settle back and enjoy the ride–right here on this blog and in Second Life :-)

I certainly don’t disrespect anyone who finds value in social networking. There is value there but, very personally, I can’t take what comes with it
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Our Comment Link Is At The Top of The Post :-)

21 responses to “My Cure for Social Networking Anxiety

  1. Pingback: My Cure for Social Networking Anxiety | The Passive Voice

  2. Selena October 4, 2011 at 12:22 am

    Beginning to agree with you, Alexander. The two social networks I use do cause anxiety. I’m happy to keep contact with friends, but to use them as a tool…not working. Thanks for your voice in this matter.

    Like

  3. Alexander M Zoltai October 4, 2011 at 3:33 am

    Selena,

    I gave the common social networks a fair shake and they’re just too full of “noise”.

    I’m going to try to induce the folks who are real friends into Second Life–we’ll see what happens :-)

    Like

  4. cmmarcum October 4, 2011 at 1:34 pm

    I’ve always admired your determination, affability and seemingly boundless energy in this arena. At the same time, I’ve always known that I didn’t have the patience or the time to do the same.

    I’ll tell you only this: I read all of your blogs. I may not respond to all of them, particularly if I don’t exactly agree. I learn a long time ago that most folks don’t want controversial responses. (A mistake, I think, since controversy draws a crowd.)

    Whatever. Just to let you known: I’m listening. You’re not just whistling into the wind, as we writers sometimes believe that we’re talking to ourselves.

    Like

    • Alexander M Zoltai October 4, 2011 at 3:02 pm

      C. M.,

      I read yours too but, lately (and, I haven’t told you yet {expending all that “boundless energy” on promotion}), I can’t seem to leave comments :-(

      Also, I wish you would  leave your “controversial” comments here :-)

      Like

      • cmmarcum October 4, 2011 at 4:11 pm

        Careful what you ask for. I have a really evil pen. Bwhahaha.

        I fixed the comment thing on my blog.

        Like

        • Alexander M Zoltai October 4, 2011 at 4:39 pm

          :-)

          Now, I get to leave my “controversial” comments on your blog………

          Like

          • cmmarcum October 5, 2011 at 1:10 pm

            Exciting.

            Like

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  6. John October 4, 2011 at 3:38 pm

    Will miss you on G+, but now I have a stronger impulse to bookmark this blog…

    Like

    • Alexander M Zoltai October 4, 2011 at 4:41 pm

      Well, John, glad to hear you want to bookmark this blog; but, I’ll still be posting teasers with links to all my posts over on G+ — just in case you forget to bookmark :-)

      Like

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  9. joanw57 November 17, 2011 at 5:37 pm

    Psychologists believe that most people can only have relationships with up to about 150 people. That’s all we can hold in our heads, apparently.

    I use Facebook to keep in contact with my extended family, friends I know in real life, and a select, few others (currently a total of 61 people). I find it difficult to have conversations on Twitter (1,834 followers at the moment), so I use it mostly to post links and make infrequent observations. Google+ is my occasional playground (I left you a message there). LinkedIn is for professional business. I found community on Plurk, so that’s where I “live.” :-)

    Now, if you’re using social networking for marketing that’s a whole other skill set. Have you looked into SEO? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SEO

    Joan

    http://twitter.com/Joan_W

    Like

    • Alexander M Zoltai November 17, 2011 at 7:18 pm

      Joan,

      I responded to your comment on G+ and, yes, I take a number of steps to make sure I’m covering the SEO basics with my blog…

      As I’ve said in a number of posts here, there are many good reasons to use the normal social networking spaces–it’s just that those reasons no longer apply to what I’m working to achieve in my book promotion efforts…

      Like

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