Many recommend that writers maintain a presence on social media as a way to promote themselves and their work. Sometimes, too, it is seen as a way of supporting other writers. Facebook, blogging, twitter, Pinterest, Instagram. Do these and other methods of online communication foster genuine social interaction? After active participation for a decade, I am inclined to say: Usually not.
A peer from my MFA program first urged me to begin a blog because I was depressed as a result of life events, and I was not writing. For years after, I routinely posted links to my blog essays on FB. Many people clicked “like”, but by reviewing the stats on my blog, I knew almost no one was actually clicking the link, much less reading my blog. I was active on FB each day, but now less often. I wrote 1000 essays for myself online. Then I stopped, and I returned to the page.
My reviews on Goodreads took some of the weight off my need to correspond. I find that most of the people who have friended me read only YA rather than the more demanding books I choose. In fact, most do not read at all. They listen to audio books. Since I live in an isolated rural community, I hunger for writing peers. I do not find them there.
This new WordPress blog has only one essay, written just the other day. I have not bothered posting a link on FB because I know few will look at it even if I do. Author Allison K. Williams has something to say about good literary citizenship, and it mostly does not involve social media. I am grateful to FB for reconnecting me to people in my past, but I am less certain how, or if, social media supports me or anyone else as a writer.
Periodically, I suppose, I must reconsider.