This is sort of about writing insomuch as it involves social media, and since I preach social media as a platform for generating sales I can pretend that this is on topic for the blog. I had an experience this week that left me steamed, and I wanted to rant a little.
Sometimes we have problems in our lives with people who surround us. That kind of thing happens, and we can’t go life without encountering this type of problem. We will also encounter this sort of thing in queries, book reviews, and with our peers in the writing world. Whether it’s critique, a review you aren’t thrilled about, or someone just being a pain there will be people in your life who will push your buttons the wrong way.
Now, many people will tell you not to be angry and to just brush it off. I’m not going to do that. You feel what you feel, and that’s just fine. But what changes the game is how you act. If I acted on the impulse to slap someone when they irritate me I’d have sore hands and a jail sentence. The decision to behave in a certain way is a conscious one that we are all provided by the time we are in our twenties. While controlling yourself is difficult for most people we need to learn how.
When we are mad many of us take off to our social media pages and talk about our experience. We complain about poor service at restaurants, a driver who cut us off, a rude store clerk… all of those things end up on our pages. That’s somewhat normal. However there is a dark side: some people also develop a habit of writing passive-aggressive posts about their friends and family who tick them off. They will write notes like “certain people need to grow up” or “well, I guess THEY aren’t my friend anymore” and all that nonsense without naming names. People often assume they can vent like that because they’re “not naming names” but all it does is create an unpleasant taste in other people’s mouths.
Using your various social media sites to take shots at other people and start trouble isn’t okay. Talking about people “behind their back” isn’t okay either. I put “behind their back” in quotes because if you’re posting it on Facebook or Twitter, or LinkedIn, or Google+ and that person is “friends” with you or “following” you then chances are they will see it. That kind of thing will hurt the person you’re referring to (which is often the goal of such an exercise) and reeks of attention seeking behavior.
If, like most of you following this blog, you use social media as a marketing tool and have other authors, publishers, and so on, on your list then you are not going to be appearing to them in a positive light. In fact, it will probably turn people off. I’ve seen authors post things like this on their professional Facebook pages. Things about reviewers, things about personal experiences, and so on. It isn’t appropriate at any point in time, but when you cross over into writing that kind of thing in the business sphere it becomes unprofessional and will turn you into pesona non grata in many circles. Why? Because no one wants to be the person you’re talking about.