Social Media: A Necessary Evil

There is so much competition for attention on social media these days. Social media has become a necessary evil in modern society where flash overshadows substance. I don’t feel the need to let my 4,000 plus Facebook friends know my every move.  Promoting yourself and your writing business on social media has become a full-time job. It is really becoming frustrating when I see friends on Facebook getting a hundred likes for something trivial, where I can’t even get one like for an article I spent a whole day writing. The public at large seems to have become vacuous, as nothing really seems to phase them anymore. 

Me taking a selfie at the New York Times Travel Show

I am primarily a travel writer, but I occasionally like to write about lifestyle issues. The popularity of social media over the last few years has become paramount in promoting my business. Now when I try to get writing gigs, my following on various social media platforms is becoming the deciding factor if I get the job.

When I was in journalism school in the late 1990s, blogging was in its infancy. Magazine journalism was still primarily in print.  It was before Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, etc. dominated everyone’s time sharing every single detail of their lives. It is like high school all over again and is little more than a popularity contest. My supposed schtick is the Traveling MILF, because if you want to have a chance in hell, you need to have a schtick. 

I do research on how I can increase my social media presence, and the steps that I need to take are overwhelming. One article had ‘27 Proven Steps to Increase Your Blog Traffic’. All of the 27 steps were multifaceted as well. It is very jarring for me to come into this age where your life is not private anymore. This social media mania helps and hurts my writing career. Just yesterday when I was writing an article, I received a message on Facebook messenger which disrupted me. It completely killed my momentum with my writing. 

Last January I attended a travel trade show. About a month beforehand, I was having a discussion with a friend about preparing for the event. One of the things I had listed was losing a few pounds. Why do I need to lose weight in order to get writing jobs? Because in this selfie obsessed world, how you look is as important, or even more important than writing talent. It is like back in 1981 when MTV premiered, and music artists were seen as well as heard and their looks became almost as important as how their music sounded. 

I miss the old days, where you had a writing portfolio showcasing your best work and you were evaluated on that and that only. Unfortunately, those days seem to be long gone. Social media has become a necessary evil. I will evolve with this like I have had to evolve with everything else in life. 


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