It dates me to admit the following, but I remember when I first heard of The Internet. I recall thinking it was going to be such a wonderful and great thing because Writing would finally come into its own, and Writers would finally get the respect they were due.
Several years later I paused and wondered aloud what had happened. It seemed to me – a Writer – that everything I had hoped for, everything I had expected, had failed to come to fruition.
When I first heard the phrase “Social Media” I decided to believe that it was a wonderful and great thing, and once more I chose to believe it would the opportunity for Writing and Writers.
Several years later I paused again and wondered aloud – again: What the HELL happened? Instead of being the saving grace of Writing and Writers Social Media was likely to be the downfall of Writing and Writers.
After I calmed down, after I set aside my disappointment in The Internet and Social Media, after I considered the matter objectively I concluded several things:
The Internet is like Life itself: A massive, often chaotic thing. As such it is up to me, The Individual, to make the most of it instead of being dependent on others to bring about result and success.
Social Media, a subset of The Internet, is also massive. More often than not it is also chaotic. It can be detrimental, negative, useless, a waste of time. Or it can be the saving grace of Writing and Writer. But – again – the result will be determined by me, The Individual.
Because of the sheer scope of Social Media and The Internet it is my responsibility, as The Individual, to make the most of it. To accomplish this task requires discrimination and prejudice on my part. This Social Media platform is a waste of resources; that Social Media presence has potential, but only if The Individual(s) responsible chooses to make it so. When I find something on The Internet or Social Media that seems worthwhile how do I determine it is such? Through standards and principles, for starters:
A web site that belongs to a newspaper, for example, that allows visitors to the site to post comments in response to content, which contain threats, insults, and profanity is not professional or credible, and content published to the site must always be considered questionable at best;
A blog created and maintained by a writing talent that is done with deliberation and care, involving the Craft and Art of Writing is a resource knowing. A blog that perpetuates fraud and deceit, comparatively, should be avoided much in the same way one would avoid a Socially Transmittable Disease (STD).
Awhile back, where this blog was concerned, I decided to use it as a standard for this exercise. In doing so I have learned how to make the most of The Internet and Social Media, and it has allowed me to become not only a better Writer, but a better person.
I challenge you to do the same.