Saturday, December 3, 2011

If You Say It, They May Answer. . .

Hello Fans,

Due to the social media scene, everyone has something to say.  Even those who may be shy about speaking, will undoubtedly find courage when it comes to stating his/her own opinion about something they feel passionate about.

When you expose yourself like an open wound to the social media, friends, and those whom you don't know, will find a way to comment on whatever it is you enjoy doing.  Everyone's a judge, whether you wear a black robe sitting upon a bench in a high court or not!  There are many posts I read and some I think should have been left in one's mind and never written nor spoken out loud, but people have the right to state whatever they think, and when doing so, that creates a door left open for a response.  And therein begins a debate or sometimes something far worse.

When you create a status on Facebook or leave a tweet on Twitter, you are seeking attention.  I don't care how you wish to spin it, that's exactly what we're doing when we do it.  In fact, this very post today is being created for the sole intent for readers' reviews and comments.  But, what ends up happening is sometimes people make comments that we weren't prepared for, and it may leave you feeling a bit disappointed or angry.

So now you may be asking yourself, why do people do this?  Simply put, because they can.  Remember the door I mentioned above that we create, well you just invited guests to walk through.  Case in point, I was invited in a group discussion a few weeks ago on a sports page, and someone wrote a status that they were tired of all the negativity he received because of his comments against a particular NFL team.  I commented and said why did he give a damn what someone else thought, number one, and two, don't post questions like the one in which he had, if he didn't expect people to respond.

Needless to say, this sparked a huge debate between he and I because he said I was the very negative thing in which he was referring to.  What I pointed out to him was he posed a status question, which created the door for my comment, and countless others, so basically I stated if you don't want to hear what people have to say about how you're feeling, then don't ask the question.  We went around and around on this, and it was becoming more clear to me that he didn't get anything I was trying to say.  So I opted out of the discussion and went on my way.

As many of you know, I write a "My Truth" series on Facebook wherein I leave cute status messages based off of my grandmother's wise knowledge about life.  I usually receive many "like" hits off of these statuses and many comment on how much they enjoy them, but there are times, even when I'm trying to be serious, where someone will find fault with what I stated, and I usually don't respond, or if it's too negative, I will delete that individual's response.

Bottom line, folks, is this:  If you put it out there, people will comment.  It may not be what you want to hear or read, but at the end of the day, people are people.  If you really do not want to attract negative comments to your social pages, I strongly suggest you remove yourself from them, because one thing is clear, you can't handle the pressure of the public's opinions.

I'm really sick and tired of people whining about how others respond to their statuses or tweets.  Why the hell are you on these sites other than to seek as much attention as you can get, which is why most of us try to come up with clever things to say to get our readers attention?  And then when we do get the attention, some of us want to get an attitude because you didn't like how someone responded.

If you're not up for the battle of the words, I strongly urge you not to put your thoughts into print.  Being a writer, I am subject to all types of criticism and comments.  I receive good and bad ones, but what you must learn to do is decipher which you need to concern yourself with, and which to cast aside.  If you pose a question to your fans asking what they thought of your book, you better be ready to receive all of what you're going to hear.  Again, you're creating a door and leaving it open for them to respond.  What makes you think that everything you think is great others will share in your excitement?  Aah, the fact is no, not everyone is going to like what you do nor say, but as I always tell you, be true to yourself.  No matter if everyone goes against your very plans, doesn't mean you should stop dreaming or stop posting your comments because you get a few negative words spit back at you.

What I'm finding in my industry is some people are very weak minded and vulnerable, which is why they can't always handle bad press or negative criticism.  Anyone who steps into the writing game with the expressed intent of thinking they are going to get followers overnight and be this huge success is lulling themselves into a false sense of security, and are truly dreaming.  If you can't handle what someone says about your status or tweet, well you damn sure are going to crumble when it comes time for the world to review what you've written in a novel. 

We've all heard the stories of Facebook and Twitter beefs that landed people either in the hospital or an early grave, all over the fact of what someone wrote.

Make no mistake, any time a person writes a status or a tweet, he/she knows exactly what they are writing and why!  Often times it's to get you to react, grab your attention and take notice.  And many of us do, but just remember, when you put your words out into cyberspace, just know there are individuals on the other end of the wireless line waiting to say something.

If you don't want to be subjected to negative comments, which is foolish to think one may avoid, then don't write questions or post statements in which you know it's going to start a heated debate.  And if you take a mind to do it anyway, then remember that door you created, and don't get an attitude when people cross through it.  You gave them an open invitation, and accept your guests, fully, whether you like some of them or not!

I know you get tired of me saying this but you need to be extremely mindful of what you say on social media sites.  Although they are your personal pages, you do not own any of the content on most of those sites, in fact, the sites usually own everything.  Much like a person's Miranda rights, you have the right to remain silent, or anything you say or do can be used against you in a court of law, well, my friends, so can these very words you use on these sites.  THINK before you WRITE your statuses, and if you still choose to do it, be ready for many to come knocking on the door you created. 

Until next weekend. . .if you write it, they will respond!

Kimberly Ranee Hicks, Author/Poet