Good morning all, Kacey here again on another warm Saturday morning. Temps in Ontario have been skyrocketing, my hay fields are crying for rain and my grass looks and feels like I have hay growing in my front yard. We need rain desperately.
But I digress. Farming woes are not the topic today.
Lately I’ve been hit hard by social media piranhas. That is my own name for those people on social media who want to add you to their friend list, not because they know you but to have a gazillion friends or they want to add you — without your permission!!! — to every group they own to hock their stuff/wares, and who may see “Erotic Romance Author” under your name and think you’re fair game for all things porn/sex related.
Being on social media – Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, doesn’t give everyone free rein to invade your space. Just recently, in the last couple of weeks, I’ve received friend / follow requests from people who I have nothing in common with (example: no mutual friends on Facebook), and I’ve been added without my permission to over a dozen groups. Writing the type of stories I do does cause a lot of speculation into the woman I am. Some think, “Oh she writes erotic/erotica, she won’t mind me sending her a picture of my penis or other private parts.” Uhhh, WRONG people. Writing the books I do does not make me available to your come ons, suggestive emails/inboxed notes or wanting to see what you’re packing behind your pants.
Not a week goes by that I don’t receive about a dozen or more friend requests/follows from people who are suggestive, make my skin crawl and think I’ll just accept their behavior. I do not have to tolerate it at all, no author/person does, and we must be very careful of who we allow to see our profiles. Now, I have many followers, no I don’t know each and every single one, but if I get Facebook requests from people who are not in any groups I am in, don’t have mutual friends, those are the first red flags that go up. And I usually hit “deny” quite quickly and move on.
Proper etiquette for any social media is to NOT send explicit messages/photos and expect the other person to fall at your feet. No, we are authors who want to share our books with the world, not engage in lewd behaviors. More etiquette on social media is to NOT send a request, have it accepted because you too write romance/stories, and then send a direct message with “follow me, buy my book, check out my profile and click on all my information”. That doesn’t fly either and can get people quickly deleting you from any of their lists instantly.
We are all human and deserve to be treated as such. Romance authors are not laid back people who want to discuss sex with strangers or any of the above I’ve already stated. New authors/social media beginners need to be very, very cautious of those with ill intentions. If your gut instinct is telling you something isn’t right, that this person or that doesn’t seem legit/on the level, then you need to listen to those voices giving you sage advice. Always think of your safety first. Interacting on social media can be a lot of fun, I’ve met all my readers mainly online, but I still take things very seriously. Consider every friend/follow request before automatically hitting confirm/okay, thinking that everyone is going to be a loyal reader/fan who wants nothing more than to enjoy your books. Unfortunately, there are piranhas (or trolls) who have deviant motives who don’t give a hoot about your rights or personal boundaries. It’s up to each of us to be diligent and cautious about whom we let into our social media circles. It IS okay to delete a request. No one has to accept every one they receive. You are the ruler in your world.
And if some continue being piranhas (trolls) and won’t leave you alone, blocking them is the best way to handle things.
But always, remember as an author, you can make them all the next villain in your story and do whatever you wish to them.
As viciously as you want.
Personally, I take great satisfaction in doing just that. *g*
Until next week. Happy writing. Happy reading!