Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Social Media Fatigue: Also WTH is Happening?

 JENN McKINLAY: That's it! If Chrissy Teigen can leave Twitter, so can I. So I did. Last week, I deactivated my Twitter account. When I go to log in, primarily out of habit, what greets me is this:



Reminding me that I no longer belong to Twitter like 80% of the population. Do I miss it? The place where I used to virtually shake my fist at my local politicians and get all in a tizzy? Surprisingly, no. I don't miss it at all. Huh. And here's the important point -- you don't sell books on Twitter. I don't think anyone on Twitter ever went and bought one of my books because I called my representative a moron, so really, what is the point? 

The toxicity is, I daresay, worse than the pandemic. Why would I want that in my life? The truth is, I don't. If I ever go back to Twitter, I will start from scratch and it will be a positive vibes only situation. I simply can't deal with all of this negativity (of which I am also culpable) all of the time. Truly, I think it's making my hair fall out!

But it's not just Twitter. Social media is changing, y'all. The kids who are now in their teens and twenties are all Snapchat and TikTok. Instagram seems to appeal to all ages but is owned by Facebook. Facebook is and has been, by and large, for middle-aged/old people, and Facebook's verified pages have just become a bloody mess. I'll explain.

In December of 2020, I had 14,000 people who liked and followed my professional page. Fast forward to March of 2021, and I have 14,500 people who like my page and 45,000 who follow the page -- where did those new 30,000 followers come from? Did I get elected to office? Win the lottery? Become a movie star? Nope, nope, nope.

Seriously. What the heck happened? I have no idea. My publisher has no idea. And Facebook has no idea. Here's what I do know. Those followers are predominately men from Russia and Africa and South America (assuming their profiles are legitimate) and they like to spend their time replying to the women who comment on the posts I put up on my page with little gems like this: 




Argh! Same dude hit at least four women who commented on a picture of cake (it's always cake) on my page. I thought it might just be me. Like maybe I clicked on some random ad, probably for cake, that opened the trolling male hellmouth and unleashed it on my page. Nope. I checked out other authors' verified pages and they're getting slammed, too. Our Rhys has also seen the weirdness. I then checked out some celebrity pages and the same nonsense is happening on their blue checked pages.

Frankly, social media is looking a lot like the mouse plague in Australia! 


Then my Facebook page got duplicated and the hacker was sending out friend requests using my pictures, bio, and name and offering free books of mine (insert your credit card number here -- but free books!!!! ACK!). Facebook insisted there was nothing wrong. Mother of pearl! You have got to be kidding me. 



My publisher reached out to Facebook and their response was essentially a shrug and a head scratch and a mumble as they exited the room. Really? You can write an algorithm to make sure an ad for dog booties pops up in my feed every three posts, but you can't write one to weed out the trolls? Huh.

All of this is to say, there is some weirdness afoot and I don't think it is going to end well. And because the momentum of social media is like that of a shark - it must stay in motion or it will die - there is now a thing called #BookTok (like #Bookstagram on Instagram) where authors and readers promote books on TikTok and I just have to say...I can't. I just can't. 

You know, I've heard for years that blogging is dead, but I have to say that compared to all of the insanity I am witnessing out there, I love this safe, positive, interesting, funny, charming blog of ours with all my heart. 

So, Reds and Readers, chime in! What weirdness have you seen out there? What sites do you trust? What do you think the future of social media is?

Lastly, please be careful out there! 





109 comments:

  1. One has to be careful, no doubt. Unfortunately it is a way of communicating and staying touch. I do still follow blogs, which are more safe, I think. But isn’t that why they are attacking so hard and furious now? We cannot let them win! Just block, delete and report them all.

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    1. Great advice, except for those who use social media for business reasons, that can become a full-time job by itself.

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    2. I’m banning at least ten people per day. Karen is right - it feels like it’ll become a FT job. No thanks!

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    3. Jenn, I have 25K NEW followers from Africa! How can I possibly block all these people????

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  2. Goodness, I thought it was just me, over-reacting . . . I thought [silly me] that it was supposed to be about sharing pictures, keeping up with the grandbabies’ news, and having a bit of fun while keeping in touch with friends, but social media just makes me crazy. [And don’t even get me started on the guys who want to be friends on Goodreads . . . it’s the same nonsense.]

    I don’t post much at all because lately it just seems so intrusive . . . I’m not certain any of the social media sites are truly trustworthy. And more and more often, there seem to be so many rude comments . . . what’s that about, anyway? You can be mean and nasty because you think social media is anonymous? I’m fairly certain that this is not what social media was supposed to be . . . .

    Thank goodness we have this blog . . . .

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    1. Glad you mentioned Goodreads because I cannot figure out a whole bunch of people follow me. Why? It's gotten so I only post a star anymore, no review. And all those people who "like" my status? I don't get what is going on there at all.

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    2. Judi, I only post reviews on Amazon and I never tell Goodreads anything. I don't know why I have always been so suspicious of them, but I am not telling them what I am reading and how many books I want to read. Maybe I am wrong not to share that information if it would help my author friends, but I just feel so exposed by their constant probing. That's one reason why I love our "what are you reading?" days. It's such a joy to share that with everyone here.

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    3. Joan (and everyone else mentioning Goodreads), I haven't had the same issues others have mentioned with the site.

      Every person (and there aren't that many) who has sent me a friend request there, I've checked out to make sure they are real. Most have been authors. A couple of them have been real life people I know through books and then a couple who like my reviews there. And no guys looking for money or "favors" of any stripe.

      I post there because it is a way to get my review thoughts out for books that aren't sent to me from Mystery Scene. And those reviews have led to a number of authors reaching out to offer me their books to read/review. Most I've passed on because they were e-book only. But I've picked up a couple of print copies that were pretty good reads.

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    4. Thank you, Judy. I use Goodreads for my own purposes so I suppose I have to put up with some of theirs. They keep track of books I have read and that I like. Sometimes I will enter a giveaway but I seldom win.

      As for Amazon reviews I'm not sure I can trust them either. So many times I think the 5-star reviews come from blood relatives and paid staffers and the 1-star reviews are from mean and nasty people who probably never even read the book. So maybe a thoughtful 3- or 4-star review gives me a better idea so I can tell if I might want to read it. I agree with you that book suggestions from JRWs are so helpful.

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    5. Goodreads - Oy! I knew there were some nasty reviewers but had no idea the followers were trolls, too. Jay is right - vet everyone before accepting followers/friends!

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    6. I only review books I have loved. I do not think that anyone needs to know that I thought a book was amateurish or poorly plotted or had characters who lacked personalities. Books I love, I rave about. That's it. If I do a review, and tell you it's up, trust me, it's wonderful.

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  3. JENN: JRW is my safe haven, the first blog that I read and post comments on bright and early almost every morning. I can count on the JRW's daily topic to be either funny, interesting or thoughtful. And the comments posted by the Reds and readers are the best!

    The Reds are also responsible for adding to my out-of-control TBR mountains, and that's ok, too.
    As for the rest of social media, FB is where I post positive items 99% of the time. My focus of my posts this past year has been on books/virtual events, my cooking/balcony garden and memories of past travel. Having worked for the Canadian federal government for 27 years has taught me to avoid posting anything about Canadian federal/provincial politics.

    Instagram, I have an account but rarely use it. Twitter: nope. And the other newer ones: not interested.

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    1. You’re my people, Grace! “Not interested” covers it for me with the new ones. :)

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  4. I've recently boosted a couple of Facebook posts only get some really rude and inappropriate comments on them. I deleted and deleted and finally stopped the boost.

    A couple of years ago, I was hearing that blogging was dead, but I see a resurgence in it and hope that continues.

    As for Twitter, I'm giving it one last shot, but I agree. It doesn't sell books.

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    1. It’s really become about time management, too. It’s just so easy to go on social media when the words are slow and then I lose hours - doing what? Drooling over someone else’s baking and learning to speak to a lama???? Ack!!! LOL.

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  5. No Twitter, inactive Instagram account, no Tiktok. I like keeping in touch with friends via FB and FB messenger. That's about it for me. I read several blogs but this is the only one I visit consistently.

    And e mail? I do check it every morning, but rarely do I receive or send a personal one. Remember the days when e mail was new and we got all that instant gratification?

    Times they are a changing.

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    1. I used to live for email and now it annoys me as feeling too cumbersome. Just text me! Wonder what will be next? Send me a brain wave? Eep!

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  6. Jenn, Wow! I can't believe Facebook is so unresponsive to you AND your publisher about the page being duplicated. Well, I can believe it but still...UNBELIEVABLE.

    I can understand why people are quitting Twitter in droves. I'm there but 99% of what I do on there is shamelessly self-promote my articles when they go up online. Bands and authors still take notice when they get tagged in a post so it still pays off for me that someone is reading what I wrote.

    Besides Twitter, I'm on Facebook as you know. Those are the only two I use. I don't have time to visit ever social media outlet in a day and I honestly don't feel like joining more. The two I have work fine for me to self-promote my articles. And to keep in touch with friends and "friends" in the case of FB.

    Oh, and the Facebook Pages (the ones you are supposed to be able to hit the "like" button for...I have no idea what's going on there. The powers that be at FB are seemingly converting the pages over. So many pages that I liked have disappeared from my "Likes" page. They are now pages that apparently I "follow", yet there's no page to see all of those converted pages anymore. It's messed up and Facebook has no answers (I've looked). But it is once again a case of the company fixing what wasn't broken in the first place.

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    1. It was awful, Jay. It would have been so easy to accept a friend request from Jenn. How flattering! To respond to that before Jenn and her assistant realized it was a scam, would have been the easiest thing in the world. But, I read all these mysteries and now I am more suspicious of everything than I used to be! Whew!

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    2. Judy, luckily, I had gotten a friend request from Jenn last year so I didn't have to worry about a scam account.

      And I think we are all way more suspicious these days so vigilance is never a bad ting in my book.

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    3. That should've said bad THING.

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    4. “Fixing what wasn’t broken” - Nailed it!!!! Glad you’ve witnessed the crazy as I was feeling very alone in my confused ire!

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  7. Congrats on leaving Twitter, Jenn. I hang in there because of a few people I like seeing, but it's mostly wearing a bit thin these days...My Instagram is essentially dormant. Only Facebook remains active for me and, like Ann, I use it to stay in touch with, among others, my 92-year-old mum.

    I live in hope of finding a personal letter or card in my snailmail mailbox, that's how old fashioned I am!

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    1. We should bring back letter writing! An author friend of mine - Kevin Hearne - does actual pen pal letter writing as a lost art every now and again - it’s quite charming.

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    2. Oh, now I want to be his friend, too (not only because his series is so exquisitely funny). I love getting real mail!

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  8. I've heard about that surge in followers from a few other authors but I don't seem to be seeing it myself. I formerly made the posts on my person FB page public, but no longer - those icky men always telling myself (and my friend/commenters) how beautiful I am and asking so nicely to send them a friend request were really ramping up. No thanks.

    Twitter - I pop over about once a day. Instagram - I'm there, and my virtual assistant posts for me, but I stopped going much once my sons stopped posting. Both sons, in their early and mid thirties, are hardly on social media at all.

    Blogs and newsletters - that's where we reach readers.

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    1. Also, I'm so sorry you had to go through being hacked - and FB telling you there was nothing wrong with it! THAT's what's wrong.

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    2. Being a less than visually pleasing guy, I never have to worry about getting these kinds of unsolicited "you're beautiful" messages. Who knew ugly would pay off for me? LOL

      When I get the occasional friend request, if I don't know the person I delete it immediately. And then I get a friend request from someone I might know and I have to decide if I want to OK it. That could take a while. The worst is when I get a request from a music PR person. But luckily the three I have as friends are both real and decent enough people. AND it got me on the mailing lists for music stuff that I can review at my discretion which is a win in my book.

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    3. Newsletters - 100% That’s what I’ve been hearing from the powers that be!

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  9. I come here every day, habitually a couple of times to read everyone. If I think I have something to contribute, I comment, if not, I don’t. I feel safe and accepted in this community.
    I go occasionally on other blogs and receive a couple of newsletters but that’s all. I’m on no social media. I know too many people who lived deceptions or problems with there account, especially with FB that I find very intrusive.

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    1. I’m surprised social media isn’t used in more mysteries...hmmm... You’ve given me something to think about!

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  10. I'm mostly on my personal FB and Messenger. My blog feeds into the dru's book musings FB page and I do skim that for any comments. Twitter just confuses me. My blog posts also feeds into Twitter and that's my involvement. Every other day I say to myself to delete it. Instagram, if I remember to visit it. I always check my email, first thing in the morning, after I share my latest blog post on FB. That's the extent of my social media. The other new stuff, too much for me.

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    1. Ditto. I’ve had Snapchat for 4 years still can’t figure it out. Ugh.

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  11. Facebook, Instagram, Writers Who Kill blog. I heard Chuck Sambuchino speak a few years ago. He assured us Twitter was all about agents and editors and to get with the program. He suggested that we join and sit back and "enjoy the show." The show for me ended a long time ago.

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    1. Same! I really don’t miss it at all and I have more time to read the newspaper! Win win!

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  12. I have a Twitter account, but I don't use it and haven't posted anything in...forever. I'm barely on Facebook. I have a few friends I check in with daily. I post to my author page (which thankfully hasn't gotten slammed, probably because I don't have one of those little blue checkmarks or enough followers). Twitter has been toxic for me for years; Facebook used to be good, but it's gone way downhill (except for those few friends I mentioned). But I will say I'm not inundated by icky men.

    Mostly I'm on Instagram, which I know is owned by Facebook, but at least I see pretty pictures.

    I haven't tried TikTok, but a publicist friend says right now it really works for YA authors, so I'm not worried.

    I don't know about blogs, but I think podcasts are really seeing a surge these days.

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    1. Podcasts are definitely surging! Audible everything is because it’s nice to listen to something while doing chores (at least for me).

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  13. It's annoying, it's infuriating, and it's tiresome and scary. But... it's nothing new, sad as that is.

    Did anyone else use Usenet back in the late 1980s-early 90's? It was pre-Windows GUI, so all text, and 100% anonymous. It started out as an education-based message board system, and quickly sorted itself out according to interests. Women, in particular, flocked to the craft hobby boars (I was on alt.sewing, of course). Women took to the Internet faster than men did, to the surprise of early computer gurus--because we could mostly all type.

    Naturally, Usenet quickly devolved, and the weirdness didn't creep in, it body-slammed the joint. Among a million other topics, alt.sex was born, and every perversion had its own little, also anonymous niche pages. Anyone could start a alt. topic, you see, so it became a free-for-all of random stuff, something for everyone. And any Usenet user could see all this, because you had to scroll down tens of thousands of topics to get to the one you wanted to join for a conversation.

    Then first Compuserve, then Prodigy, AOL, and Microsoft (can't remember the name of their service, but it's where you got Hotmail addresses), all took advantage of the more graphic nature of Windows and Macs at the time, with the addition of using a mouse to get around. Hard to remember now when we had to use keyboard only for screen navigation, right? Again, hobbies and special interests abounded, but the individual providers (dial-up, baby) did very little monitoring, and there were creepers then, too. The Instant Message system got abused right away, prompting the various companies to add blocking features. It was still anonymous, though. (My youngest daughter got online at age 9, and some "12-year old boy" asked to meet her, via AOL's IM. That prompted me to make her give me her password from then on. Also, there was no way then to report whoever that was, but most assuredly not a 12-year old boy.)

    Then lots of companies and news sites added message boards, also anonymous. I was very active on political boards starting in 2000, trying to learn more about politics, and getting abused by (mostly male) posters hiding behind fake names and the ability to change their handles at will. Yahoo got into the act with message boards, too, also, you guessed it, anonymous.

    Enter Facebook, which at first did not tolerate fake names. They bugged you to death to provide profile information (still do, right?), which probably set us all up for a false sense of security. Now that Facebook members comprise a scary one third of the entire world population, I think the tail is wagging the dog, and they, like every social media provider before them, have lost all control. There's a reason why so few web pages these days have message boards, because of the rampant abuse and ability to hide behind fake profiles and names.

    So it's sort of like a hydra: you cut off one head and three more grow. It's too bad, too, because the sheer fun and comfort of connections to those who we either can't be with in person, or whom we may never meet in person, has become precious to so many of us. I still connect with Usenet friends from all over the world, on Facebook now. A few of those friends have all followed one another from alt.sewing to Prodigy to AOL and now to Facebook. It's really remarkable, and I or they've been able to travel to meet them face to face over the years.

    But the damn trolls. This is why we can't have nice things.

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    1. I remember all of that, Karen! Thanks for reminding me of the evolution and that where there is anonymity there are trolls. Sigh.

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  14. So agree. My Twitter posts are limited to posting blog notifications (I just posted one for this blog) but the app itself moves much too fast for me. Facebook - Yes, I've been getting the "responders" on my pages as well. It's annoying and when I've tried to track them down and unfriend - they don't exist. I'm not sure at all what FB's quality control is doing, but it ain't controlling the quality. I posted a comment on a post and received a request to message the poster. Because I knew (in social media terms) the poster and he was a well-respected author, I did. It turned out to be a send me X amount of dollars and I will send you y amount. Really? Does anyone fall for that? Clearly the man had been hacked or cloned. I sent the post to FB who told me that no terms of service were violated.

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  15. Yes to intrusive friend requests on FB from men. What is their goal? That someone will be dumb enough to hand over their bank account information? It seems so pointless and yet it never ends. I use FB for friends and family. Twitter to check in with a friend's doings--he posts great photos of his work. Email--and that is the extent of my social media usage.

    This blog is different--we're kinda like a group that meets in the Miller's Kill cafe for breakfast every morning. The waitstaff know all our usual orders and management doesn't mind that we natter away and sometimes get a little raucous with our laughter. And sometimes the conversation is so interesting that people standing up at the till, bill in hand, shoot us swift glances and wish they lived here so they might pull up a chair some morning and join in..

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    1. Flora, such a perfect description of the JRW blog. I LOVE THIS GROUP!!

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    2. It must work often enough that they keep trying, sadly.

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    3. Love the analogy! Yep, perfect.

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    4. Perfection. And you made me smile :)

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  16. So, no twitter now and never, ever twittered. I was so disgusted by the use of that medium by the former occupant of WH that I'd never, ever consider joining. Blech!

    FB is the only social media that I have joined and it is okay, but I am not an author with followers and to message me, you have to be my friend. That FB controls whose posts I get to see is another problem, but damn them and their algorithms.

    I am extremely cautious about the things I respond to, but getting even more careful as trolls appear out of nowhere. Sometime last fall I noticed that every time I commented on something on Rhys's author page on FB, someone would send a friend request. The names are mostly Eastern European, African or Asian. The photos are everything, always young and good looking, but white, black, brown, etc. No thanks. I already have someone to steal my covers!

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    1. Sadly, I've had to stop commenting on Rhys's FB author page (and now ALL public pages) because of the goofy friend requests that got spawned. But my would-be suitors were all good-looking white guys of around 50 claiming to be from, say, Oregon.

      I think Rhys suggested she might go to a private page, and that would be fine with me.

      And my own posts are only to friends now, never public.

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    2. I think private pages are the only way to combat the insanity.

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  17. This specific would seem to be utterly most beneficial. Each one of these modest tips can be designed with a number of backdrop tips. I favor which will much. Designing

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  18. Got off of Facebook 6 years ago because it was so toxic. Only follow funny animal accounts and people who give me joy on Twitter and Instagram but am considering leaving Twitter completely cause I still can't avoid some toxicity.
    Wish blogs would make a comeback. Less nastiness, more content I like.

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  19. I agree, this blog community is as welcoming and close as any "real" community. I love being a part of it. As others have said, I always feel safe and respected here.

    I never developed a taste for Twitter and left it not long after I joined it. I use Goodreads, but haven't run into any weirdness there. For me it's just a great place to track my reading. I try to post a short review of every book I read, mainly for my own sake. I'm on LinkedIn because, well, because I have a day job and it is part and parcel of that world.

    Facebook is the only social media I put any energy into and it is very much a love/hate relationship. I would consider leaving it, except that my real world networks communicate through it a lot. Private groups have become essential: my husband's big extended family has one; my neighborhood has one; my church choir has one. Those three make up a huge percentage of my Facebook communication. Then add in real-life people who I know I would not stay in touch with except for Facebook (high school and college friends, co-workers from former jobs, friends who have moved away) and you pretty much have the reason I feel I can't leave.

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    1. It is a love/hate relationship! How can I stalk my old frenemies if not for FB? LOL.

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  20. The social media world is so very very peculiar. I have facebook, twitter and instagram accounts but pulled facebook off of my "visible" apps nearly a year ago and turned off all notifications. Now, if I want to engage with it, I have to burrow a little bit on the phone. It helps. I work in higher ed so a complete step away from social media won't work - it impacts too much of professional life. I virtually never post on the platforms (which is problematic, right? Consuming without contributing?) I will say, not in defense of the platforms but as a slight counternarrative, that I have followed people on instagram and twitter that have provided insight and resources that I might not have discovered if I hadn't engaged with those processes. This proved very important in getting out of the social media echo chamber that can exist when the nastiness of responses drives us to step away. I'm so grateful to those (like Liz Kleinrock, Rachel Cargle, Jessica Malaty Rivera and Sonia Rene Taylor among many) who navigate the thorny social media nightmares. Engagement with their social media was incredibly useful in giving me a broader perspective and set of tools that went far beyond the books(but buy the books too). So - I don't know. I dislike that every time I post a review on Goodreads, I get weird responses. I hate the facebook discussion groups can feel like middle school playgrounds with weird power dynamics and toxic shaming. But I really love that hopscotching through social media connected two people on opposite sides of the world doing research on children's cancer and that they now work together. I want to stomp my virtual feet at the trolls and point out that they are why we can't have nice things but I'm pretty sure they, and the administrators who don't sanction them, wouldn't really care.

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    1. I have an assistant who runs an FB group - she has had to vet every member and mediate some disputes. Why can't we all just get along? Sigh.

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  21. As a newcomer to this pretty scary world of promoting books on a FB "page," I'm even more freaked out than ever. I had two people recently messenger me querying what they thought might be a fake request from me. The problem is I had recently sent them both requests. But, as I have no idea what a request from my author page actually looks like, I wasn't able to confirm that what they were questioning was indeed my real request or a scammer. Is the photo included in your blog what a scam request looks like? Because if so, I'm toast...

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    1. AMY: The scammers usually copy the photo used in your FB (or Messenger) profile, so it does look legit (at a glance). I had my Messenger account hacked last year, and had friends send me a copy of the fake requests. Back then, FB responded quickly and removed the fake account with a day.

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    2. Hi Amy, just wanted to say that I finished A SIDE OF MURDER this past Friday. I really enjoyed it and did a review of it on Goodreads. I am looking forward to the next Cape Cod Foodie book as well!

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    3. Yes, it was my pic (an older one), my bio, my banner pic - total nightmare. Just be vigilant, Amy. Also, welcome to the party! I wish there weren’t so many party crashes!

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    4. Thanks, Jenn. I have to admit, as I gather followers I just automatically block any men (most of whom seem to be "orthopedic surgeons," which they prove by wearing a white lab coat). It is a bit disturbing...

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  22. I see a lot of talk about blogs in the responses today. I follow four book related blogs (JRW, Wicked Authors, Bolo Books and Dru's Book Musings) regularly and whenever I see a post from another blog that gets retweeted on Twitter and it looks like I might be interested in reading it, I'll go read that too.

    I don't have the desire to do my own blog, which if I did might be easier in some respects. But I lack a decent amount of tech know how and don't know anyone that could do the tech side of things for me. Also, I generally prefer to work for other sites. They do all the tech stuff and I can just WRITE. Which to varying degrees, I'm way better at than trying to do tech stuff.

    More than a few years ago, I did write a sports blog. But I wrote it on the website for The Sporting News, back when they cared about their users and had message forums and user blogs as an option. While I wrote pieces during the week as I felt moved to, I had a regular Sunday blog called Sunday Musings that I wrote on the TSN site until they shut down user blogs. It then transferred over to a now defunct site called YouGabSports. It ran on that site for a while before I had enough of the people who ran the site changing the rules willy-nilly. In all, I wrote the Sunday Musings posts for at least a couple of years.

    But I don't write about sports anymore, and I don't really feel the desire to write about any other topic enough to want to do my own blog if I had the know how.

    But hey, everyone that has a blog, you keep on writing it. I'm sure that I'll keep on reading them.

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    1. JAY: I also follow the same mystery blogs you mentioned. I don't comment on them as regularly JRW but I get the daily email or FB post and checked out the ones that interest me. I also follow Lesa's Book Critiques, Mystery Lovers Kitchen, Chicks on the Case.

      Like you, I wrote a personal blog for about 5 years (2006-2011) using Blogger but work/personal life got in the way and I stopped. Out of curiosity, I just searched for it online, and it's still accessible even though it has been inactive for 10 years, ha ha.

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    2. thank you Jay for reading my blog.

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    4. It'd be nice if blogs made a comeback.

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  23. Jenn, I remember this is happening to you and several authors. Every time I commented on an author's facebook page, I got friend requests and I blocked them. I am so sorry about the duplicates. This is happening to a relative who is a professional musician too. This makes me so mad! What can we do about it?

    Rarely use Twitter though my writing teacher said it is important to have a social media presence everywhere. We'll see.

    Regarding Facebook, I do not buy their argument because they have blocked certain pages. I suspect FB is owned by different people now even if Mark Zueckberg is the face of Facebook.

    Surprised that no one has filed class law suit against Facebook.

    Hoping that someone will come up with a new social media platform that will weed out the Russian bots.

    On Facebook, I have been setting my personal FB page to friends only.

    Diana

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    1. My personal FB page is on hard lockdown, but I don't ever post there so it's just because I can.

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  24. I'm with you, Jenn! I deactivated my Twitter account a few years ago. I've noticed the friend requests on Facebook and follower requests on Instagram are usually from men who I don't know. Very creepy...

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  25. And yet, even this blog is not immune... :^(
    As evidenced by the string-of-unconnected-words comment from Unknown at 8:52, above.

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    1. I just saw that! We do get weird comments but our Hallie is the maestro of deleting them. I think I’ll leave it because it’s so on point!

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  26. Jenn, I have a Twitter account but never use it, except when I have a book out and my publisher insists. But I have never seen how Twitter actually sells books. As I said above, I have the same horrible problem with my author FB page and I don't know what to do about it! I was going to contact my publisher but your experience doesn't give me much hope that that will help.

    I skim my personal FB page every day or so just to check on friends, but I don't post much and I don't do politics or anything toxic. I do actually enjoy Instagram, but I mostly follow or post things for fun--as with Twitter, I'm not at all sure it sells books. And there are only so many hours in the day and I don't want to spend them on social media! What to do????

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    1. Newsletters. That's the direct line to readers or so I've been told.

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  27. I haven't been paying attention to my followers. Better pop over to Facebook and check and see what's up.

    I do pick up a lot of followers on Instagram and Twitter who are middle-aged men who are either doctors or serve in the military or both. Their accounts consist of six pictures of the same guy all uploaded on one day and nothing else. When I see them I block them.

    I'm going to predict that blogs will make a comeback. Why? For precisely this reason. Easier to moderate, easier to control access, and it's your own spot. You not be holden to Mark Zuckerberg or Jack Dorsey.

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    1. It's weird how it's all gotten so completely out of control.

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  28. I am rarely on Twitter. But there are some authors I have stopped reading because of what they have put on Twitter. And Facebook. Yes, we readers are paying attention to what you post and how you post it.

    What drives me crazy is that, when I unfollow someone on Twitter, I am still seeing their tweets because others I follow are liking them. Not even retweeting them.

    The trolls are everywhere, unfortunately. The fact that Facebook won't do anything about it is absolutely insane. I'm sorry about that.

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    1. Mark, I've only stopped reading one author because of what they posted on social media. Worse, it was right after I bought a book of his for the first time. There was another author whose books I hadn't read but they started following me on Twitter. I gave a courtesy follow back and while most of what they posted I was in disagreement with, they posted one thing that made me hit the unfollow button.

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    2. Same. I've had to break up with a few people and i know a few people had to break up with me. I'm trying to find my former optimistic sunny side up self but I think she got lost in quarantine. Oy.

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  29. Twitter does seem to create a lot of negative energy. I usually find book recommendations from this blog or from Facebook author or group pages. I never use Facebook to post any personal info anymore because I don’t interact with anyone personally on that platform. The trolls will eventually kill these social media platforms and we can get back to reading books.❤️

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    1. LOL - I love that. I have had more time to read and watch TV (which i am years behind on) so there is that!

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  30. Never twitted (tweeted). Am a total disappointment to FB as I only have 13 FB friends, all of whom I know in real life but who are scattered in different places and who I wish knew each other in real life. Not an inviting spot for trolls or other sorts of internet junk. But those of you who need to use FB to stay in touch with readers and prospective readers, I wish you less ugliness and nuisance.

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  31. I'm happy to say the international gents haven't found me ... yet.

    I was pulled kicking and screaming into Facebook, but I do enjoy checking up on friends.

    Having a "Page" was my publisher's idea. I'm outraged that Facebook won't pull Jenn's lookalike account. Seriously? And I'm just looking for another reason to deep-six my account given the toxic brew that stews out there.

    Yup, I've been our official weeder who scours our daily comments and consigns unwelcome guests to the circular bin, though of late I've fallen down on the job.

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    1. Rhys: they wouldn’t pull mine either until all my followers reported it!

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    2. We so appreciate you, Hallie. You must see some doozies!

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  32. Running in late--this HAS TOTALLY HAPPENED TO MY PAGE.I am getting ONE THOUSAND new followers a day on my author page--and 990 of them are men from other countries, some not even in english and obv with made up names. I blockblockblockblockblock and more come. Everyone is talking about it--it's AWFUL.

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  33. When I retired, I got on Facebook because friends and family were there. I follow a lot of authors and blogs because it is easier than checking their websites. I read my e-mail and get author's newsletters there.

    About a week ago, some friends told me they had Friend Requests from me so I notified Facebook (didn't hear from them) and changed my password. I get those Friend Requests from strange men, too. I never connected them to commenting on anybody's posts. Stay safe and well.

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  34. I’ve been going through all of the above. Weird guys Facebook doing nothing. I don’t know what they hope to get from this. Do they really think I’ll respond that I’m sending them money to come from Nigeria and live with me? Looking into turning my page into a group to which you have to be invited by answering questions about my books. Thoughts on that?

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    1. I'm game for anything that cuts down on the weirdness. A group by invitation only should work--unless comments can be seen by friends of friends, etc., outside of the group.

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    2. I think that might be the ticket, Rhys!

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    3. totally, Rhys. I suspect all your fans will be delighted to answer questions about Georgie and Darcy. :^)

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  35. Wow, Jenn, kudos to you for being brave and pulling out of Twitter. I'm on there, along with Facebook and Instagram. I must say that my FB page is rarely viewed. People tend to try to find me on my personal account and then I have to weed out all those odd "friend" requests. I do like IG for its pretty pictures, although I'm not that great with a camera, but I like that the community there is mostly positive and supportive. I've heard a lot about Clubhouse recently, but I'm not sure I have it in me to learn something new and participate in an audio-only platform.

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    1. Oh, wo, there's always something new. I hadn't heard about Clubhouse but I am just so over all of it. Maybe we can just go back to authors going on tour and doing "live" things, you know, when the world is healthy again. Oy.

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  36. Jenn, I'll miss commiserating with you on Twitter, but I get it. I too suddenly have 2K new "followers" on my Author page. They have yet to do anything because I'm not that interesting to them, I guess. But I've had my IG profile hacked AND my FB profile hacked, which pisses me the eff off. Oh, how I long to bail on it. But aside from the business aspect, it's how I stay in touch with old friends and I'd hate to lose those connections.

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    1. It's true - the old connections are nice. Hard to give up those the good stuff until it's outweighed by the bad.

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  37. I agree--social media definitely comes with a lot of frustration. I've done the virtual fist-shaking at local politicians on Twitter, which definitely doesn't sell books. I have more actual engagement with readers on FB, but if it weren't for that, I'd be off FB too. I see some positives on a personal level with FB--it's a short hand way to connect with acquaintances--but I stay connected to friends IRL and don't need FB for that. And FB comes with a lot of baggage and taking up of head space. So I mainly bypass my personal FB page. As for Instagram, for some reason I like that better--in spite of all the faux followers I constantly have to weed out. (Always middle aged white men, who are engineers/doctors/military, and with good hearts. Looking for love. And user names that include numbers. And photos that are clearly bought or lifted from somewhere. I've gotten enough faux Instagram followers that I now recognize the same photos cropping up, over and over. Block, block, block!) But I really do appreciate spaces like this--and even FB groups--where thoughtful discussion and insight can take place.

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  38. Kudos to you on the Twitter front. I am working myself up to it (Facebook is relegated to a placeholder) but I hear you on this! I even blogged about it after I read an online article and a book the article recommended: https://wordpress.com/post/willowcroft.blog/1817. :-)

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  39. I can't speak as an author...I just admire ya'll! I will say that a few of my favorite authors and family are the main reason I have not shut down my Facebook account. Well, that and the birthday reminders! I find FB increasingly annoying each time I log on. I get the daily friend requests from men I do not know and do not want to know and ads that are way more frequent than postings from friends. Personally, I prefer Instagram and would really love it if McKinlay's Mavens and Fans of Jenn McKinlay moved there. I think I would quit FB completely. Am sick and tired of the same old ads and items that have been shared over and over again for the past 10 years, not to mention everyone using it to market whatever product they have decided to rep these days. OK, rant over. Good luck with your decision!

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  40. If I see comments like that (guys saying they want to be friends), I mark them as Spam, even though they weren't directed at my comments. They're so annoying. I've done it on Jenn's and Rhys's pages. Hope it helps.

    We could always friend these guys and ask them for money and maybe they'd go away, LOL. I just got a friend request today that I deleted. Some cute animal pictures, but I've noticed that no one has left any comments on his posts.

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