The Ninja Blog

Cate Ellink's Improper Use of Social Media

This is Cate, perving on you while you're on social media.

This is Cate, perving on you while you're on social media.

I’ve always struggled with social media. I kind of ‘get’ that it’s a way of connecting everyone…but I’m happy not connecting, especially with strangers. This means that I don’t quite understand the reasons why people are so attracted to the medium, but it also means I’ve got no real clue how/why to use it.

But…I’m beginning to find a place for it in my life. I’m just not using it ‘properly’.

I see authors doing it ‘right’. They have funny, witty, clever, interesting posts all the time. They connect with people and chat away, and in doing this they find a following. Some of them link all their social media accounts so you get their news on every platform. Time efficient and caters for everyone. But geepers, seeing the same stuff everywhere drives me bonkers, so I follow them on one thing no matter how many times they try to tempt me to more connections.

I have no hope of doing what they do. For a start, I’m one of the most boring people on earth. I have no cute kids/pets photos or anecdotes. I work alone, so I have no workmate tales. Mr E disdains social media, so I can’t put much up about him because (a) he doesn’t ‘get’ why I would, and (b) someone might tell him what I say!

Talking about my writing isn’t something I’m comfortable with. My process is one where I have to write the story before I know what the story is, or who the characters are. If I share too early (i.e. before I finish) then it’s too easy for me to run off on someone else’s idea and lose my way.

Talking about my completed stories…well, that’s old! Once they’ve left my place, then the characters become quiet because their story is done. They leave me. I often struggle to remember who they were, and what their story was about.

God, I’m so weird. I feel like a neurotic fruitcake.

Before I get caught up in my eccentricities and concern about myself, let me tell you how I’ve managed to enjoy social media.

Briefly, I’m a voyeur.

Facebook seems to be the place where writers hang out. I belong to writing groups there were information is passed and things are discussed. I chat, keep up to date, find new releases, and try to join in. Sometimes I’ll post something myself.

Twitter is more me. I can drop a short tweet and walk away. I can read a lot of stuff quickly. I follow the footy (NRL brand mostly) on here and love that quick insight into players and teams. I especially love the (sometimes) witty exchanges between groups of NRL players tweeting each other, or bagging each other out. It makes me remember that they’re people too.

Instagram is for photos, or so my head says. Sometimes I take a photo and pop it up there but mostly I follow people with awesome photos—divers, beach photographers, drone users, artists and astronauts. At the moment, I’m hooked on the International Space Station and their astronauts, with their incredible photos of earth (@ISS). I refill my well with Instagram.

Pinterest is for when I’m stuck with my writing. I can hunt for photos to help with descriptions or to spark an idea. It’s fun and completely time consuming if I’m in a procrastinating mood.

Tumblr is sexy stuff, although it took me a while to find the sexy stuff (I had to follow another Ninja who knew this so much better than me!). This platform doesn’t seem to have the ‘controls’ that other platforms do, so there’s some amazing content. It’s brilliant for ideas, or helping with descriptions of all things sex. Sometimes I come across something that reminds me that I do have limits. And they have little hearts to like a post, and when you unlike it, the heart breaks—that’s so damn cute!

Blogging is something I’ve done for years and I like it. But I blog for myself. I’m not doing it to have people read it, or argue with me, or even agree with me. I just like to ramble on as I try to work out my thoughts. In the beginning, I was very regimented about the days I blogged, now I’m slacker. But blogging is still fun.

So that’s my improper use of social media. I don’t use it as a tool to connect with others, except in a voyeuristic capacity. When people follow/like me, I’m shocked. I’m constantly amazed how people find my profile and why they would follow/like me, but so far it hasn’t led to terrible things, so I’ll just keep doing my thing and enjoying it my way.

How do you use social media?