There was something I witnessed this morning that made me go "what in the blue hell was she thinking?" and a few other things. I know we as a people have bad days. Sometimes things get on our nerves. We get one too many stupid questions, too many people yellin' our names at once, or any combination of a million things that can make us mental at one time. We are only human after all but taking that into account we should be careful of what we say and how we portray ourselves. That goes for me, your average loud mouth redneck, an average Jane so to speak as well as someone who is in the lime light. What am I babbling about you ask? Well I hate to play the name game, as I am only here to give a POV on how to treat others and in return to respect yourself enough not to look like an ass. So there will be no name called out here (If asked privately I will share).
Social media, whether it be Twitter, Facebook, or any number of the available feeds should be used to share, show concern and interact on levels with others that may not be achievable in person. Or if you are like me, to run your mouth with friends and family who are not close to you due to being in all areas of the US and overseas. It shouldn't be used in anyway to hate, berate or to show just how ignorant you can be. But what did I see this morning on Facebook? An author's post on my timeline that made me go O.O. Thing is, I'm a nosy little thing. I am a stalker of author pages in many places, it's an admitted issue (laughs) but I have respect for the ones I follow on Twitter, Facebook, Amazon and Goodreads.
So, anyhow, I saw one of my best friends and an author who I recently had interactions with on Facebook speaking of this person on Twitter so I looked her up on FB. Since all I saw was a new book she was pimping out I looked her up. I read her bio, looked at her books; I even found a couple I added to my ever growing to read list and then went to investigate her FB page. Needless to say after looking at the FB page, and seeing her tantrum I unfollowed (unliked) her page. Yes it maybe childish on my part, I will accept that but I can't see me reading her stuff now. Not after the complete and utter lack of respect she showed to her fans.
Don't get me wrong, as I said before we all have bad days but there is something to say for having tact. (It's not just an office supply.) Common courtesy, having manners, whatever you want to call it hasn't gone out of style. I think some people forget once they get a little 'fame' that they used to be just like us average folk. To post on a forum that you have as a public venue to go along with your writing (your job) and to post that you don't care if people like you after putting up a post to stop asking you questions and to Google it is just... yeah there are a few words I could think to use but I'm not going there. It's one thing to be disrespectful but to be down right rude is not acceptable. Would you want someone doing that to you? Hell no. You would be on your soap box (as I am on mine) and wanting that person to reevaluate themselves. I can see it now, "who do they think they are?"... that is my question to many people daily while I am reading crap online. I wonder sometimes if they have been hit with a stupid stick.
I know getting annoying questions, over and over again can make you mental but look at it like this. If you are a public figure; no matter your class, you are entitled to the same things we average folk are. If you don't think you want to answer a message, then don't. OR as with most of the authors I have seen on the online sites (their published sites), FB, Twitter or Goodreads have a frequently asked questions page. If it's not on there then they could ask you. Again, you are a public figure. People of all ages will be looking at you as a person, as an author and as an idol at times. You are the one in charge of your image. Not your publicist, not your neighbor, but you. If you act like a fool people will look at you like you're a fool. It only takes one bad review, one bad apple to make it bad for so many.
Google is great. If you can't find it there, it's not real. (My opinion. I am biased, I love Google!) I mean, I Google shit all day (or I just ask Emmy, she is my own personal Google) but with that being said sometimes people just want to ask an author themselves about something. Getting a reply back is a big deal. I myself follow many authors, actors, music artists and much more on both Twitter, Facebook and Goodreads. It's the "In" thing to do. I have had the honor (and I mean that) to speak to a few of my favorite authors via Twitter and FB, even by email. Thankfully they all have been very nice and very accommodating to the questions I passed to them. I even told them I hoped I wasn't bothering them with stupid questions. I'm full of them at times. Curiosity is a bitch. (laughs) But I am grateful they took the time to reply to a tweet, answer a question via email or add a comment on FB.
I work with the public. Face to face, voice to voice, through email and anything else that is asked of me. I say and hear my own name anywhere from 50 to a 100 times a day.. and no that is a good day. A bad day.. I lose count. You can ask Emmy (my blog partner/best friend/coworker) we have days where you forget to eat, drink, breath at times. (All true, no shit - Emmy)
Thankfully those are not as often as they used to be but.. There are days I swear I am changing my name or say "If they ask me that one more time", or my favorite, "Is it a full moon?"
(Stage whispers 'cause we say this a lot too but won't admit it. Just stares at that pic and winks..)
On a serious note, the thing is, you are always going to have people that push your buttons. That's life. Be glad people are interested enough in your work to ask "Hey, when is your book out?", "How can I find a list of your books?" or even, "Where can I find your work?". This should please you! These questions mean you have gained a new fan, or one is coming back after time away. Being rude to them is only going to piss them off, they will tell a friend and word travels quickly. Thing about readers, or at least with me and my friends (we are all book whores) we will say hey, don't read them, they are not nice people. (Whether you care or not, we do it!)
Lord knows some days I bite my tongue and chant "don't say it" it in my head more than I hear my name called... but I don't take my frustrations out on others. And I sure as hell don't toss it out and make it like I don't give two shits about other people. You may want to tell everyone off, yell, stomp your foot and all is fine until you drop a line to the wrong person and they whoop ya ass. Same difference here. Once it's said it can't be unsaid. It's not just an "Oh I was havin' a bad day" things. No, by the time its out and viral or said in front of others.. you can count that chicken hatched and in need of it's head chopped off. That may sound vulgar, stupid, or idiotic on my part or just not worth a thought but it is what it is. I call a spade a spade. You run off at the trap, say something you may or may not regret tomorrow and expect it all to be swept under the rug after it's seen by so many.
My advice to one and all (whether you want it or not..) is to think about what you are going to say before you type it out. Take an extra minute to look at it again and ask yourself, "Is this really what I want to say?" If you can say yes and not blink an eye then do it. Stand by it and move on. Just don't get offended, your feathers even more ruffled than you had before and make it worse. Sometimes the best thing to do when you feel this coming on is to take a deep breath, walk away and leave it be for a bit. Then readdress it. Your mind will be clear, you'll be relaxed and you may not come off as an asshole. Then again... that still may not help some. And as someone who is very quick to speak and act I'm giving you advice I have found to be helpful to me.
Lastly, being a public figure you have to give respect to earn it. Once that bridge is broken it most times can't be fixed. Think. Calm yourself, then react. Negativity is in our lives daily. We are all capable of it, we really don't need to pass it onto another and escalate it so that the devil on our shoulders wins. Let the Angel guide you to peace and serenity. We all deserve it.
Until next time have a good evening and remember to smile. A smile is the best medicine for a bad day. (and a stiff drink - Emmy)
P.S. Coming soon:: A review by Emmy on Gillian Flynn's Gone Girl. I will be reviewing Cassandra Claire's City of Heavenly Fire (still have a few chaps left to go, I keep getting distracted by shiny shit.); There will be reviews for Michael 'Mike' Hammor's Bedtime stories from the Apocalypse. A review of Nicole Ryse's Legacy. After that Emmy and I will be doing dual review posts for; Bonnie Lynne's Tides of Love; Solar book 1; Patricia Brigg's Mercy Thompson Series (8 novels) and The Black Dagger Brotherhood (12 novels and 1 novella).
Stay tuned for more Madness!! And Thank you Emmy for your spell checking and comma hunting. Dirty little bastards know I avoid them!!