The moment I got back from secondary school, I would jump in front of the computer and sign in on MSN. I’d change my status and name occasionally to reflect the teen angst I thought at the time was powerful and thought-provoking (all of which in reality was cringe-inducingly bad), as we all do at some point.
That was pretty much the extent of my presence on social media. I added my classmates, spoke to them, annoyed them by sending a nudge, all that stuff. Most of you 20-something year old people will know what I’m talking about.
It was much simpler. It didn’t keep us from anything and, personally, I don’t feel like it affected me the way social media seems to affect people now.
It’s difficult to feel anything but a sense of wonderment when we look back and see how far we’ve come in regards to how much things have changed in our connection with others. It’s not just our friends we interact with now, it’s complete strangers, it’s celebrities — hell, even big brands are interacting with people on the Internet.
Admittedly, I’ve always been a bit oblivious when it comes to social media. I’ve had a Twitter account for a couple of years now but I’ve never really used it. I check the feed fairly often, but only because sometimes that’s the best way to gather entertainment news.
Quite a few writers have said that half the work writers do is marketing. After all, it’s not enough to have written something spectacular or Earth-shattering, you actually have to get people to read it. Nowadays that means competing with everyone else on a platform to have your voice heard.
It took me a while to really learn that. Years ago, when I was writing and publishing my novellas, I decided to avoid using social media for shameless self-promotion. That turned out well…
I may not be trying to promote any particular project but recently I figured I would try using social media a bit more. The problem was I had no idea where to begin, so I enlisted the aid of a few experts…and by “experts,” I mean younger people. My younger sisters, to be precise.
Now, just to clarify, I was already aware of the basics: use hashtags, follow people, and expect a ton of bots to follow you.
That knowledge helped me in no way.
Both my sisters opened my eyes to the insane amount of work that goes into maintaining and growing a social media account. Part of it made me feel unsure, especially when I was shown what other Instagram and Twitter users do to get followers. None that were genuinely popular, mind you, but appeared to be so at a glance.
I didn’t know if that actually helped them promote whatever it was they were doing, but I knew regardless that I wanted to avoid having to do that.
Self-promotion isn’t really my goal on social media. I just feel like sharing the little things about my writing life with interested strangers might be fun. Plus, familiarising myself with it might stop me from feeling as though I’d be more at home on a penny-farthing bicycle.
So I’m writing this to announce my Twitter and Instagram accounts.
I’m going to try and connect with people more so follow me on Twitter (@Narayan_Liu) and Instagram (@Narayan.liu), where I’ll (try) talk about films, TV shows, language, and culture, and update you whenever a new feature or blog post of mine is published…you know, just in case you’re interested.