by Erin Mitchell
How are you doing? Everyone ok? One thing that’s true and nonpartisan about this political cycle is that it has certainly made social media a lot more...interesting.
Whether we choose to share them publicly or not, most of us have strong feelings about the American president-elect, and those who either support him or do not. Authors, shockingly, aren’t bereft of emotions about recent developments and the reactions people have had to them.
I’ve seen a lot of people (a LOT) post on Facebook and Twitter that everyone who thinks X (because it comes from both sides) should unfriend/unfollow the person posting. I have some opinions about this...
If you have to warn people that you’re about to offend them, perhaps it might be an idea to consider whether what you’re posting is off-brand. If it’s not—if, say, you’ve always discussed politics on your social feeds—then you shouldn’t need to issue a warning. If it is contrary to your personal or professional brand, maybe consider not posting it at all.
If you have considered and decided that extreme times call for extreme measures, fine. That’s your choice and more power to you. But there’s still no reason to instruct people to stop listening to you. Everyone knows they can and how to do this.
You know, too, that if you post something that is extreme and/or controversial (or, these days, even calm and considered) some people are likely going to get upset with you. I know, I know...it’s your page and you can say whateverthehell you want to. That’s true. You can. And people can react.
Remember: Unless your account is protected, everything you put on Twitter is public. On a Facebook profile, you have a great deal of control over who sees what on your profile. Click here for a clear explanation of what these controls are and how they work. Posts on a Facebook page are public, period.
I’ve long advocated for authors having both a profile and a page. They’re different audiences, and have different functionality. If you have a profile, you’re not required to accept every friend request you get. In fact, I recommend only accepting the ones from people you actually know or with whom you share enough friends to be confident they’re legit.
But regardless: Dramatic declarations of mass unfriendings serve no purpose. Save the drama for your stories!