Three guesses what I’m going to say — what’s that? You only need one? Yeah, go on then. Read it anyway:
Should Writers Abandon Social Media?
This week over at Publisher’s Weekly, Andrei Codrescu castigates the use of social networking as a complete waste of time. His interactions with his 5,000 “friends” has left him bitterly disappointed, complaining that “the camaraderie utopia of Facebook and every other social network is just pixel puff, literally a u-topos, the nowhere place where data bots work overtime to reduce you to a brainless consumer” and further, it’s “nothing but lies and fake grins,” so you can’t even get good material out of it.
Codrescu declares, “The time has come for writers to become inaccessible again.” Not, he says to cultivate a mystique, but because “no real writers ever lay down anything real in public.” Anis Shivani’s “New Rules for Writers” (which may or may not have been “satire” as belatedly claimed) likewise suggests avoiding publicity and shunning crowds. Writers need to be solitary iconoclasts: not a good match for social media. Most writers, however, are not likely to follow their urging because social media still offers the best way to get the word out in an ever-expanding market. But many do feel a sense of exhaustion from keeping up with everything.
Codrescu ought to have looked around a little more, because apparently “real writers” do “lay down” something real in public, especially when they think they’re talking between friends (h/t Simon Mason) and don’t expect their words to be lifted from Facebook and printed by a newspaper. You may know how to use the privacy settings, but does everyone you know know?
And Codrescu? If you can’t get good material out of Facebook, you’ve really got to get more interesting friends. I’m surrounded by passionate, funny, knowledgeable and fascinating folks who inspire me. I love the internets!
—and have you checked out the latest pages of JANE QUIET? Awesome work by Elena! We finally gave the new arc a title, too.