I was raised in an era where photos were taken with an honest-to-God camera, film and all. Filters were for furnaces, family videos were only for rich people, a brand was for putting on cows, and selfies sounded like something that should be done in the privacy of your own room.
It’s not that I’m reaching the octogenarian stage of life (although I hope to make it that far :-), but my point is that technology is advancing at a ridiculously fast rate.
Especially when it comes to social media.
Now, intellectually I do a decent job of keeping up with technology’s learning curve, but emotionally I struggle with the personal aspects of internet life. I’m extremely private. And a bit of a perfectionist. And oh-my-God-I-get-on-my-own-nerves self-critical. That’s a disastrous mix when it comes to creating original content for Instagram, Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter, LinkedIn, yadda, yadda, yadda.
The younger generations intuitively swipe up, down, sideways, filter pictures, photoshop, snap chat, create brands, make videos–you name it, they do it. As the generations grow so do the platforms, which has altered our culture, making social media a societal norm.
And doesn’t that just push a middle-aged introvert right the hell out of her comfort zone?
I’ve tried to be that person on Instagram and Facebook. You know, the cute, outgoing duck-lipped selfy queen that’s vivacious and bubbly. But that’s just not me. I believe with all my heart that no one cares if I got a frappe-crappa-mocha-latte with whipped cream or not. And, after all this time, taking that hold-the-camera-high-so-your-wrinkles-don’t-show selfie sends me right back to high school, when I’d read a book at the end of the cafeteria table and hope the popular kids would leave me the hell alone.
But then, at the height of my social media angst, I ran across this quote, and my perception shifted.
I’ve been a published author for ten years, and in that time I’ve made friends across the globe, learned the ins and outs of the publishing industry, been on podcasts and vlogs, worked with some incredible authors, PR companies, editors, and publishing houses, and gained a great friend and fantastic agent, Italia Gandolfo over at Gandolfo, Helin, and Fountain Literary Management Agency.
Not too shabby, if I do say so myself.
I’m still trying to find that middle ground between duck-faced selfies and not posting for months on end. It’s hard though. Being authentic is essential to me. The problem is a lot of people don’t get me. I’m too serious. Too deep. A smidge too weird. But if taking that awkward selfie or stumbling through a video is what’s needed to connect and grow readers, so be it. I’ll keep muddling through, trying to reach out and relate to the people that happen to cross my feed.
Because ol’ Mick Kremling is right, I didn’t come this far to only come this far. I’ve still got a long way to go, good Lord willing. And I hope you’ll stay with me, every awkward, duck-lipped step of the way.