Photo on 2011-10-25 at 13.22

Shanna as person, being dorky in bunny ears.

shanna2smallest

Shanna as professional, during an author photo shoot.

Food for thought and a question: Earlier today I posted this status update to Facebook, which got some interesting and unexpected responses. All of which got me to thinking about my social media “brand” as a person, as a writer and as a business.

Typically, I treat the people who share my social media network as friends. I comment on things that are interesting to me; talk about my (and my friends’) creative process/goals/failures/successes; share images and dreams and personal hopes; discuss society and culture; ask for advice; and try to initiate conversation and discussion. I don’t have a “personal” page that only my close friends get. I don’t have an author page that’s only for my fans. I don’t use lists to separate my postings. What you get is what you get — and you pretty much get all of me. For a long time, this worked really well for me.

But lately, I find myself frustrated at social media. At the general lack of reading comprehension and inability to adjust responses appropriately based on the context of a specific post. At the pithiness and snarkiness that so often replaces actual interaction. It has begun to outweigh the joy I have at spending online time with people I adore, with sharing this creative space with other people. All of this makes me wonder if I’m misunderstanding the way that most people use (and want to use) social media. It also makes me wonder if I should be using social media differently myself. Coming to social media every day with an open heart and an open mind gets harder and harder for me.

So, here’s my question: As I move forward into the new year, I’m curious to know what draws you to social media? Why are you here? What do you hope to get from it? What frustrates you about it?

And, more specifically, what do you like and dislike about the way that I use social media? Do you want Shanna as a person, who talks about everything from erotica and gaming to cookies and spending time with loved ones? Or is that overkill? Do you want Shanna as a business, who keeps her posts professional and focused on writing and creating? Or is that boring? Do you want something in between, something else that I haven’t thought of?

I’m interested in hearing your thoughts.

Kiss kiss bang bang, s.

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