I’m a lurker. I like to think I’m not a creepy lurker, but I’ll admit I could be wrong about that. In real life I’m shy but generally sociable. Online? Not so much. Some of the blogs I love I’ve been reading for, literally, a decade without ever commenting. I follow over 425 people on Twitter most of whom I never have and never will engage in an online conversation with (even though I spend a ridiculous amount of time reading and enjoying their tweets).
When I first started trying to write with the idea of, someday, being published and maybe sort of asking people to buy my books I decided my days of lurking were over. I thought: I need to engage with people! I need to stop being an almost purely receptive internet presence and start broadcasting! I need to develop an authorial persona and voice for social media! (Putting the cart before the horse is a longstanding hobby of mine.)
It didn’t take me long before I remembered that I am who I am, and I am not a person who enjoys jumping into conversations. I like talking, kind of a lot, but I don’t like introducing myself. And being engaged on social media requires a confidence in what you have to offer that I rarely feel in 140 character bursts. So I’m back to being a largely receptive online presence. (This blog excepted, natch.) And really, forcing myself out of my comfort zone just so I can have the kind of internet platform I think a writer should ideally have is not the best use of my time or my energy. Let us be real here together: I’d be better off spending my time and moxie finishing my damn book.
How do you interact online? Are you a natural internet social butterfly or more of a lurker like me? Do you feel any pressure to build a social media presence for yourself?