Thursday, July 26, 2018

Social Media Whining

Social Media
On the one hand, I love the internet.

The internet enabled me to self publish, which in turn got me a publisher.

On the other hand, there's so much stress and melodrama that I could have done without it and become a plumber.

Come on, you know it's true. And the last few months should prove it better than anything.

Let's simply start with the egomaniacs who are so super sensitive to comments and posts that they have to lose their minds.

Starting Small

I mean, heck, there was a project where I was so thrown by editorial comments that I went to a group of friends and went, "Okay, I'm showing A, B, and C, so I can imply and the audience can infer D, E and F.  But the editor is seeing X, Y, and Z .... what am I doing wrong?"

So, of course, I ask what I'm doing wrong, in a post about my personal anxieties .... and said editor decided to go bat guano insane, then whine bitch and moan about how "unprofessional" I am that I was complaining about them....


Welcome to the internet, where your personal anxieties about the quality of your own work are actually considered insults to someone else...

Then again, in Sad Puppies Bite Back, I had conservative authors SWATted, and Lefties proclaimed that SPBB threatened them.

So this isn't about any one person. This is about, well, the internet.

Don't worry, I'm certain that someone is going to whine about this post too.

No, seriously. It's insane. My friend and fellow author Jon Van Stry wanted to celebrate with friends in a group on Facebook about how his sales had gone up! He found marketing that worked! Isn't it great!

Then at least one person decided to go outside the group and bitch about how it was "bragging" to mention how good your sales were....

Welcome to social media.
  • You can't be happy -- you're bragging.
  • You can't be sad -- you're either pathetic or playing for attention
  • You can't be angry about politics -- you might alienate readers
  • You can't be anxious -- you might offend someone even more insecure than you are.
Social media, where it's all about the "me" in media.

Hell, there are also whiny little bitches who block me, then complain "Declan Finn is passive aggressive!!!" .... Really? Unblock me, I can be aggressive aggressive if you want.

But no, there's a reason I've gone on a recent rampage of unfollowing or blocking people on Facebook. Why? Because social media is a sewer. It's filled with people who want to get a reaction. And I don't want to play in the sewer. We're now at the point where a lot of people (correctly) deride tabloid sights like File 770 for being a bot-filled rumor mongering sewer... but they don't seem to see social media as a whole is much the same thing. It's like high school all over again. Everyone, go get your cliques! Then make fun of the fat guy / nerd / geek / "outsider". If that person hits back, belittle them some more because all of the insults are merely "constructive criticism." Huh?

Again, it's high school. But instead of high school cliches, first we can break down by politics. Then by profession. Then a splinter group forms so they can make fun of the larger group, and then bitch whine and moan about individual members, because God forbid civility happens. "X isn't Left/ Right-wing enough."  "Y isn't / is too Libertarian."  "Z is a prima donna / playing victim / bragging / trolling / isn't serious" (that I've seen all at the same time).

Social Media at Large

And it's not just local social media. It's not just my streams. Or my groups. Or just personal interactions. Take the larger view in the regular world.. Expand this to social media at large.

It's no longer "avoid the comments section, and you'll be fine." For the past three, maybe four years, we've seen the "comments section" become a living, breathing part of the internet. Social media has elevated the sewer of comments to general discussion....

Or, looking at it from a different angle, social media has lowered online discussion to what used to be dismissed as "the comments section."

Every thread has has potential to become a flame war, and duel of the trolls. If feels like half of every post made online threatens to turns into "I hate X." Every thread turns into some type of virtue signaling. What group defines what the signal looks like. "I hate Vox Day / Trump / the Alt-Right" are just some of the virtue signaling I've seen on threads, public or private... and those aren't even the Leftists.

Hell, think I'm exaggerating? Look at half of the Sad Puppies "discussions" from 2015. Half of it was the bots of China Mike's File 770 throwing mud, and another quarter is by "professional" authors, mostly employed by Tor, throwing mud. The rest of the discussions were ... actual discussions, with real ideas being exchanged. Mostly by Brad or Larry.

And today? Today it's gotten even worse.

Look at the Origins or ConCarolinas BS. All of that was generated by glorified lefty trolls on Facebook. Either trolls who libeled Larry Correia, or trolls who claimed that John Ringo's fans "made them feel unsafe."

That was enough to get both of these bestselling authors removed from conventions.

Online, we have a Twitter channel called Diversity and Comics, and it's mostly about observing the downfall of the major comic book series and companies. He started his own comic book Jawbreakers... and it's starting to look like comic book "professional" Mark Waid went after his publisher to prevent Jawbreakers from being distributed.

Jawbreakers is now a fully funded kickstarter projected, and making money hand over fist.

So, I will acknowledge that these stories have happy endings.... mostly. Larry had been banned from Origins, but Origins has lousy attendance (according to people I know who were there, with photos).

But ConCarolinas has vowed never to bow to SJW and online pressure about guests ever again.

Jawbreakers will be published despite outside pressure.

But still, does anyone remember ten years back? The active phrase about the internet was "don't look at the comments."

Now, imagine back then if the comments of a blog or a YouTube channel actually dictated guest attendance at Cons.

Imagine if a flame war meant whether or not a product could be carried in a store.

Imagine a flame war having real world consequences and dictating what celebrities can show up at what locations?

I'm trying to imagine this happening as recently as five years ago. It would have been insane. I honestly can't imagine that it would have happened even two years ago, but I may just be way too optimistic about this.

But now? Mobs of trolls believe they can destroy people through slander / libel, and in some cases, they come close.

These "mobs" are only about twenty, and sound like hundreds.

Any number of authors have come under attack in the hopes that online lynch mobs will hurt them, or destroy them, or get them unemployed. It's been done to me. It's been done to Brian Niemeier. It's been done to Jon del Arroz. On the level of conventions, it actually worked (once) against Larry Correia and John Ringo. It's up for grabs to see if it'll work on that level again.... I'm certain someone will try. I don't think it's going to work, but we'll see.

So, yes, social media is important. Don't get me wrong. But it can also be a pain in the ass, where one whiny little a-hole can make the noise of twenty, whining and crying whatever narrative they like. Social media has lowered the standard of conversation online to such an extent, it's barely worth talking to some people.

Just remember, non illegitimi carborundum, and the internet is filled with the illegitimi.

Just like high school.

And this is why I don't write about high school. I write about adults in college. And setting things on fire.


  1. I have for well over a decade, and continue, to resist peer pressure to use Facebook and Twitter. Usenet tried to eat my life back in the day from a viral storm of mass hystria, and I ration social media to only a few places. I miss an occasional offer or coupon, but I have more sidniicant interactions on relevant topics.

    The biggest reason is the massive time vacuum. It rarely adds to my happiness of makes my day ot efforts better.

    If you aren't aware of it, you might like the Ethics alarms blog.


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