Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Separation Anxiety: Juggling My Two Worlds

As many of you know, I've been on social media for about five years. Originally, I signed up for the Big Daddy of Social Media because I had moved AGAIN, and I wanted to keep up with my long distance friends. Then my Social Media world grew because I became very active in my writing world. After four years, I created a fan page off of my original site because I knew I'd need one when I finally get the "call." Or the "email" or the "you've done it Sister!" shout out.

My Social Media profile began growing with new contacts via the writing world, the College Kid's friends, the Physicist's family and friends, my new writing friends, and so forth. Pretty soon I wasn't able to see all of my close friends' posts because I had too many people flowing through my newsfeed. And I had all these writing chapter groups that I belonged to and that ate up my newsfeed. I tried to manage it all, but it was becoming very difficult.

Add to the mix the fact that I couldn't mention my kid's name, my husband's name, etc. and it was getting super crazy. I knew I had to separate the Writing World from my Personal World (really, who wants to see posts by my husband's cousin thrice removed about when he was ten?), but I was at a loss about how to do it.

Enter Sarah Wendell AKA Smart B*tch Book Reviewer and an awesome Southern Magic Chapter meeting about Digital Media and Promotion. I expressed my concerns to her and she waved her magic wand of knowledge which gave me the key to untangling both worlds. Thank you very much!!

I came home jazzed about how to untangle my worlds and begin again. But let me tell you, it was hard and I'm still figuring out how to complete the changes. Here's what I have learned:

1. Unfriending people is hard -- it takes a lot of effort and I needed to have two computers side-by-side to do it properly. Then I had to re-friend people on my new personal page. Somehow during the process I accidentally unfriended someone in my writing world, but thankfully that person checked in with me and I explained my issue and we are re-friended. Frankly, I've NEVER unfriended anyone deliberately--even if I have a tiff with that person--because I just don't think relationships should live and die by the push of a button. But that's just how I roll.

2. I'm still not sure I have my original email address for the Linda Howard contest up and running because I had to get a new email addy to create the new personal profile. So I'm running a test on that even as I write this blog.

3. Now I have yet another Social Media world to keep up with and it means keeping my new passwords with me and switching back and forth by signing in and signing out. I manage it right now by keeping one Social Media world on my iPad and the other on my laptop. We'll see how that rolls when I'm traveling.

4. I am enjoying being able to converse freely in both my worlds because they are really important worlds to me. I love my writer friends. They have great senses of humor, are super supportive of my writing efforts, and they matter to me. Many of my "professional" friends are really dear and important to me. But it's also nice to keep my family and long distance non-writing friends in a separate world because now I can say their names, see their news and updates, and be more relaxed about my posts. So it is a win-win for me all around.

Social Media is important. It's part of my life because I love being able to connect with the people I love and the people I admire. So now I'm liberated in both worlds.

How do you manage your Social Media? Do you need to play with more than one profile? Is it a love-hate relationship? Or is it a love-love relationship?


Meda White said...

You are very smart to work from two devices. I need to do the same. I also have a hard time unfriending people from one to the other. In fact, I haven't done it yet. Gulp! Thanks for sharing your journey. It's nice to know we don't walk alone.

Christine said...

Meda, before I did the mass migration, I posted that I would be making changes and to hang in with me which helped. Then I sent friend requests to a few people from my new personal profile before I de-friended them. Even that word sounds so mean, right? I literally had my iPad open to my friend list on my "Professional" profile, and my laptop next to it open to my new profile page. I wasn't easy sending requests and finding people on the new profile until a few peeps friended me there. Then "suggestions" popped up which made it easier. I had to send the Physicist a link to my new profile because FB wouldn't let me send him a friend request!! They wanted to charge me $1 to direct message him. Weird, right. I had about two or three more like that, so I had to find them after I had at least one mutual link to them. It took me about five hours total to do it. But I'm glad I invested the time NOW.

Angel Nicholas said...

It's definitely a love-hate relationship at this point. I'm still trying to figure out how to completely separate the personal from the professional. But then, I'm not that far into creating my professional persona. So being patient with myself is one lesson currently in the works.

Christine said...

Hi Angel: I know what you mean. It can be a love-hate relationship. But it's a necessary tool to use as writers. I suggest creating a new personal page profile before you get too close to publication. It's easier to get friends and family to migrate to a new page than people you are networking with in my honest opinion.

Good luck!!

Anne Gallagher said...

I hear you Christine. Managing any kind of Social Media these days is almost a full time job. But I'll go you one better --

Not only do I have my "real" personal life, I also have two pen names, each with different social media requirements. lol I'm just about ready for the funny farm.

Christine said...

Hi Anne:

Someone asked me what I'd do if I was asked to take a Pen Name after I'm published. I was like... mmmm good problem to have and yes, create another personality! Crazy. But it is part of the marketing game.

Good luck sorting out the different worlds :-)