Shameless Self Promotion

“Don’t forget to subscribe!”

“Like me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram”

“Leave a comment on my YouTube channel”

“Share with your friends and family”

and seriously . . . “Don’t forget to subscribe!”

These are comments we hear or read on a near-daily basis. It seems like everyone is screaming “Like me! Notice me! Accept me!” Are we losers unless we have hundreds of Facebook “friends,” Twitter followers and YouTube channel subscribers? Are we irrelevant unless everything we do is seen and validated by others? When did this happen? Actually, It’s always been.

Life is a popularity contest. As much as we like to think this type of nonsense ends when we graduate from high school, the truth is that it continues throughout our lives . . . with office politics, online one-upmanship, even politics on the playground—sadly, I’m talking about the parents here, not the kids.  With the advent of digital technology, validation seekers have been forced to comply with unspoken rules in order to be viewed as popular, well-liked or successful.  That is, be widely watched and known on social media sites.

I liken the world wide web to a giant public bathroom wall. There are millions of names and telephone numbers on it, but they may as well be invisible because they all blend together. Only the name that is much larger than the rest, or in bold lettering, will get noticed. Likewise, on the internet the websites or blogs that constantly scream for attention are the ones that get viewed.  Still, It’s funny to see people going to such aggressive lengths to get noticed.

Writers and authors are ingratiated to self-promotion as much as people in any other field–maybe even more so.  In order to be noticed, you must promote yourself and your work on social media and writer’s websites.  I have a real problem with this.  By nature, I’m a shrinking violet.  My mother always taught me it was bad manners to brag about yourself.  As a result, it is very hard for me to say and write glowing things about myself and my work.  I feel embarrassed like a . . . shameless self-promoter. I marvel at how others are able to promote themselves so easily and effectively on social media.  This is something I need to work hard on.  My plan is to try and grow an audience on Twitter and Facebook by casually and frequently mentioning my writing, my blog and when any new works will be released.  It will be difficult, but necessary.