I’d previously all but left social media; I’ve lingered on Facebook because I have a few family members I keep up with there, a few interest groups and a large group of friends who use it for news and events. I use a bit of Flickr and Instagram because I love photography, but I still feel the slightly insidious effects of the latter creeping up on me from time to time.
It’s two-fold; I’d left Twitter because of the sheer volume of it all: there’s just so much. It’s very, very distracting, and after a while, however much mental discipline I have, Twitter became akin to someone poking me repeatedly with a blunt stick. Instagram’s impact is less, but in some ways more … creeping. It’s the comparison thing; seeing other people at their best and comparing it to yourself right now.
But to promote Parasites, I’ve returned to Twitter and bizarrely, it’s had Instagram’s effect. I’ve been following a few authors who I enjoy but suddenly I’m seeing it through a different lens. Almost like I’m standing next to Ken MacLeod, who Iain Banks saw as a friend and mentor, and I’m like ‘hey, look at me as well’. It’s extremely daunting.
It’s also great. I’m finding communities that I never knew existed. I’m interacting with people I never knew existed and learning a lot – the resources on Twitter for authors are formidable. But sometimes I do see a lot of raw hatred and anger, not to mention just a lot of input. I guess like people, it’s the best and worst all at once (and some stuff in between).