I know, that’s terribly unexciting. It was a big step for me. In Shanna Germain’s class, she advises us to conquer that which we fear. It doesn’t matter how much (or how little) natural talent a writer has, those who deal with their fears will succeed, and those who don’t, fail. And that’s how I ended up on Twitter. I have general social media fears AND some specific to Twitter.
My fears include tweeting about the wrong thing. Examples: My husband bought a 1 lb. bag of carrots, and it only has five carrots in it! I found a brown gelatinous substance in the backyard while picking up dog crap! Something about Bravo’s Real Housewives–f’ing love me some Housewives.
More opportunities to say something stupid/engage in drama. You know that salty bastard you turn to when you need an opinion that resembles a lead pipe? Yeah, that’s me, only I’m a woman, which makes it a little disarming for some people when I do open my mouth. They’re just not expecting it. I really need to dampen that down on the internet, because there’s no tone. (Can you tell I’m kinda sleepy right now? As long as I don’t fall asleep on the keyboard, I think we’re good.) Something that you would laugh at me saying in person, or understand was blunt but good-natured, will come off totally differently stripped of my facial expression, body language, and vocal intonation.
As far as drama, we’ve all seen internet drama. Hell, I should have been writing last Saturday, but I was on Facebook, watching drama. It’s not like it makes me happy, but I can’t look away either. It’s like watching a celebrity implode. I will admit to wanting some popcorn, with that gross fake butter that gives you cancer, but I don’t care as long as it’s hot.
I’m also to an extent, thin-skinned. I deal with that by patting my feelings on my head and sending them on their way, and generally it works. If it doesn’t, well, a better analogy would be a bezoar which I manage to hack up a few weeks later (if that doesn’t work, I could just drink a shit ton of Coke apparently). Sometimes I listen to death metal, really loud. Not Metallica, Dew Scented.
Regardless of how I deal with my feelings, they’re always there, quick to surface and stifle reason. My own nonsense I can deal with, we’re good friends. It’s other people who throw me for a loop, and because of that, I can get squicked out from everything to a phone call to an email. You would think three star interviews would make my cry, but I don’t think it’s the actual rejection/meanness that bothers me (or in the case of the three star review I’m thinking of, her honesty), but my own anticipation of it, my own awkwardness that feels thick on my limbs.
That could be the core of my fear–that I just can’t fake social grace. Cringe-worthy moments are awful enough when they happen in real time, but social media is a record, preserving those moments for posterity.