Hmm, “Am I a social media ho?” -or- I used to be cool but now my 14 yr. old won’t let me.

Posted: October 25, 2012 in ebooks, novel, social media, Uncategorized
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There was a time when I was cool.  I know there was.  I can feel it like one of those distant memories that comes back to you with some clarity and you can glimpse it for a few moments, then it disappears.  Unfortunately, now the level of my coolness is completely dependent upon the whims of my 14 yr old teen queen – and she sets the bar pretty high.  Here is a recent conversation –

Me – “Hey, did I tell you that I now have 36k followers on Twitter.”    TQ (teen queen) –  “That’s not really cool, Dad, you don’t even know those people.”   Me – “Yes I do!  They’re all my BFF’s!”

TQ – “You mean even those folks you swap messages with in Korea and the Phillipines?”

Me – “Uh, yeah!   I’m good friends with all of them.  We chat about how much we love K-pop like ‘Gangnum Style'”   (I then begin to dance around the room like I’m riding a horse and sing the song.)

TQ- “Ok Dad, ok,  …stop dancing, please please stop dancing  ….. .I’m sure you are BFF’s with all your twitter followers (eyeroll).   You should know there is a new acronym for folks like you on social media.  It is  S-M-H .”

Me- “Wow!  Does it stand for  So Macho & Handsome?”      TQ –  “No…..  it stands for  —  Social Media Ho.”    Me – (indignantly) –  “No way!  I’m not a Social Media Ho.”    TQ –  “Well Dad, I didn’t make up the term.  You better

do a little checking on the web and see if maybe you are one.”      Me –     “Challenge accepted.”  

    

So, much to my chagrin, the Teen Queen has once again dictated the level of my coolness,  or in this case,  my LACK of coolness.   I was determined to discover if maybe I am a social media ho –

    Definition –  I decided that a Social Media Ho is someone who ONLY uses these channels in the following ways –  1)  To SOLELY hawk their products and services, 2) ONLY posts items about themselves  and 3) Doesn’t engage regularly with others

1)  I definitely fail this test as my only purpose in jumping on the social media train a year and half ago was to get the word out about my novel and try to sell some copies.  Busted.  But then it is obvious to me that the teen queen is not yet an adult (even though she claims to be)  in that she does not have  a work/business life and for most adults, this is a big part of who we are.  Furthermore, I think most adults are accepting of others chatting and announcing what they do for a living, particularly when they are self-employed.  We have to spread the word in order to get paid.  And my bet would be that most adults are cool with this….as long as this is not the ONLY thing that one chats/posts about on Social Media.  That is obnoxious and could -potentially- cause one to be labeled as an SMH.   I try to sell my products via Social Media, but it is only a portion of what I post/chat about.

2)  I can see where one’s definition of SMH can easily fall along generational lines. (see #1)  But I think that all of us can admit that our favorite subject is ourselves.  So posting about oneself and one’s beliefs is not – in and of itself – a characteristic of being a SMH.   Again, for me, it simply comes back to HOW MUCH you do this.  Do I only discuss/post/chat about me?  Do I inundate my followers with silly videos, inspirational pictures, push my political beliefs?   Well, not too much.  I try to share things that amuse me and things that others might find interesting.  Isn’t that why the like button exists on FB?  I do try to read what others are posting and I do use the “Like” button regularly to acknowledge what others have posted (and the twitter equivalent – retweeting) so, maybe I’m not quite in the SMH category in this regard.  But I need to monitor this, for sure.

3)  Now, for me, the “engaging with others” part has been the best part of joining the social media revolution.  I’m fascinated (and occasionally horrified) that I know more about folks – their beliefs, what their children are doing, where they live, what they’re passionate about, who they are friends with, etc.  Without FB and Twitter,  my circle of contacts would be much much smaller.  In addition, I’ve been able to connect with folks that I haven’t seen since High School, College, former workplaces, former neighbors, etc.  and I can get caught up on what has been happening with them (mostly) in a way that just would not exist without these channels.  In this regard, social media has been flat-out amazing.  I would have never known that someone from my hometown is now running a safari touring company in South Africa, or that another friend has spent most of the last 20 years sailing around the world. (Plus I would have never learned about ‘Gangum Style’, something that has truly changed my life -smile-) .  Even though my intent in joining the SM revolution would certainly be classified as “ho-ish”, the past year and a half has allowed me to chat and engage with so many folks that I now feel a little (just a little) addicted to it all.  I enjoy this part of it WAY more than I anticipated.    So, as far as the “engagement” piece goes, I’m good there and this hopefully offsets some of my failings in the other two categories.

So, hmm,  what do you think?   Would love your comments.    ** And just to entice you a little,  I will choose a random person from the folks that comment on this post to receive a free eBook copy of my novel.  **  Stay tuned!

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Comments
  1. LUV IT! it kinda creeps up on ya…this thing I call being a media tart…and it’s great fun.. but you’re right, Andy. It’s not all about merely pushing our stuff out there , and basically I have no issue about doing that.. if you’ve got it, flaunt it ..but the really wondrous development of bantering, smashing , cyber high-fiving mate s is fantastic fun..so if I’m a SMH, I’ll wear that particular badge with pride ! .. great post, that man ..
    P.S. I don’t ned to be in the raffle, i’ve got Fifty Shades of Grey already … cheers ! :):)

  2. I like Social Media but am not sure how to engage with people. It’s hard enough to read and comment on the blogs I follow and as for Tweets, how do you find time to write to people? I tend to tweet about writing since that’s my thing, but I feel really pressured when I think of all the people I haven’t spoken to. And I only have 1300 followers on Twitter…

    • andyholloman says:

      gabi, it gets to be 2nd nature with practice, if anything, i have over-invested in learning soc. media,
      i just suggest to folks that they follow people w/ similar interests and RT their comments regularly…
      twitter has just been incredible for me in regards to connecting me w/ other writers…never, ever would
      have guessed that….

  3. Alle Wells says:

    An appropriate response to my recent email announcing the birth of another social media group. Hey, I’m real impressed that you have 36K followers even if they don’t speak English! I still don’t understand how we can connect with so many people and not be famous, or at least, filthy rich.

  4. I like to think of myself as a classy call-guy.

    It’s only ho-dum if you’re givin’ it away. 🙂

  5. “It’s only ho-dum if you’re giving it away” – what a hoot! Loved the post, Andy. It’s hard to find the right balance between promotion and interaction. And let’s face, we’ve got to take time away from social media to get that next book written.

    Like you, I’ve been surprised by how much I’ve enjoyed social media – twitter, especially. I haven’t figured FB out yet, but will keep working it!

  6. juliabarrett says:

    Oh you are such a cool media ho! I’ll do Gangnam Style with you!

  7. Mont Carter says:

    I actually liked getting on Facebook and finding out(to my suprise)that an old football and “Ro High” buddy of mine was the author of a novel. While you handled some “PR” work on social media…about your book…I certainly have enjoyed your conversations with your children that you have shared more than anything else you’ve posted. They really hit home with me because I can certainly identify with them. Knowing you from a younger age and time it adds more to the stories because I remember your “style” of sense of humor! So keep sharing…ALL of what you share…especially the everyday conversations!! If one day you find yourself with no other choice but to be a SMH…give me call…..I’ll gladly be your pimp!!!!! Take care!

  8. I really like your post in part because I began to wonder if I was a SMH. I promote our book, a tweet a little bit about myself and some of my activities but a good portion is spent tweeting about others and re-tweeting – not to mention giving kudos to those that re-tweet for me/us. It is a most difficult balance.

    I did feel this strange twinge when I wasn’t able to get online for a whole week. I think it might have been withdrawal from social media. I haven’t been able to get enough of a fix.

  9. elisestokes says:

    LOL, Andy! Dancing Gangnum style— what can she possibly object to? Actually, I’ve been told “LOL” is lame (Maybe even “lame” is lame?). Only old people like us use it now. Guess I’d better skulk around their Facebook pages and find the latest and greatest acronym to destroy. “Ewwwww, my mom uses that!” 😉

  10. Greg Mischio says:

    Happy to have stumbled onto this post and found myself a blogger that I like. That’s the beauty of social media. I think the tough part for writers trying to promote themselves is the pacing of it all. Should I get 36K followers on Twitter? Or is it more beneficial to take 10 minutes out of more over-cluttered day to write this comment?

    Our kids love social media because they’re using it as it was intended. To engage. To chat. Not to hawk products. If they come up with something that’s great and worthy of a tweet, it will get retweeted. Kind of like a funny joke or a cool picture.

    So you’re totally right about this being an incredible way to meet new writers (I call us the byte-niks, instead of the beatniks). Will the SMH’s be the ones who rule the world in the end? Hard to say. But Twitter and all the networks are making it harder and harder to follow en masse, etc. They’re making us engage, one post at a time, one tweep at a time, whether we want to or not. I think, in the end, we’ll be the better for it.

    Great post, Andy. And damn nice to meet you.

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