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Integrity in Social Media

English: Silhouette of three books

There have been several articles I’ve read recently that have brought validation to some thoughts that have been bouncing around in my mind. It’s about integrity in social media.

As we speak of integrity in social media, I think it’s a lot about integrity to who we are—and who people know us to be.

Some people can sell/promote anything. We know it. We sift through what they are selling/promoting for what is relevant to us, and that’s fine. They are being true to themselves.

But what if we don’t fall into that category? Are we being true to who we are? Are we being true to who people know us to be? Are we presenting who we really are on social media?

Are we “LIKING” this and that because we really “LIKE”  it—or is there a lot of social networking peer pressure coming into play?

This whole social media is a learning experience. I, for one, have tried different things, but in the end, sometimes it’s just not “me.” I keep coming back to being true to who I am.

If I wouldn’t normally suggest a book, blog, or video clip to my friend sitting next to me, why would I promote it to the whole world of Twitter or Facebook?

If I wouldn’t normally suggest anything I haven’t read, if I wouldn’t normally suggest something I couldn’t vouch for, why promote it on Twitter? On Facebook?

Unless, of course, a track record has been established.

We’ve all had authors whose books have hooked us. We buy the next one, barely stopping to read the synopsis on the back cover.

We may promote an author because we have read their blogs. We know they can write. We’ve seen it! We’ve read their work. So we promote them. We’re promoting the writer we’ve come to know.

Sometimes I promote an author’s blog, but not their books.—Weird? Not really. They are writers. They are great writers. Their blogs are awesome. But their books? Sometimes it’s obvious that the content lands far beyond my conservative Christian threshold. I’ve no doubt the quality of craft is there, but I know I wouldn’t be true to myself if I recommended a book that fell outside my realm of comfort, outside my belief system. So I don’t, even though I can still applaud their ability, even though I can still promote their blogs.

We may even promote an editor we’ve never used.— I have! Of course, I admitted that I hadn’t personally used the editor, but she had won me over. I had followed her blog. I had seen the proper use of grammar in her own writing. Through mutual online groups, I saw an honesty and work ethic that impressed me. She made it to my list of editors to use—and so I recommended her.

All that being said, recognize the fact that if I’m tweeting, blogging, or face-booking about a book, blog, or video trailer, that’s a good thing. It’s because someone I have connected with is behind the product—and I’m impressed. Impressed enough to tweet it! Impressed enough to promote it!

And if I’m not tweeting about it? It might just be that I haven’t yet had time to read or watch it!

I’m not saying we need to conduct an in-depth investigation into every tweet we make, but I do suggest we strive to be true to who we are, to stop and think before we tweet, before we post, and before we blog. Let’s be sure we’re being true to who we are.

Integrity to who we are. I think that’s important. Any thoughts?

  1. February 15, 2012 at 7:57 am

    I, too, feel integrity is important. Critical in fact. If I tweet or FB something I have read or seen, then you know I really like it, enjoyed it, agree with it. Like me tweeting and FBing this post! I agree!

  2. February 15, 2012 at 8:50 am

    You are a keeper, Girl, a true inspiration. I am grateful that we have met even if only in cyberspace.

    • February 15, 2012 at 9:22 am

      Same here, Wendy! Great to have gotten to know you—even if only in cyberspace. Of course, my Canadian roots make you seem closer! (Even if I now write American style!)

  3. February 15, 2012 at 8:52 am

    Seems there has been a lot of talk about this subject lately and it is thought provoking. For me, I’ll admit that sometimes “good manners” influences me when I see that someone has put a lot of effort in to writing and posting something and it’s been posted for hours and hours and no one has commented or liked it. I read it and if it isn’t just terrible I will comment or like it. Maybe that’s the wrong reason. But I’m not a critic, I’m a person.

    • February 15, 2012 at 9:12 am

      DiAnne, manners are always important! So true! Please do not think I’m saying never to tweet or credit someone unless they pass a stringent and complicated test. You are obviously being true to yourself, to your “good manners”—and that’s important! You’re crediting people for the obvious effort you’ve seen put into their work. Hopefully, I have good manners too!

      We’re all so different, and that’s not bad. In fact, it’s good! Life would be quite boring if we were all cut from the same cookie cutter! My point is to be true to who we are in our social media. To be real. To not change who we are simply because we are online.

      Keep being a person! 🙂

  4. February 15, 2012 at 9:17 am

    I think good manners does have some to do with it. Like DiAnne, and being a blogger, writer, editor, I see all the work that goes into a great article or story. And we must be true-to-self. Very important. I too, sometimes feel bad for a person who posts something and there is an echo!

    • February 15, 2012 at 9:42 am

      The balance. As in all things in life, we strive for the balance. 🙂

  5. February 15, 2012 at 5:41 pm

    Truly this is food for thought. Great post. Integrity has to be a part of who you are and thus will guide your decisions in all tihings; including social media. Thanks for the reminder, however.

  6. February 16, 2012 at 8:51 am

    I agree with you Rosie, wholeheartedly. personally, I made a resolution NOT to promote anything that I don’t love, or respect, or think has value. You are right, there is a lot of peer pressure on FB to LIKE and tick boxes. I will not. Otherwise it means our words are dust.

    • February 16, 2012 at 8:59 am

      Thanks, Niamh! I love how you put it, that otherwise it means our words are dust. And really, dusty words are hard to swallow!

    • February 16, 2012 at 3:57 pm

      Well, Niamh in a sense this is really great because when and if we do get a “like” from you it will really be something to be really happy about! I like that! 🙂

      • February 16, 2012 at 4:01 pm

        Ditto that! Real “LIKES” are so heart-warming!

  7. February 16, 2012 at 9:45 am

    Excellent post. I, too, am not comfortable with having to “like” or tweet about a book unless I have read it or know the author is a good writer. Again, this reflects back to the problem with self-publishing. How does the diamond shine among the coal if everyone promotes without reading the work? I agree, that there must be balance.

    • February 16, 2012 at 10:05 am

      Thanks for your thoughts, Judy! I agree that it’s an issue with self-publishing. The balance of promoting others—but being sure we know what we’re promoting. When I promote a book, I want my stamp of approval on it! It’s not just a promotion, but a recommendation. Ah, the balancing act seeps into all areas of our lives!

  8. February 16, 2012 at 4:21 pm

    “Has value” also rings true with me. I might read a blog about writing romance. Even though I don’t write romance, if I feel it has merit, I will share it. Same for stuff on social networking, blogging, and so on.

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