Effective Bookish Facebook Groups: Featuring Band of Dystopian Authors & Fans

Those of you who’ve followed this blog for a while know I have a love-hate relationship with Facebook. I’ve thoroughly outlined the reasons why it’s good to step away from time to time, but I haven’t delved into the main reason I always come back.

I’ve met amazing individuals online who share the same interests, obsessions, goals, dreams, and hobbies as I do. Whether they be reader or writer, they’re  wonderful folks I don’t have around me in real life. They get me, in all my word nerd glory, they support and encourage me in my endeavors, they enrich my life with their own unique lights and talents, and some of them even buy, read, and review my books. This is enough to get me through even the bleakest of days as an indie author.

One of my favorite places to find such people is the Facebook group, Band of Dystopian Authors and Fans. When I stumbled upon this gem in the sand I was mesmerized. There was something different, a magnetism, a life I hadn’t yet found in any other FB groups. Until that point, most of the bookish groups I’d joined were a conglomeration of spammy promo posts and other such noise that felt similar to being at a street market where everyone spoke different languages than me. It didn’t take me long to figure out that BOD was a special place. I’ve made tons of friends, gained readership, and had a blast being in this group, so I thought I’d get to the bottom of what makes BOD tick. The moderators of the group, Cheer Stephenson and ER Arroyo, have graciously agreed to lay out all the juicy details for your visual consumption. Enjoy 🙂

Hey, Cheer and ER! Welcome to A Spark in the Dark. Thank you so much for taking the time to answer some questions about Band of Dystopian Authors and Fans. Can you tell us a little about yourselves?

Cheer: I’m an avid reader constantly on the lookout for my next escape. If I’m not reading, I’m a mom to three amazing kids and I work as a Dental Hygienist. Before BOD, I was a moderator for a group on Goodreads that focused on YA dystopian and apocalyptic fiction. I was able to connect and interact with some amazing authors, including ER Arroyo, which eventually led to the genesis of BOD. I guess you could say I enjoy promoting books and being a cheerleader for my favorite authors.

ER: I’m an author of young adult, dystopian, apocalyptic, and post-apocalyptic fiction (Antius Ascending Series, Prep For Doom, The Doomsday Chronicles). I created and edited Band of Dystopian’s anthology, Prep For Doom. I’m also a wife and mom.

~How did Band of Dystopian Authors and Fans come to be?

ER: BOD was the result of a discussion I had with a friend who’d encouraged me to join a dystopian book group on Facebook. At the time I couldn’t find a single one. I took the idea to start one to Cheer, and it all just fell into place from there! I’m pretty sure she came up with the title, too.

Cheer: I, for one, refused to believe that dystopian fiction was a fad on its way out, but no matter where I searched, I could not find an active community dedicated to the genres I love.  When ER approached me with the idea of starting a Facebook group where fans and authors could mingle, I jumped at the chance. From that moment on, we were flying by the seat of our pants.

ER: For the record, we are no longer flying by the seat of our pants. LOL.

~What do you love most about BOD?

ER: Camaraderie among the authors and the sense of community throughout the group, fans and authors alike.

Cheer: What do I love most? Oh, that’s a tough one. I guess I appreciate the fact that members come from all walks of life, with different backgrounds and beliefs, but we are bonded by a common love for dystopian and apocalyptic fiction. Despite our differences, we are honest, yet courteous. So I guess that means I love the RESPECT I witness every single day on BOD.

~What’s the deal with zombies? Why the obsession?

ER: This was kind of a discovery on Cheer’s part. It was never really a big deal when we were starting out – it wasn’t, like, a goal of ours or anything to make a big deal out of zombies.

Cheer: A lot of apocalyptic stories involve zombies and the zombies refused to be ignored. Prior to BOD, I discovered authors like Carrie Ryan, Ilsa J. Bick, and Rhiannon Frater and surprise, I fell in love with zombie fiction. Apparently, I wasn’t alone, thus the birth of BOD’s zombie craze.  

~Why do you think people are so fascinated with Dystopian and Post-Apocalyptic fiction?

ER: We’ve asked this question in the group before to see what people would say, and the reasons vary. I can only speak for myself in saying it’s because it allows me to imagine a world with a completely different set of rules, different set of stakes, but it’s still so grounded in our actual reality that it’s relatable (as opposed to fantasy genres or others similar). It’s easy to imagine ourselves in these dystopian, apocalyptic, or post-apocalyptic situations and settings. For some reason, our current society has kind of romanticized the apocalypse. I’m not sure why. I read an article recently that said young people identify specifically with dystopian so much because this generation of young people are more aware of social injustice than generations past. I think there’s something to that.

Cheer:  We see major changes happening in the world every day and fiction is becoming reality. We are experiencing terrifying world events we never would have believed possible. In part, it’s a reality check, but the fascination runs deeper than that. I think the idea that people’s values and motivations change when stressed, for either good or bad, makes for situations that are riveting and horrifying at the same time. What kind of person would I be in an apocalypse? Would my morals change as I struggle to survive? It just makes you stop and think.

~What’s the hardest thing about running a group this size? How on Earth do you manage to keep order in a group of over 3,000 people?

ER: With a dystopian-style iron fist! Just kidding. It’s a lot of work, honestly, but we divvy up. I tend to watch over the group during the day, Cheer does more so at night. We also have slightly different roles, Cheer being more of the face of the thing and me being the behind-the-scenes one. We have rules in our “about” section, and we do our best to fairly apply them. We are very attentive to what gets posted, and we keep an eye on conversations/comments. Basically, Cheer’s the party and I’m the gatekeeper. If you have ever had a post come up missing, it was most likely me who deleted it. I delete a LOT of posts (usually advertisements unfit for the group’s focus, like cookbooks for example). We are hyper-aware of the atmosphere in the group, and we work hard to preserve it, because we think that is the best thing we have going for us. But preserving that is also the hardest part – having to constantly keep an eye on things and delete posts that are out of pocket, and even worse, when we have to message people and ask them to stop doing something, or to change something they’re doing. Confrontation sucks. But we would much rather confront one person than allow drama to infect the atmosphere in the group at large. Our “culture” is important to us. Say it with me… “BOD IS A HAPPY PLACE.”

Cheer: Team work! Maybe it was just luck, but ER and I seem to strike a healthy balance. We have different talents, strengths, and weaknesses, but combined we are a fierce team. We also have an amazing line-up of assistants for which I am truly grateful.

ER: True that on the assistants!

~How would things be different if the number of members surpasses, say… 10,000?

ER: That’s tough to say! Maybe we would need more assistants? Maybe even stricter rules, hate to say it. We attempted to not have any rules at the start but as we grew, we had to add guidelines.

Cheer: Goodness! Let me wrap my brain around that number. Nope, can’t do it. We will embrace that challenge as it comes.

~It’s obvious you’re very committed to BOD. Are there ever times in which you feel you need to back away and breathe? If so, what do you do?

ER: I think our partnership is key (teamwork). No decisions are made that Cheer and I don’t discuss and decide on together. We help each other out. There are ebbs and flows in the group and in our lives. We do our best to support each other and help fill in the gaps when the other is spent. And as Cheer mentioned, our assistants (currently we have five). We definitely all need breaks from time to time, and the other members of our team are usually right there to jump in and keep it covered when we ask for a break or for help.

Cheer: We have incredibly busy lives outside of BOD and at times that can be overwhelming. We are really good at communicating when we need to step back for awhile. Luckily there’s always someone willing to take the driver’s seat for awhile.  ER and I try to always make sure our team isn’t overburdened. We want this to be fun, not just work.

~What would you say are the three most important rules for running an effective Facebook Group/Community?

ER: A lot of this depends on the intent of the group. A group with a different purpose would have different goals and therefore different rules. For BOD, I would say…

  1. Keep it FUN – People genuinely enjoy spending time in BOD. We don’t ever want that to change.
  2. Foster COMMUNITY – Real friendships have been made in our group, and many of us feel like a big family. You have to remember that we are united by a common interest that most of us don’t have people to share with in “real life.” BOD is a tribe. People should feel safe expressing themselves with us. And they can be as nerdy as they want with no recourse.
  3. Stay EFFECTIVE – We have learned what does and doesn’t work for us. We get ideas from people all the time, but at the end of the day, Cheer and I have to trust our gut and stay within the realm of what our experience has taught us will be most effective and enjoyable.

(We realize selling books is an intent of authors in the group, and it’s one that we welcome, but when we focus more on keeping people excited and having a good time, they find great books to buy and read as a byproduct that we don’t have to push for. It’s why we are so strict about promoting.)

Cheer: ER nailed it.

~Have you ever had to ban anyone? If so, why?

ER: LOL – yes. Spammers usually get removed or blocked (Ray-Bans, anyone?). We also remove people, without necessarily blocking them, for joining the group and promo-dumping stuff that has nothing to do with our genre guidelines. So help me, nothing will get a person booted faster than promoting a romance novel. Indie author promotion places are SWIMMING in romance titles. We created BOD so our niche genres could stand without being drowned out by the (many, many, many) romance books. We aren’t against those authors or those books, this just isn’t the place for them (of course this doesn’t refer to dystopian, apoc, or post-apoc romances; those are welcome, but it would help to include one of those keywords in the written part of your post if you share a romance-looking book). But seriously, go to literally any other non-niche Facebook group and see how long you have to scroll before finding, say, five titles that aren’t romance. We also get random stuff like cookbooks and self-help that we delete, and if the unfit posting persists we remove the user. And of course, if someone is nasty towards others or blocks an admin, we remove them from the group as well.

Cheer: Reluctantly, yes; however you really have to work at getting banned. We are fairly tolerant, to a point.

~What are your thoughts on adding people to a group without their permission?

ER: This isn’t something I’ve given much thought to, honestly. We haven’t had any issues that I’m aware of. But I’ve heard some people get pretty agitated about it.

Cheer: Yeah, I don’t like that at all. In the beginning, I would message authors and invite them to check us out. Invite, don’t add without permission.

~From personal experience, I’ve seen the outcome of your awesome release parties for your “BOD Authors.” They’ve helped me hit the Amazon bestseller list each time. I’d totally understand if you charged, and I’d also be willing to pay you, as I’m sure many authors would. So, my question is: Why do it for free?

ER: We’ve had this conversation several times actually. I think it’s because Cheer is so generous. Also, we spend a LOT of time focusing on our readers. We want authors to know we support them too. If we ever start to charge, it’ll be because it costs us money, and it costs whoever is hosting a lot of time.

Cheer: It goes back to our mission, we want to introduce fans to authors  and encourage reading. When money is involved, the atmosphere changes and we have worked hard to maintain a positive vibe.  

~Why do you think a lot of Facebook groups don’t “work?”

ER: I can only speculate, since I’ve not really been exposed to other groups with any sort of regularity. But maybe because it’s a lot of hard work – that would be my guess. This is a day in and day out burden of responsibility. Also, I hear drama is a big problem in other groups. We strive to be supportive and positive and insist our members behave that way as well.

Cheer: I’m guessing that groups without purpose, consistency, and dedication fail over time. In addition, I believe our motivation is pure and sincere, and members can sense that and want to stay.

~To sum up, what advice would you give someone who wants to create and run an effective, fun Facebook Group?

ER: Be ready to spend some money on prizes :). Figure out your group’s purpose in advance, create guidelines to help achieve it, and be proactive about pursuing your goals. Do your best to squash drama ASAP. Have tough conversations with people in private when needed, never in front of others. Keep a positive tone and don’t complain publicly.

Cheer: Respect your audience. Listen to their needs and ideas. Serve your fans and authors and in turn they will reward you with their loyalty. Keep it fun and real and leave your insecurities at the door. Recognize that you will never please everyone and that’s okay. Sounds like a checklist, but it’s not. It’s just about being kind while doing what you love.

~What should the person reading this do if they’d like to join BOD?

ER: Visit www.facebook.com/groups/bandofdystopian and click join 🙂

~I  BOD SWAG. Can you share some pics with us, and maybe a link to where we can get some of our own?

Cheer: We periodically have BOD tees up for pre-order, but merchandise, such as swag, is primarily for giveaways. We like to keep it special. I’m not sure how much longer we can hold out though. Fan loyalty demands representation.

Thank you so much for giving us your time and insight, ladies! I look forward to the amazing things BOD has in store for the future.

 

**What about you? Have any experience with Facebook groups you’d like to share? Let us know in the comments below.

 

Advertisements

‿➹⁀How to Sell More Books on Facebook‿➹⁀

computer-snoopingSo. You’ve spent the last four hours spamming twelve thousand FB groups that inhabit only others doing exactly the same thing. How’s that working for ya?

Have you ever bothered to go back into one of these promo-only groups and check the response?

Chances are, you just wasted four hours of your life you’ll never get back. No likes, no comments, and I guarantee no sales, for the most part. In fact, I’d say all you got from this ordeal was an achy click-finger, bug-eyes, chair-ass, and a sour mood.

Never fear. I’m here to help.

*Hangs top hat and cane on wall rack, straightens suspenders*

*clears throat*

Imagine for a moment that this is real life. And let’s say your book is a beautiful, rare, only-found-in-the-shark-inhabited-waters-of-Fiji fish called … Le Bookuri. So, there 8sassoondock croppedyou are in a crowded marketplace, telling everyone how great your Le Bookuri is and that they should buy it, but the problem is, they also have this rare, precious Le Bookuri. Why would they need any of yours? And why are you trying to sell it to them in the first place?

So what do you do? You go to where the hungry people with no Le Bookuri are. You must hunt these people down. They do not generally travel in packs, no … that would be too easy. They are rogue, traveling the vast plains of Facebookland, hungry for their next Le Bookuri … Will it be yours? Chances are, if you’ve taken care of the following items, your Le Bookuri will be exactly what they need to wet their whistle and whet their appetite.

Make your Le Bookuri stand out from the rest.

Everyone has it. You have to do something different. Shine its scales, season it, remove the bones, fry it up and serve it with some tar-tar, but whatever you do, don’t expect a hungry person to jump at some flopping, wiggly thing that’s still half-alive. Make sure it’s finished, prepped, and served up proper. Spend time on this—don’t rush. Seriously. If it takes a year or longer, then that’s what it takes. Just because the lady in the next stand over can whip up five at a time twice a week and sell them at half-price to the street beggars, doesn’t mean that’s what you should do. Create an exquisite dining experience that you can be proud of. As long as it takes.

Make connections.

You can’t expect to be hand-picked out of the crowd of Le Bookuri fisherman unless you have made connections. Those hungry folks are going to feed you in return, yes, so it’s important that you sell your Le Bookuri to them, of course. But make them remember you. Give them a free Le Bookuri, even. Because if they like it and they like you—because you were generous enough to give without expecting in return—then they’ll be more apt to go tell their friends and family about this wonderful Le Bookuri experience they had, and they will send more hungry folks your way.

Quitcherbellyachin’.

Nobody wants to hear your sob story about how you didn’t sell any Le Bookuri last week. It’s annoying. They have enough problems of their own. They have a sick kid or bills they can’t pay. Their igloo is about to get repo’d or their sled has a rusty runner. They can’t figure out how to get that stupid childproof lid off their meds and they have a bunion. And the like. You never know what’s going on in other people’s lives, and I guaran-flippin-tee-ya your lack of Le Bookuri sales is not a burden others want to shoulder as they navigate the icy slopes of Facebookland. (I’m not sure when it started snowing, either, but just go with it people—focus.)

Nextly and lastly,

Don’t be an asshat.

Nobody wants to be around somebody who obviously thinks their Le Bookuri is the crème de la crème and is not afraid to display an array of snobbery to prove their position as high above the rest in the Le Bookuri marketplace. Unless you are one of the few big guys who can easily sell their Le Bookuri to other, lesser Le Bookuri fisherman, quit being a jerk and be nice to people, even other Le Bookuri fishermen. They may take a liking to you and share some of their customers with you, and they may even be nice enough to point out that squiggly black hair protruding from the half-baked mess on tarnished silver resting in your lap, there. Get back to work. Get humble. Say thank you. And for goodness sake, put your hair up.

So in short: quit wasting time with the spam-bot promo posts, and instead, spend that time polishing up the most amazing Le Bookuri you can, and make genuine connections with other humans. It works. I’ve experienced this magic myself over the last year since I first published.

What about you? Do you have any experiences on this topic you’d like to share? Spit it out in the comments below, if you dare. 😉

And until next time, fellow Le Bookurians,

Write on ❤

★★★If you’d like to check out my mature YA Dystopian Scifi Horror bestseller, “The Treemakers,” click the cover.  “The Soultakers,” (book 2) releases 12/3. You can check out some early reviews on Goodreads for now by clicking on the cover.

UPDATED EBOOK COVER WITH TAGLINES smaller

TST EBOOK at 50 percent

 

Because I Can’t Not Do It (or… Why I Write)

einstein-imagination-book-10hj8iv

That is the short, simple answer. The question was brought to me along with the nomination to partake in a blog-hop, in which the topic is “Why I Write.” Thank you,  >Bexy McFly< , for thinking of me 🙂

When I first started brainstorming on what I thought would be a very simplistic, possibly boring blog post, I realized that in this simple question, lies the very marrow of my own existence. In contemplating the question, I once again realized how much writing means to me, and just how important it is in my life.

I’d like to do something a little different. Being a fairly new blogger (this blog will turn one year-old in December), I’ve seen some things from other bloggers whom I adore, which I would like to encompass in my own space. I’d like to make this blog more interactive, which will allow me to get to know you better, as well as allow you the opportunity to connect with other, like-minded individuals.

To start, I want to involve you in this post. After you check out Why I Write, I invite you to write your own compilation of reasons of “Why I Write” on your own blog or website and link back here in the comments below. I’m excited to see what you have to say. 🙂 You may do this at anytime–there is no time restriction on this.

So, without further ado, I present to you, ten reasons why I write:

#10. Because all the other cheap jobs were sold-out  😉

Truth be told, I suck at jobs. I don’t know how many I’ve had over the years… fifty, sixty? I lost count years ago. There were those ten years as a _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ (rhymes with bad tipper…?) which we won’t talk about because I wouldn’t want to spoil the future novel that will be inspired by that time. But before and after and mixed sporadically throughout those years were a plethora of other job “mishaps.” There were the hangovers early mornings (4am to be exact) at the donut shop in Worcester, MA in the dead of winter…2 weeks. There was the night shift at the gas station… I mean, who wouldn’t lock the door and sneak to the carwash to smoke a joint every morning at 4:20 am, right? Then there were the bookstores, where I met my first husband, and later, his replacement… the ice cream shop where the bathroom seemed like a nice place to “enjoy” another employee… while on the clock… Um, yeah. So, as you see… I’ve had to shop the clearance aisle on jobs for a long time.

It took years to discover a few truths: a. I had various problems that led to my plethora of job “mishaps” (which have been addressed and arrested) and b. Everything that has happened in my life up to this point has been fiction-fodder. I was always meant to write. Which brings me to…

#9. Because it’s the only thing I do really well . . . minus rocking handcuffs. (Seriously, I make them look good.) 

My entire life has been a series of broken promises and things started and not finished. High school and later, college, failed marriages, abandoned projects, dreams, plans, goals, etc. One thing that screwed me up was I always thought “just being a writer” wasn’t good enough–or the flip side of that–“I’m not good enough to just be a writer–” I spent years searching for where I fit into the grand scheme of things. And failing, always failing. Most of my life, I believed I was a failure. As a friend, a wife, a daughter, a mother… a human being in general. Writing was the only constant in my life, from the time I was fourteen years old. I have tons of journals, loaded with depressing and drunken bad writing, but there were times when those journals were literally my only friend. Writing itself saved my life more times than I can count. Because if I took my own life, then who would be left to write about it?

I once thought I was going to be a chick boxer. (Laugh it up, I have a mean left hook headed your way), except I got drunk one night and landed a DWI, a breathalyzer-refusal got me a suspended license, and I ended up in jail for a while. Long enough for me to realize I was going in the wrong direction, as I replayed over and over again what I slurred to the nice officer who escorted me to jail:

Me: “I’m a writer, ya know….”

Him: *Raises an eyebrow* *glances at me in rearview mirror* *nods*

Me: “I’m gonna write a book one day. And juss ta show you I’m *burp* I’m not pistet you fer takin me ta jail . . . .I’ll let you bein my book…”

Him: *Raises an eyebrow* *glances at me in rearview mirror* *nods*

Me: “It’s gonna be a besssellar, ya know…”

So, there you have it. Be on the lookout for a future book with Officer So and So squeezed in somewhere. 🙂

It has been a long hard dark dark road, but I see the light now and I’m standing in it, walking in it, dancing, and even singing in it. Writing is what I’m supposed to do now and forevermore. There is not a spec of doubt in my mind about this.

#8. Because if I don’t give my brain some programs to operate continuously in the background of my life, it wants to make up fictional stories and create drama in my real life

and

#7. Because if I don’t, I’ll be spending way too much time at those free government psychiatric hospitals

I honestly believe that when a highly creative person hasn’t yet figured out how to direct his creativity in a positive manner, or with the correct “hobby” (I know, I hate that word, too, sorry), or stifles it purposefully for whatever reason, then that creative energy will find other means of expressing itself. Like a dog or even a child who seeks out negative attention if they don’t receive positive, encouraging and affirmative attention, creative energy will intertwine itself around whatever it can get its hands on. Mine was in the form of attracting drama and bad relationships and codependency into my life. Only when I discovered and wholly accepted who I really was–a complete word nerd–did I begin to grow into a healthy, happy human being. Yes, it also took therapy, but after being on tons of meds for twenty years, suffering from serious depression for half my life, I am now medication-free. Let me reiterate. I am a formerly drug and alcohol addicted writer who does not drink or do drugs, or take prescription medications (prescribed to me or otherwise), and no longer even smokes cigarettes. These days, if I go too long without writing, fiction, in particular, I honestly feel like I’m going batshit crazy. For me today, writing is my medication for happy living.

#6. Because I am a closet narcissist, and love to indulge in the awesomness of my written creations

Come on, who doesn’t love to stroke their own ego by rereading a really awesome line/para/chapter/post a few times over? Granted, I’ll probably look at it in a year and think it totally SUCKS, but hey, right now, it’s the bomb!

#5. I wanted to be a rockstar, but I can’t sing worth a damn

and

#4. I also wanted to be an artist, but we all know the REAL money lies in being a writer . . . . right?WHY ARE YOU LAUGHING

I was in choir for 11 years and always loved art. I’m decent at singing and a little better at art, but only when I focused on writing did I see how they all kind of tied in together for me, especially when I decided to go indie and also do my own cover. And listening to different types of music (without words) in headphones, during different scenes, actually totally puts me there. Lately, I’ve been listening to “Invincible Radio” on Pandora. I love it because there are a lot of darker film scores that go awesome with my dystopian/sci-fi/horror debut YA novel, The Tree Makers (out this fall.) (Come on, I had to throw my plug in there 😀 )

#3. Because I get to sit on my ass all day and eat chocolate and drink coffee

Does this really need an explanation?

Can I get an Amen?

#2. Because the voices in my head tell me to

I see dead people. They talk to me and tell me to do things….

*clears throat*

What I mean is, my characters talk to me, even when I’m not writing. Or new ones come along and beg to be written. Something in my life will trigger a thought that says, “Oooh . . . he would say that,” or “She would do that. The bitch . . . .”

There’s that nagging inside me, as I’m sure is inside every storyteller that is like thousands of voices from beyond the grave, begging for their stories to be told. If it’s not we that tell their story  **GASP** then who will?

#1. . . . . See blog title

Now that I know to my core who I am and what makes me operate, I know that to withhold this gift, would not only be detrimental to my growth and wellbeing as a human and a writer, it would also be keeping my light from the world. No one can write like me. No one can put words together in just the way I do, and that is special. Same as you. We all have a way of being in the world and with our writing that only we can be. Let’s be that. Let’s not hold it back.

Let that light shine!

So, there you have it! If you haven’t already, and you’d like to read more inspiring writer crap, you may do so by clicking >HERE<

What about you? Why on Earth do you write? Speak your mind in the comments below. 🙂

 

Take care of you ❤

And Write On!

 

You can check out my books on Amazon here:

The Treemakers (YA Dystopian Scifi Romance) http://amzn.to/1H3tqFw

The Truth About Mud (YA Fantasy Adventure) http://amzn.to/1EoAme8

21 Reasons Why Life without Facebook is Totally Awesome

flower girl

So many things fall to the wayside when chained to Facebook for endless hours days months years. Some time away allows you to see the many ways it negatively impacts your life.

For the past two weeks, I’ve spent a total of fifteen minutes on Facebook, which is no easy feat. As you can see >HERE<, getting off for even an hour was once a near-impossibility.

If you are anything like me, you too, may be unhappy with the amount of time you waste in the vice-grip of status-updates, friend requests, and all the jingly bells and screeching whistles that go along with a life glued together at the seams with good old Facebook. Because I’ve enjoyed my break so much–I wanted to entice you to give it a try.

Here are 21 Reasons why life without Facebook is totally awesome, and why I’ll be limiting my time there to fifteen minutes, one day a week from now, until further notice. 🙂

21. Less chair ass

If you’ve experienced the torturous hell that is hours of writing, whilst fighting Facebook distraction (and losing), followed by the darkest moments of a writer’s existence–chair ass–you understand. Often times, this is accompanied by mouse-wrist and/or typing-elbow. (Yes, I am aware I just made these up, but these writer ailments should have names, shouldn’t they?)

20. More exercise

19. More time outside

18. More time with children/friends/family

First on any list of dietary restrictions should be Facebook: Serving size I’LL SLURP OUT YOUR SOUL AND SAUTEE THAT MOTHER WITH TWITTER BALLS AND PINTEREST NUTS SO JUST SIGN YOUR LIFE SAVINGS OVER TO CANDY CRUSH NOW AND CALL IT A DAY.

Last week, I walked a total of four miles. On purpose. And not just to get to the nearest Wi-Fi hotspot, either. I did it because, hello, I opened my eyes to the wide world around me and decided, what the hell, I’ll go for a stroll. Destination? Starbucks. There was a venti nonfat carmel iced coffee calling my name. Funny, I didn’t hear it when I had my Facebook earmuffs on. Who knew those things were soundproof? Distance: two miles. It was a beautiful, sunny, relatively warm, late-spring Dallas, Texas afternoon. There were bugs. And noise. I perspired. I pushed my son in his stroller as he experienced the wide world around us from little toddler eyes. It was beautiful. 

It’s common sense; less time playing kissy-face with Facebook leaves room for endless possibilities of fuzzy-feeling real life stuff like being active and spending time with family and whatnot.

17. More time to write

Okay, raise your hand if you’re guilty of using “platform” as an excuse to insert Facebook into your body intravenously?

Uh-huh. *gives you evil eye*

I don’t wanna hear it. Platform shmatform. You don’t exactly need platform if you don’t have a book to sell, right? And even if you do have a book to market, think of how many more you could have if you didn’t spend so much time stroking the Zuckerburg…. I have a lot of writer friends, and not a one of them has ever gushed about how Facebook sells tons of books. If you’ll check out your top NYT bestselling authors, you will rarely find them spending hours–if any time at all–on Facebook. They do what writers are supposed to do. They write.

16. More time to do housework and other things you’ve been procrastinating

I get it, I really do. Hunting down the perfect meme-of-the-hour is way more appealing than doing the dishes. But your significant other is tired of doing them while you harvest friends on Facebook. Or your kids are tired of wearing dirty and/or wrinkled clothes because surfing meaningless status updates and filling your little brainy with mindless chatter that means ultimately jack to you and your life–seems more important to you than doing their laundry.

And shower, cuz… damn. *pinches nose*

15. More time to do other (than writing) things you love

Facebook is a drug that should come with dosage information and a warning label. And certain people should really cut it out mostly, or entirely from their life. Being a recovered drug addict/alcoholic, I have an addictive personality. I get “stuck” on stuff if I’m not careful, and then hours days months years go by and I look up and realize EVERYONE IS DEAD AND THE WORLD HAS BECOME A DESOLATE WASTELAND IN WHICH THE UNDEAD HAVE TAKEN OVER AND I MUST NOW LEARN HOW TO SHOOT A CROSSBOW LIKE DARYL DIXON AND TELL TIME BY THE SUN’S POSITION IN THE SKY AND LEARN THAT MOSS GROWS ON THE NORTH SIDE OF TREES OR WHATEVER AND ALL THAT’S LEFT TO EAT THAT HASN’T BEEN LOOTED ARE THOSE LITTLE DRIED CRAWFISH THINGYS WITH EYES THAT YOU FIND AT MEXICAN SUPERMARCADOS…

Not a good scene.

Would I rather spend my pre-apocalypse moments on Facebook, stalking Daryl Dixon (well, actually…), or doing fulfilling things that make me happy, like making cool stuff with my hands?

Tough call.

*sighs*

*stomps foot*

I guess I’ll take the art. (As long as I can watch reruns of “The Walking Dead” after.) 😀

14. You see who your true friends are

I’ve made a lot of good friends on Facebook. Almost 3,000 as of last Sunday, actually. And every other Tuesday, we get together and go bowling and then go to the spa afterwards and I catch the tab on a few rounds of those little umbrella drinkys…

Yeah.

I can count the true friends I’ve made on Facebook on two hands. From what I can tell, most of them out there are looking out for numero uno. I am but a drop in the bucket, of which may as well be a toilet. Taking a step back, I was able to see who I miss, which is a surefire way to tell who you really care about. And most of those people have my email address and some of them have even acquired the much sought-after 10 digits of happiness, and I don’t mean fingers. Some of them even call me on the… phone. *GASP!*

13. You can address your festering narcissism and get some effing humility

If no one has told you today, you are a precious little snowflake and everyone on Facebook–all of the internet and the world even–should stare at the exquisite uniqueness that is your Facebook profile. They should soak up every single status update from now, until the beginning of time, memorizing the luscious deets and “liking” every post, every comment, every picture, and every single little marvel that is your totally real, unfiltered, un-photo-shopped real life. Really.

And if they don’t…

Gah, how dare they. The nerve.

12. No Facebook drama

Does this really need explanation?

11. No Facebook trolls

*please hold while I squeeze into my ranty-panties*

There is nothing that pisses me off more than those still-living-with-momma social outcasts that have never seen the sun rise nor fall, that tell me what sort of sunscreen to put on my poochy. And worse yet, even blatantly judge me for putting the stuff on his furry be-hind in the first place. Hey, buddy, if I wanna put a gosh-dern t-back and tap shoes on my dog, that’s my own damn business and I don’t need you or anyone else to tell me how to–or not to–do it.

*tosses ranty-panties to neighbor’s poochy*

*snickers*

10. No more constant marketing

If I see your book cover one more time I’m going to hang you upside down by your toenails from the ceiling fan in my mind and flip the switch to the “on” position. Then I shall pop popcorn and set my demon puppy loose to chase you around, snapping at your hair or ears or what-have-you. And I shall laugh.

9. No more creepers/perves

In case you weren’t aware, Facebook just recently became a free dating site for the uber creeps and perves and still-living-at-home trolls. If you have never seen troll genitalia, be warned… the sight of this in an unsolicited private message has been known to cause vomiting, insomnia, loss of appetite, and in serious cases, blindness.

(NOTE: If you experience an erection that lasts for four hours or longer, well… you may be part of the problem. Seek professional help immediately. And in the meantime, please, stay the bejeezus away from Facebook.)

8. No more game requests

Do you hear that? It’s the sound of every harp in Heaven simultaneously playing Queen’s “We are the Champions,” because we have done it. We’ve won. People, ONE. Facebook game-requests, ZIP-O-ROOONIE.

7. No more clogging your mind space with unimportant crap

No, I was not aware that the African spotted muskrat is endangered. Please, post that Upworthy video all about it so that I can lose four minutes of my life learning all about them, and what I can do to ensure their future safety.

6. No more depressing selfie sessions to find that “perfect” profile pic

Of course, I have no personal experience with this one… but I had a friend once that, um…

yeah.

Next.

5. You no longer have to pretend to care about things you don’t care about

Hear that? (Isn’t it amazing how much you can hear without your Facebook earmuffs on?)

It’s the sound of 2,500 people clicking the “unfriend” button as they learn that I wish (I really do) I had enough mind-space, time, and heart, to give two squishy turds about what you ate for dinner, or how your husband wants you to get a bikini wax, or how your new Ferrari unfortunately had to go to the shop today to get the problem with the vibrating seats fixed. Because you paid extra for those  damn vibrating seats and by-God, they better vibrate on “GO.”

4. You no longer have to bite your tongue to keep from being an asshat to other asshats

If you hang out in a barber shop long enough, you’ll either get a haircut, become a barber, or try to eat that thing that looks like a candy cane because you’re hungry and you can’t take the curiosity any longer…

(Note: It does not taste like a candy cane.)

In the same manner, if you hang out on Facebook around asshats for too long, you too may start to present symptoms of asshatedness. You must ask yourself: Is it worth the risk?

3. You get a new perspective on life

This isn’t my first Facebook-free stint. I actually deleted my account three or so years ago, for a whole year. My finger hovered over the “deactivate account” button for–I shit you not–a whole hour. I sweated profusely. I pulled my hair out and I cried. I banged my fists on things and broke many pencils. Facebook had taken over my soul, and was eating my family, my life, and my sanity away at the seams like greedy little blue termites. When I finally pushed that button, I literally grieved the loss of my intangible, fabricated cyber-life, and all of the “friends” who would no longer “get to” be a part of my life.

Notice the self-righteous asshatedness (above) than soon became apparent. Once I stepped back, a week went by and I realized the sun was shining… “Whoa, when did the snow melt? What day is it? June? When the hell did summer get here? Where is my family?”

I had to integrate myself, not only back into the lives of my family–relearn their ways, their schedules, their habits, likes, dislikes–but I also had to be integrated back into society. It was serious culture shock. When you spend five or six hours a day on Facebook, you may as well be spending five or six hours a day at a dope house. Some of you may not have it this bad, but some of you can drink alcohol without it ruining your life, too. Others of you, like me, may hit a wall, where you have lost control. We are powerless over our Facebook addiction and our lives have become unmanageable. Stepping away removes a dark shroud that you didn’t even realize was there. You will experience life anew.

2.  Live life in the ever-mysterious and spontaneously beautiful now

Without the distraction of Facebook, I remember to enjoy life right now. Instead of “building that platform,” “marketing that book,” “cultivating that following,” all of which are future-oriented visions and aspirations, I can just enjoy the awesomeness that is my life right now. I can sit on my back porch and look at the sky and quiz my third-grader about what type of clouds are out today. I can play. I can breathe in deep the official first day of summer because I am experiencing it firsthand, not because I saw someone’s status update reminding me of it. I can be present in my life.

1. Freedom

Facebook is designed to hold you hostage. It is a prison without walls or bars. Sure, there are some good things therein… there are bible scriptures scrawled on prison walls, too, but that doesn’t make me want to go to prison any time soon. You?

Without Facebook to tie you down, you walk a free human. Free from ego, from narcissism, free from garbage-in garbage-out, free from the poisons there, disguised as profit, prosperity, popularity…

Without Facebook, you are free to just be. And live.

Until next time, fellow humans…

Just be. ❤

 

You can check out my books on Amazon here:

 The Treemakers (Book 1 in the Treemakers Trilogy) (Mature YA Dystopian Scifi Horror)

The Soultakers (Book 2 in the Treemakers Trilogy)

The Seeker’s Keys (Book 3 in the Treemakers Trilogy)

The Truth About Mud (YA Fantasy Adventure novelette)

11 Rules for Being the Best Writerly Soul You Can Be

type11. Don’t be an asshat

It’s unfortunate how many of us are afflicted with this terrible disease. Asshatedness is a virus of the writing world, spreading to unsuspecting and unfortunate others, who may in turn, spew asshatedness onto others. I have been both a recipient of the side effects of this illness, as well as a host. Though I try my darndest not to let the asshat fever take over and make me do asshat things, I admit, sometimes I get delirious and lackadaisical, and forget I’m trying to not be an asshat. It can be easy to let this sickness rule your life. Beware its repercussions. Just because someone is an asshat to you, doesn’t mean it’s okay to be an asshat back to them. A few months down the road, when that sexy little book of yours comes out–and that asshat hasn’t forgotten or forgiven you for that asshat thing you did/said, watch out for that evil one-star asshat review on Amazon.

10. Support other authors

I had an author once ask me to read and review his book (which wasn’t very good), and when I read his bio on Amazon, he was knocking other authors. He said some asshat thing like, “I can only hope to rise above the sea of crappy authors using their first two initials.” Not only is he breaking rule #11, but he’s also taking a big nasty poo in the hands that feed. When you are first starting out, especially, other writers (the non-asshat ones) are there for you. We’re on the same team! We’re straddling this tightrope together and pulling each other’s wedgies out! We are like, FAM, yo! And even if you aren’t just starting out, writers are readers, too. Knock other writers and you might as well crap on your own head because you’re screwing yourself out of potential badass customers. Because what’s better than a reader? A writer-reader!

9. Get off Facebook, you addict!

“Could you hold on just a second?” (Me, to the cashier at the grocery store while checking my Facebook)

Seriously.

This could (and–UPDATE–it is, now) a whole ‘nother blog post. (Read it >HERE<)

Get the heck off Facebook! Platform shmatform!! What matters most is that you are not an asshat and you write a badass book. Facebook can be evil. I am not even sure if it’s a necessary evil for the writer yet. Or for humanity in general. Remember life before Facebook? When people actually talked, and went outside and things? Yes, I am aware everyone and their dog is on Facebook. But you wanna be a badass writer, right? Well get off Facebook and write! All right?

(ANOTHER UPDATE: Read about my leave of absence from Facebook >HERE<)

8. Read

So you wanna be a writer who doesn’t suck? Read read read read read READ. It’s important to be well-rounded in what you read and well-read if you want to write stuff worth reading. And not just in your genre, either. You write erotica? Read some classics. You write literary stuff? Read genre fic. Write children’s books? Read some erotica.

What?

It might do you some good to step into the adult realm and take a stay-cay every once in a while. *winks*

Which leads me to…

7. Take a break

Don’t burn yourself out. Though I firmly believe in following rule number one (below), there comes a time in every writer’s life when he/she must chose between throwing the laptop off of a very tall building and committing themselves to the nearest mental ward, or taking a break. It doesn’t have to be a long break. Even just a day can work wonders. Long enough for you to take a step back and see the whole picture. To remember why you write. (Here are 50 right >HERE<) To regenerate those creative juices that can dry up sometimes if we overwork the engine for too long, too hard.

6. Quit beating people over the head with your book cover

This branches off of #11. Sure, a certain amount of marketing is necessary for sales, but when you are whipping your cover out every chance you get and violating every slot you can fit it into, not only do people seriously consider calling security, but some may even sick Uncle Jeb on you for being such a violating, indecent asshat. Not everyone wants to see your cover ten times a day, whether it’s in different Facebook groups, or Twitter or whatever. People will get numb and jaded and tune you out, and unfollow or unfriend you. And they definitely won’t read your book if they feel violated and/or annoyed by it. Again I say, write an awesome book and be an awesome person (not an asshat), and you will find you will operate more on a level of attraction rather than promotion. People like people who are confident and talented, not needy, forceful, and annoyingly persistent. If you write it (and it’s fab), they will come. Keep the faith. Do the work. Keep the cover in your pants unless it’s concentual. 😉

5. For slop’s sake, quit taking yourself so damn seriously

Lighten up. Just because your book may not be doing as well as someone else’s, doesn’t mean you have to get grouchy and be a meanie. Or if your book is rockin’ and you become a self-righteous prick, a.k.a. asshat, because you are so awesome and everyone should bow to your insurmountable wordliness skills, so you turn your back on the little ants that you used to call your author friends…well that’s just uncool, man. See rule #11.

4. Take constructive criticism like a champ.

“Thank you, Sir, may I have another?”

These should be your words to most beta readers and critiquers. Yeah, sure, it can sting and you might have to rewrite. But how many authors out there are so scared to move into uncharted territory, that they cram cotton in their ears when you try to point out things they can work on? And they continue to produce work that isn’t up to par…. And do they not see their own reviews? This is baffling to me and makes me want to smoke cigarettes and contemplate existence.

How art thou so safe in thoust writing, that thou neverest hath the guts to improve? That ’tis the question.

3. Look at everything in your past, good and bad, as fiction fodder

You’ve been through some tough times, eh? Great! Use it as fuel. Put it in the book. Nothing makes all that stupid stuff we’ve done more worthwhile than turning it into an awesome book.

2. Don’t give up

Sleepless nights. Tears. Bad reviews. Plot holes. Rewrites. Endless hours in the editing cave.

I know, I’m trembling, too.

But this is where the rubber meets the road. This is how our character is molded. That’s where good books become great books, and authors become bestselling badasses.

1. And most importantly, the no-brainer is WRITE! Write every day.

The writer-mind is like any other muscle–it must be used constantly for it to be at 110%, which is where it needs to be for you to be totally awesome. Keep a “Don’t-break-the-chain” writing calendar if you are having trouble disciplining yourself. Mark a red “X” on every day that you write for at least five minutes. The truth is, once you sit down, five minutes may turn into ten, twenty, thirty, or an hour. You’ll soon find that time you thought you didn’t have to write, is in fact, there. You have to make time for what you love. Because:

“A non-writing writer is a monster courting insanity.”
― Franz Kafka

For real. There’s nothing worse than a creative person who is not being creative. Poor miserable little souls. 😦

So, to sum up:

Write the best book you can write and don’t be an asshat. The rest will fall into place.

Until next time, writerly souls…

Write on! 😀

 

UPDATE:

You can check out my books on Amazon here:

The Treemakers (YA Dystopian Scifi Romance) http://amzn.to/1H3tqFw

The Truth About Mud (YA Fantasy Adventure) http://amzn.to/1EoAme8

Hello, my name is Christina, and I’m addicted to Facebook.

facebook-addiction-1

Some of you may laugh. But I am willing to bet many of you share in this affliction. In fact, studies show that as many as one in five Facebook users are addicted. (Note: I just made that shit up because it sounded good)

But to be honest, I hate to love Facebook.

We had a falling out two years ago. I was spending so much time on Facebook, that I was entirely neglecting almost every aspect of my life. At that time, being in a Twelve Steps program for alcoholism and drug abuse, I recognized the signs of addiction but blew it off at first. Because—hello—it’s Facebook. I’m not selling my body for “Likes” or shooting memes in my veins here, so really, how bad could it be?

Well, it was bad. My relationships were horrible, I was completely obsessed with the number of friends I had (which was a lowly 600 something at that point), and I was a horrible parent who played “Farmville” instead of helping my kids with their homework.

Yes, Facebook was ruling my life.

It sounds completely ridiculous, doesn’t it? Like the people at the Narcotics Anonymous meetings I’ve been to who said they were in there because they were addicted to Marijauna, and I’m like, “Seriously?”

But I’ll tell you what, Marijauna is a drug, too, and just because it doesn’t usually screw lives up like other drugs, it can, and it can lead to other things. It all depends on the person. Some people can puff a joint every once in a while, just like some people can get on Facebook once every couple days for an hour and get off, no sweat.

I’m not one of them.

The day I closed down my FB account is a day I’ll never forget. It took me an hour just to push one button. I cried. Sweat poured from me in various places. I almost had heart failure. In all honesty, it felt like going to rehab. That feeling that you get when you know your life is about to change and you’re not going to have that distraction—that crutch anymore. Fortunately for me and a lot of people, though FB can be psychologically addictive, it isn’t actually physically addictive (yet—just give the ‘burg some time), so it is easier to recover from FB addiction than it is from drugs and alcohol.

But not much.

I did feel freer, lighter, really, but it took a couple days. For the first day, I was depressed.

“WTF do I do with my time now? I haven’t a clue.”

Oh.

Right…

Yes, I do have children.

Yeah, I suppose they have needs.

Funny how the “empty” space fills so quickly and perfectly with filling things, or should I say “fulfilling” things.

I didn’t get on FB or any other social media for two years; I found myself; I bonded with my children; I saw God in His underwear; I wrote two novels. It’s amazing what you can do when you don’t have junk filling up your time.

Fast forward two years to post novel-writing time.

Some Voice of Reason says that magic word to me: “Platform”

Voice of Reason: “If you want to get an agent/publisher/readers, etc., you have to have platform.”

Me: “WTF is a platform? Like, I have to build something?”

VOR: “No, it’s a following. Social media and networking, you know, friends, followers, etcetera…?”

Me: “You’re fucking telling me I have to get on FB aren’t you?”

VOR: “Yes.”

Me: *calls sponsor*

VOR: “I’m sorry, but it’s a necessary part of building your writer platform. Google it.”

Me: *Googles ‘Writer Platform’ while tattling to sponsor about VOR*

VOR: “Look, do whatcha want, but don’t come crying to me when you can’t get an agent/publisher or readers because no one knows who the fuck you are.”

Me: *slams imaginary phone down on receiver* (yes, I am old school in this role play, cuz that tis how I ‘role’)

Me: “Okay, VOR. Fine. I will get a FB. But I will NOT be happy about it.”

So, here I am now, on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, GoodReads, WordPress, LinkedIn, Google+, and Pinterest. I keep up with all the wannabes as best I can, but it’s me and FB that have to hide our relationship from the masses. For the purpose of this confession, I will reveal to you the true nature of our love affair. We pretty much do it anywhere:

Waiting for kids in school parking lot: Check FB.

Long check-out line: Check FB.

Eating any meal: Check FB.

Church: Um…. Forgive me…?

Stop light: Check FB.

Cooking: Check FB while waiting for water to boil.

Bathroom: We are not even going there.

Bed: Check FB one last time before going to sleep.

Wake up in middle of night: Check FB and find him sleeping on the couch. Beg him to come back to bed.

I’m not as bad as I used to be though. I help my kids with their homework and whatnot. I don’t play any of those stupid FB games. But I feel it draining the life right out of me, kinda like those two and a half bad marriages (don’t ask.)

So, I’ve brought you here to witness this, in case FB decides to do anything rash when I say these words.

Ok, here goes . . . .

Facebook, you know I love you, but . . .

I think we should spend some time apart.

*shields face from cyber shrapnel*

*peeks out from behind hands to find FB doing absolutely nothing but sitting there, staring at me*

Oh. Well then. Now that it’s all on the table, let me just say that I think we should spend a month apart. Or like a couple wee—days. Three days. Got it?

*FB shrugs*

Oh, don’t even act like you don’t care, FB.

*slams laptop screen down*

*fights back tears, stuffs mouth with Tagalongs*

And so it shall be, *holds right palm up in air*, that on March 4, 2014, I do hereby solemnly swear not to get on FB for any reason for three whole days.

I shall let you know how this transpires. It could get ugly. It could definitely get ugly.

And in case you yourself need a good “out” of your unhealthy relationship with Facebook, please do read my post,

25 Ways to Make Sure Everyone of Facebook Hates Your Guts

I hope it helps.

Until next time, word nerds and other peeps…

Write on!

And just say no to Facebook!

 

UPDATE: If you’d like to read about my life after recovery from Facebook addiction, you may do so right >HERE<

XOXOXOX

25 Ways to Make Sure Everyone on Facebook Hates Your Guts

facebook090403_1_560

Many of us spend a few hours…er, uh…minutes, Facebooking on a daily basis, and I’m sure a lot of you are just dying to know….I can hear you asking now…

“How can I be even more obnoxious on Facebook, Christina?”

Well, look no further, for I have the answers you seek.

If you really want to be a complete asshat, just follow these few very simple instructions, and you are sure to be loathed and guffawed even more than your uncle Jack that time he went to church inebriated in your grandma’s muumuu.

So, here it is…25 Ways to Be a Complete Asshat on Facebook:

25. Post pictures of your meals. In fact, post pictures of every meal, followed by a detailed description of everything on the plate, the recipe used, and the cost (if eating out).

24. Bitch. A lot. About everything, every day, a few times a day.

23. Brag. A lot. About everything, every day, a few times a day.

22. Leave a message on someone’s fanpage, telling them you’ll like their page only if they like yours first.

21. Send people friend requests, and as soon as they accept, immediately post your book/page info on their timeline.

20. Send people friend requests, and as soon as they accept, immediately send them a direct message, asking them to like your page, buy/ “look at” your book, etc.

19. Don’t have a profile pic. Because nothing says, “Hi, I’m a stalker,” quite like a white silhouette on the blue screen of death.

18. Send friend requests to strangers who you have no friends in common with, or anything else in common with.

17. Just look at Facebook as a “free dating site.”

16. Every time you “Like” a page, no matter what it is, make sure and invite all your friends to like it, too.

15. Add all your friends to as many groups as you can.

14. Tag all your friends in as many meaningless/stupid/inappropriate pics as you can. Do this at least once a day. Preferably more, if able.

13. Whine. A lot. About everything every day, a few times a day.

12. Talk shit about people. But make sure you’re “friends” with them first, as this will further insure the sense of betrayal and deep loathing.

11. Invite self-proclaimed “obsessed” writers to play every pointless brainsucking Facebook game that exists. If they have still yet to respond in two weeks, invite them again. Better yet, one week will do. Actually, fuck it, wait like two days, and if they haven’t responded, spam the bahjeezers out of them with at least five or ten game requests. That should do the trick.

10. Steal people’s pics and post them on your own timeline. Make sure not to “share” them, so that you will get all the credit for your clever/funny/awesome little pics. And then, unfriend them. Better yet, just block them so you don’t have to listen to their whining when they find out you’re a complete poser.

9. Unfriend people who give you less than adequate reviews. Four star and above or no friendship, capisce?

8. Flirt flirt flirt flirt flirt flirt FLIRTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT. Make sure and do it with married people and total strangers, especially.

7. Post half-naked pics of yourself doing yoga. Really, just half-naked pics of yourself doing anything will suffice.

6. Have a cover pic of two people copulating, so that when you send a mother of four a friend request and she pulls it up on her screen, her children will be sure to get a quick lesson in Sex 101.

5. Send out mass friend requests, accept every friend request that comes your way, but don’t ever try to make any real connections with anyone. After all, they’re not real people.

4. Post at least twenty status updates a day. Or more. More is always better.

3. Be a racist, sexist, homophobic hate-monger, and post everything that comes to mind in a constant shitfest of animosity and resentment.

2. Post meaningless status updates. A few good ones are: “I’m bored,” “I’m tired,” and “I finally learned what that little plastic thing on the end of a shoelace is called…”

1. ALWAYS TYPE IN ALL CAPS AND NEVER USE ANY PUNCTUATION NOT EVER I MEAN IT NOT ONE SINGLE PERIOD OR QUESTION MARK OR COMMA OR ANYTHING DO YOU UNDERSTAND

So.

There you have it.

*curtsies*

May the force be with you, as you navigate the social media waters of doom.

Oh, and if you want to hear the dirt on my break-up with Facebook, check out, “Hello, My Name is Christina, and I’m Addicted to Facebook.”