I have the honor of serving as a contributor/administrator of a Mental Health Facebook Page. This page has over 13,000 followers. The irony is that the page does not usually give me any direct exposure. I sign the end of each inspirational post with the name “Doc Ellie” and choose to stay somewhat sequestered in the social media shadows. Why wouldn’t I take more advantage of this platform?
Yes, yes; part of the reason is to maintain some privacy. But, in truth, the main reason is that I am using the platform to help others, not myself. Obviously, it is usually very rewarding. But sometimes, helping others through this social media venue is not for the faint-hearted. I have had some nasty, hurtful, attacking comments made on my “happy-to-help” posts for all to see. I have had to remove myself from my laptop on many occasions to refrain from defending my post, arguing or fighting back with some of the fans.
So what’s the point of this social media exercise? What do I get out of it? I have learned to thicken my author-skin, take some very raw feedback, push out of my comfort zone, and brace myself for some very tough love in return. I have learned to observe others be reactive to my writing in real time and just let it be. For me, these writing experiences might be better coined as Facebook Anti-Social Media with a silver lining. …some of the best training I have ever had.