Social media is a blessing and curse for readers and authors. It used to be, a writer would write a book, it would get published, and the book tour would begin. While that’s all still true there is now social media in the mix with blog posts, Facebook, twitter, etc. and authors have gone from being relatively anonymous souls that produced stories to sharing themselves (either by personal choice or publisher pressure) on social media. Turns out, social media isn’t such a boon for readers.
I will concede that the interaction between readers and authors isn’t a bad thing. I’ve also read a broader range of authors thanks to Twitter, I’m not one for Facebook or the other forms of social media. But there is a downside that outweighs the benefits for me. Politics. I have my political views, you have yours. I don’t want or need to know your political leanings to enjoy a good book. No, I will go further than that. The political positions of authors have actually deterred me from reading their works.
Reading for me is a form of relaxation and escape. It allows me to experience life through the authors eyes. What I don’t read for is politics. I don’t want the author’s real life politics shoved down my throat when I pick up a novel to escape for a couple of hours. What would have once been simply the characters viewpoint is now the author’s politics parroting out of the mouth of a stick figure.
I’ve stopped following a lot of authors because I find their real life politics were destroying my ability to read their novels. I don’t mind a good political debate and I’d never stop anyone from expressing their viewpoint. Difference is I know when to walk away and escape the political correctness. I don’t need to know an authors politics to know if they are capable of writing a well plotted and crafted tale. Real life is something I set aside when I open the pages of a book.
So, I’m firmly in the old fuddy duddy camp. I don’t think social media has made our lives better, political correctness is ruining storytelling, and if I want to know your politics I’ll ask.