I left Facebook.
I did. And I am not ashamed of this decision. For a while now I'd been realizing just how much control over my life that site had. Already I was trying to wean myself from using it so much.
Then they rolled out a few changes to the news feed and suddenly I didn't feel secure. Sure it was a public site. It is social networking after all. But suddenly I was seeing pictures and status updates of people I didn't know. All because someone I was friends with either commented on or liked something of their friends'.
In this day and age, there has come to be a certain expectation. An expectation on readers' part to be allowed to peek behind the curtain and see the real person behind the name on the dust jacket. There's an expectation on writers' part, too. One which sometimes seems to expect readers' rapt attention for everything they do.
The truth is people pay far less attention to us than we like to believe they do.
In part, social networking has contributed to the propagation of this attitude. Yes, authors are expected to get out there and do everything in their power to generate word of mouth. Yes, a big part of that is social networking.
And when the time comes I may create another account, or reactivate the old one, in order to do so. But that's a bridge I'm going to cross when it comes to it. For now I'm content with my blog and twitter. Occasionally I post something on Google+ but most of the time I forget it even exists.
Authors and social networking go hand in hand these days. But at what cost? Where do you draw the line? Sometimes, a little privacy goes a long way in creating balance and peace of mind.