I was thinking about snap judgments–how we all make them and how we all have them made about us. Here’s what got me started–social media trolls. Bear with me, I promise I’m going to make this connect.
At least ten or twelve times a week (sometimes that many in a day!) I get friend requests on Facebook and even more on Instagram from trolls–either random bots or really bored and kinda sleazy guys looking for attention. No, I’m going to be your friend because you “like my smile” or you think I’m “gorgeous” and you “can’t stop thinking about me.” Seriously? You don’t even know me, dude. Being blonde and a romance author doesn’t make me any more fun than your wife or your current girlfriend, and trust me, I am way less interested in seeing you in your army uniform, Colonel or on your yacht in your cute board shorts, Jon Michael, than they are. (Have you have ever noticed how these guys always have two first names? A dead giveaway.) By the way, you CEOs and military officers who send me requests and direct messages, I assure you that real CEOs and 4-star generals are way too busy to troll blonde romance authors on FB and Instagram, so I’m not buying it.
Now, sadly, the creepiness has extended into LinkedIn–a perfectly respectable site for professionals of all kinds to network–I’m there more as Editor Nan than Romance Author Nan, but both my professional personas are listed. However, I get connect requests from men who would have absolutely no use for an editor–at least as far as I can tell. I always check out their profiles because if there’s a chance they might truly need an editor, then I wouldn’t want to miss a potential client. When you do that on LinkedIn, the app tells the person that you’ve looked at their profile. That’s when the real fun begins–private messages telling me how they “love my smile” and how “beautiful” I am and how sure they are that I’d be “fun”… oh, holy hell!
I’m not fun. I’m actually kinda boring and I can be a real bitch if you annoy me. I spend every day sitting at a computer building and peopling a fictional world where trolls and sleazy creeps don’t exist. I assure you, I have no interest in knowing random guys who DM me on LinkedIn or Facebook or Instagram to tell me how pretty my hair is. Uck, just uck! If you’re a person, you need to get a life, and if you’re a bot, what the actual hell? Just stop.
I realize (and here’s the connection to snap judgments) that I’m making a judgment about these people (or bots) who are messaging me. I’m probably am not going to apologize though. If you truly need an editor, try telling me that when you ask to connect. Outside of that, unless you want to buy 500,000 copies of my books to share with your whole town, just stop it, okay?
I’m sure other romance authors–hell, other women, other authors, even other guys, have this problem on social media. Tell me your stories–we can whine together.
Stay well, stay safe, keep wearing your mask in public, be kind, and most of all, stay grateful,