Why you need to be on social media

I am not too fond of social media. in fact, I am comfortable in saying I downright hate it.

Not the line you expected after reading the subject line, right?

But I do. I honestly do hate it.

But I also recognize that social media is how the world communicates these days. So, like it or not, I need to feel the intense dislike and participate in and utilize it as much as possible.

And while I do loathe it, I can’t ignore that being active and present on social media has facilitated some of the most amazing and unique relationships in my author career. I’ve connected with like-mind people and organizations that share the same passion for literacy and reading that I do. The non-profit diversity in children’s books initiative, Multicultural Children’s Book Day, is a perfect example of a game-changing connection.

Before I became active with them, I had never heard of Multicultural Children’s Book Day (MCBD) until I stumbled on their Instagram account a few years ago. Back then, my author’s world felt very small and lonely. But that changed the more I got involved in their initiatives and annual online celebration.

Now, years later, I am so grateful for the genuine friendships, confidants, beta testers, reviewers, cheerleaders, and even team members within Make A Way Media that I couldn’t imagine would have been possible without the reach and prevalence of social media!

Another good example of online connection is back when I was struggling to find an illustrator for my books. But, because I followed the hashtag #writingcommunity on Twitter, I found a book written by a children’s author with absolutely beautiful imagery. On a whim, I reached out to the illustrator, three years later Charlene Mosely and I have created EIGHT books together! Now THAT’S the power of connection.
People hear nuggets of my story through the messages I post on Facebook and elsewhere, they comment, I reply, and as a result, I now have dozens of people who are true fans of my work. I would have found none of this, but for social media. And for every connection that I am aware I made, I am certain hundreds more have learned about my work and know what I do. Maybe they have not bought a book today, but they will, and they will tell someone else too.
One of the best comments I ever got was not even about my work directly, but a post where one teacher tagged another teacher with the words, “This is a good page to follow.” This warmed my heart and validated my existence all in one. So yes, you have to be on social media.
Not all of them, but some of them.
Pick the platforms that you are the most comfortable with. Find out the hashtags that will draw the eyes of the community you most want to be a part of- like #writingcommunity and #ReadYourWorld. Reply to people’s comments. It is very important because this is how you build a fan base.
Do not EVER engage in negative comments! As one of my team members advises, “Don’t feed the trolls!”  But, I have two stances on this. Sometimes I let the comments stand to show the level of ignorance that exists- which also validates why I do what I do.
And, sometimes, I just delete the comment. But, I definitely do not engage. You can read more about why I never wrestle with a pig here.
There are times you may feel justified to fire back your own mean comment in reply to someone else’s. But, I can promise you, this is how you lose a fan base. Those who follow you who are uncomfortable with your online argument won’t say a word, they will just quietly melt away and never view your information again.
No one wins when you feed the social media trolls.
It is true that social media can be a negative place, but it does not have to be. You can do your part to use social media in a positive way that builds people up instead of tearing them down. Be careful what you like and who you follow, save, and share. If you like and share a lot of negative stuff, then that is all that will be in your feed. Social engineers on these platforms are going to cater to what they believe you want to see.
Lastly, limit the amount of time you spend on it. Remember you want to write or have other entrepreneurial dreams and those are not going to be fulfilled solely through social media. Put social media on your schedule like you would any other meeting in the day. You can even let others know what time you will be on so they can reach you directly and then leave it alone for the day.
Put your phone away.
Get outside and look at flowers and trees and the faces of people in the real world- not the ones you find on social media. Humans in live-and-living-color are beautiful, and cannot be replaced by the digital version.
My encouragement for you today is to try to enjoy the benefits of social media. It’s a part of the world we live in now, and it is not going anywhere.

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Kayla: A Modern-Day Princess Series Book One in this amazing FIVE BOOK series is HERE!

Kayla: A Modern-Day Princess: is a heartwarming story about family, role models, dreams, and discovering a determination for growth. This five-part diverse picture book series shines the spotlight on a little brown girl who loves musical theatre and never lets anything get in the way of her dreams. It seems that everyone else has an idea for who she should be, but in the end, she discovers that she is the one who gets to decide.

Grab your copy of Kayla: A Modern-Day Princess (Book One) in the Make A Way Media Bookstore or on Amazon in paperback form or for Kindle.

The story also reveals the very special family dynamic that Kayla shares with her mom- a hard-working woman who struggles with the guilt of not being as available for her young daughter as she would like. But as the story progresses, Kayla and her mom realize the impact of valuing the time they have together as well as the importance of seeing each other acknowledge (and pursue) their individual dreams. {ages 4 to 8}

GO HERE to order your copy of Kayla: A Modern-Day Princess by veteran author, Deedee Cummings, the Kayla: Modern-Day Princess series is inspired by her own real-life princess and Broadway actress, Kayla Pecchioni.

Grab your copy of Kayla: A Modern Day Princess (Book One) in the Make A Way Media Bookstore or on Amazon in paperback form or for Kindle.

About Deedee Cummings

As a therapist, attorney, author, and CEO of Make A Way Media, Deedee Cummings has a passion for making the world a better place. All ten of Cummings’ diverse picture, poetry, and workbooks for kids reflect her professional knowledge and love of life. Colorful and vibrant, her children’s books are not only fun for kids and adults to read, they also work to teach coping skills, reinforce the universal message of love, encourage mindfulness, and facilitate inclusion for all. Cummings has spent more than two decades working within the family therapy and support field and much of her writing shares her experiences of working with kids in therapeutic foster care. As a result, her catalogs of published books for kids are filled with positive, hopeful messages. Using therapeutic techniques in her stories to teach coping skills, Cummings also strives to lessen the stigma that some people feel when it comes to receiving mental health assistance.
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