Is Social Media A Must?

My favorite bookends feature a typewriter, books...
My favorite bookends feature a typewriter, books…
...a dial phone, banker's lamp and "book" titled Words and Phrases.
…a dial phone, banker’s lamp and “book” titled Words and Phrases.

There was a time when the term Social Media was not part of our lexicon, when we didn’t debate whether to have a Facebook page, Linked In might mean we were walking arm-in-arm with a friend, only birds Tweeted, Instagram could have referred to grams of instant coffee, cowboys said, “Yahoo,” a (search) engine would have something to do with a car, and hard alcohol was served in Tumblr’s.

Now, as professionals, we must decide which Social Media platforms to use if we want to build up a “platform,” increase our social standing, “brand” ourselves and connect across the internet and with the world.

I’ll admit it, I was resistant to change.  Why?  Because I like to talk on the phone with my friends (gasp), send paper party invitations (really?), look up definitions in my dictionary (scandalous) and synonyms in my thesaurus (what’s that?), occasionally listen to college cassette tapes (the music on my mix tapes are classic!) and (no way!) write letters.

But, since I’ve started blogging I’ve enjoyed “meeting” people from all over the world, making a commitment to myself to write, sharing my various interests, and creating a place where I present myself professionally while still allowing my voice to come through.

It was on Twitter that I saw a post on social media by Kristen Lamb, author of We Are Not Alone-The Writer’s Guide To Social Media.  In her post, she compares taking care of your online presence to taking care of your family.  It turns out that Social Media has daily needs just like our families, pets, homes and lives.

Considering that I am an “aspiring author,” having published articles but not yet my books, I’ve wondered if grooming this creature is necessary.  But, when my triplets started college last fall, I decided it was time, my time, to move forward on a path I’ve craned my neck toward for years.

Is social media a must?  You have to decide what furthers your career goals and, for now, I must “feed my craft” however I can.  That means treating Social Media to a healthy, balanced meal with the hope, wish and intention of having a big ice cream sundae with a cherry on top as a reward!

Hon, what are your thoughts on the issue?