Instagram is the Happiest Place in the (Internet) World

As an author, in order to sell books, among other things, I have a responsibility to be on multiple social media platforms every day. That doesn’t mean, though, that I like to. The responsibility is just that: a responsibility, like doing the dishes, or going to work, neither of which I necessarily want to do. I’m not on nearly enough of the various platforms as consistently as I need to be, but there are so many that I can’t keep up. But I am active on the sites that anyone who hasn’t been living under a rock for the last twenty years would recognize by name, unfortunately. Truthfully, I don’t like how Facebook encourages its users to argue with each other with the reply feature and tagging feature (why not tag your friends to fight your argument for you?!). Twitter is not a great place to make genuine connections anymore, with the hundreds of auto direct messages I get and the link dump on my feed and even on my notifications (some authors think it’s acceptable to mention me with their book links and blog posts without asking me first).

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Yari Vanessaa and the (Dis)Illusion of Internet Fame

“We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be.” – Kurt Vonnegut

In his novel, Mother Night, the satirical giant warns his readers against spending too much time in a dream. The dream, these days, is of course the Internet. In the age of Instagram fame, we should all be careful what we wish for, in the metaphorical sense. I am sure that Orange County native Yaritza Hernandez did not wish to lose her life, but she did seek out fame.

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This is not a Starbucks by Sarah Fader

When Sarah called me on Friday to tell me this story I could not let it die between us. Too much good stuff in real life to write about. She told me she thanked the woman for giving her material for a blog post. -Allie

I don’t even know what just happened to me. I dropped the kids off with their dad and I decided to go into the beauty supply store that is down the street from his house to buy some three dollar mascara.

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I’m Worried About You

//As seen on Psychology Today

I don’t know how to deal with my loved ones being worried about me. Well, I do, but it’s probably not the right way: to just assure the people that love you that you are okay even if you’re not. I’m not saying that I’m not okay, in this case, but that is the standard response.

I’ve talked a lot about the controversial “how are you” question and how it’s only socially acceptable to provide “good and yourself?” as a response. My friend and I have joked about answering “you know what, I’m having a really hard time…” and going into your life story when some random person on the street or in the elevator asks you how you’re doing. It makes people uncomfortable, you know. The truth. People, specifically in corporate America, don’t want to know if you feel like shit. If you’re having a difficult time with life. They ask to be courteous but they really aren’t being courteous at all, because they don’t actually care how you’re doing. Most, anyway. Some do. I have to give credit to good friends and good people, in general, who do actually want to know the real answer. But for the others, who expect the illustrious “I’m great how are you doing?!” and want nothing less, I really don’t know why they even bother asking. It’s a completely useless exchange.

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When It’s Cool to be Pretentious

I am lost by the literary authors of the world who find it perfectly acceptable to be pretentious. The author who thinks it’s okay to put down people who read and enjoyed 50 Shades of Grey; the author who thinks he’s cool for commenting “this is the worst piece of writing I’ve ever read” on an article wherein a man poured his heart out about walking in on his wife cheating on him with another man – this is not okay; this is not cool. It’s not even your business to tell people what to read or what to write or what is cool. If you don’t like it; don’t read it. It is very simple.

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