“It seems like Facebook is starting to slowly become MySpace 2.0. It started off cool, then you let ratchet people get a profile and things go crazy! You got people getting killed over Facebook drama now! I have a profile too but I barely get on. The only time you’ll see me logged on Facebook is when I’m posting some pictures or wishing someone a happy birthday. I barely accept my friend requests. It’s just too much drama!”
-Aaliyah Anderson, from the forthcoming young adult novel “The Diary of Aaliyah Anderson”
As I wrote my first novel The Diary of Aaliyah Anderson I debated with myself on what topics I should take on. There are so many things that happen with the youth of the community that needed to get brought to light! However, the way social media has impacted our lives was something that definitely needed covering. All I needed to do to is scroll down my Facebook news feed to get inspiration for the content I was about to write. There’s so much ratchetness that it makes your head hurt!
From the inappropriate, half naked pictures and twerking videos to the fight videos and endless photos of guns and marijuana, it’s evident that we need to have a lesson on proper social media etiquette. The worst part of this equation is that there are countless adults that would benefit from learning how to carry themselves on social media as well. It seems like all sense of ethics, moral value and brain power is lost when people log in to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram! Like what was said the quote above from my novel, we even have people getting killed over Facebook and Twitter drama.
The definition of the world “social media” is “a form of electronic communication through which users create online communities to share information, ideas, personal messages, and other content”. The internet was said to make the world closer, and the addition of social media sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram tighten things up even more. It’s a shame that many people don’t wake up to the power that they have in their fingertips. I surely did.
If it wasn’t for one fateful night in December of last year, I wouldn’t even be here speaking to you right now. The opportunity of a lifetime was inboxed to me by my current author mentor Benjamin Janey! A couple of months later, I was discovered by my publisher Tiah Short (more widely known as the Dc Bookdiva) and offered a publishing deal.
How’d I do it? Well, I did it through the positive usage of Facebook and this e-book website called Wattpad.com, where The Diary of Aaliyah Anderson has 25,000 reads. Bottom line, what you post on your profiles matters. It can build fantastic business and/or personal relationships or cause drama and turmoil.
Author and one of my fellow publishing label mates under DC Bookdiva Publications Mike O takes on the negative aspect of social media usage in his short story series called Fakebook Chronicles and The Tweet Files. Hailing from North Carolina, which recently had Cary rank as the fourth most dangerous small town in America, Mike O has a wealth of knowledge on how to navigate past the negativity that comes on a daily when it comes to social media drama.
Without further ado, here’s my sit down interview with Mike O on the state of social media and his two social media themed short stories!
Randall: What prompted you to write The Tweet Files and Fakebook Chronicles series?
Mike O: I’m a social media junkie. I need help and I’m not in denial! Seriously, with me and my life, I just always been a street dude and have always been on them, ducking a century behind bars, and evolved with the streets. The internet came into play, and these computer screens took our attention away from reality, traveling up the information highway. By the time I reached Facebook and Twitter I had been dealing in the social media for quite some time. I wanted to write something fresh and new, plus show people the mindset of the type of individuals they choose to play online games with.
Randall: In your opinion, how has social media websites such as Facebook and Twitter changed the dynamics of relationships? Is it positive or negative?
Mike O: Facebook and Twitter took the heart out of people and poured it all into their fingertips with no conscious, nor any immediate reactions to the slick things they say to people. I grew up in the era of having to say things face-to-face. Anything that wasn’t said just wasn’t meant to be said and that was that. Now, there are no boundaries and the things that are being said that would never fly out the mouths’ of these people in person. It’s a positive tool for networking and meeting good people if you’re a business person or a good person yourself. Strong relationships are built online. However, it’s negative if you’re a smart mouthed, drama filled person that brings drama upon yourself or if you surrounded by a bunch of drama filled people. Birds of feather flock together whether you do the same things in life or not. Great minds connect to great minds, and small minds usually run in drama filled cliques.
Randall: How do you feel about women posting provocative pictures on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter? Be honest!
Mike O: Honestly, I love women and sexy bodies. As I click the pictures I think to myself, “Would I want a chick like that?” Maybe I would for a night or two of fun but not for a true lady. I guess it’s a difference between classy and trashy, but you can’t tell in a pic that’s for sure. With that said, I need my classy boo clothed in public and in front of these thirsty online clowns.
Randall: Likewise, how do you feel about brothers in the street who take to their social media pages to show off their guns and drugs?
Mike O: So we back to the online clowns? They have to be the dumbest “brothers” on the face of the earth. These are the type of dudes that grew up thinking movies were real and rappers were leaving the studio and going on the block or out killing people when in reality all the real gangsters are dead or locked up. While they’re showing their drugs, the police and the goons watching. The goons thinking, “Let me rob these n**** before the police get em” and in the process you or them die, somebody goes to jail, and everybody loses. Except the state or the feds, cause they gain a prison. There’s nothing special about a gun. Everybody has one and felons get the most time getting caught with them. The streets real and just don’t belong online.
Randall: As an author, how have you used the various social media platforms to extend your reach and fan base?
Mike O: My fan base came from online. I built it writing drama, real life drama, and branded it with my hashtag #TWLD (Team We Love Drama). Anyone who enjoys my writing enjoys drama. That’s what I write. I started out local, and now I’m working on being national and social media is leading the way.
Randall: How important is social media visibility to business success?
Mike O: What big time business do you know that’s not visible in the social media? Social Media is a huge marketing tool, and trust me, you want to be seen. I’m waving my arms like I’m stranded on a desert island trying to capture the attention of a plane flying overhead!
Randall: What upcoming projects do you have?
Mike O: I have the sequel to my novel Smokin’ Mirrors (DC Bookdiva Publications) and the full novel for Fakebook Chronicles coming soon. That’s all I got lined up for now, but I’m working on some things and may be dropping something else.
Randall: Where can we find you?
Mike O: You can find me on Facebook: Thewriter Formerlyknownaz Mikeo. Also follow me on Twitter and Instagram: @Mikeothewriter.
To learn more about Mike O’s novel Smokin’ Mirrors and other DC Bookdiva Publications projects visit:
All volumes of The Tweet Files and Fakebook Chronicles can be found on Amazon.com.
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Randall Barnes is a teen author, internet radio personality, public speaker, journalist, mentor and entrepreneur who currently resides in Macon, GA. Randall is already renowned for his positive, realistic, moral driven writings. To date, his forthcoming novel, “The Diary of Aaliyah Anderson” has garnered over 24,000 views on Wattpad.com and worldwide acclaim. Randall is also a staff writer for the popular website urbanintellectuals.com.