We all use social media for different reasons. Keep up with old friends. Share photos of that trip you just took. Group watch your favorite TV show. Sell a product. Talk about a film, book, album you are crowd-funding for ... so many reasons.
The other side of that is when it gets ugly. I will be the first to admit, I often fall into this category on twitter. Hate-watching a show and making snarky remarks. Being political. Being political. Being political. The past year has been rough and many days I swear I'm not going to make a political post, but then I check a certain person's tweet and I can't stay quiet.
I'm just regular Joe. I'm not running for office. I'm not a celebrity. Yet we often see those people held at very different standards when they get involved in tweet conversations. We've seen Broadway performers attacked for their views on the Hamilton/Mike Pence event. We've seen regular people lose jobs because of a tweet they have done/photo shared and social media grabs the pitchforks and goes after them.
I stand behind my tweets. Rarely will I remove a tweet (unless I did something in so much anger and I need to delete it). I've had many heated discussions with people of opposing views and yes, have had to block many, MANY people when they are simply trolling me and not truly debating. Fine. Believe what you believe.
However, even small indie artist have to be careful because you never know what someone may do. Oh sure, I've had bad reviews written about me that I know came from a place that had nothing to do with my product. But recently, I was accused of something that was simply not true. I had made a humorous/snarky tweet, someone replied that I was anti-military (when my tweet had nothing to do with our military) and next thing you know - this person is tweeting a photo of my tweet, their reply, and the cover of my book telling people to make it go viral as I'm some sort of anti-American. Attack me for what I say, totally fine: make up crap...not right.
It simply goes to show the underbelly of social media that has nothing to do with facts or what is right or wrong. People can say whatever they want (hence the fake news stories) and people will believe. Yes, there were people that retweeted this person without ever questioning anything about it. Without noticing I had tweeted that VERY day a photo of a military family's Christmas card and sending my thoughts to them. That I come from a military family where my dad, brother, sister-in-law and numerous uncles and cousins have all served. None of that matters on social media. In the long run, it doesn't matter to me either as I know the truth. But for a moment, I thought "wow - this is what it's like to be a celebrity and be attacked!" (Who knows, perhaps she gave me publicity to a parent that will actually WANT to buy my children's books when they realize this person completely jumped to a strange conclusion from my tweet and I hit a new parent market!)
So to my fellow indie artist friends - stay true to yourself. Use social media as you see fit. If you stand up for a certain subject, don't stay quiet. But be prepared that even we are not immune to the ugly side of social media.