Friday, January 16, 2015

Why Can't We Be Friends? The Bitter, Bitter Social Media Blues

By Aaron Michael Ritchey 

I have 985 Facebook friends. If I get 1,000 Facebook friends, every time I post something about my novels, every single person will then share that post, and then countless millions will buy my novels, and I will become rich and famous, and all of my writing dreams will come true.

I need 15 more friends. If I get 15 more friends, when I write, the words will flow; I won’t slip into the past perfect which some editors hate, and I won’t use the words “that”, “had” or “was” ever again. My verbs will be amazingly strong and unbearably dynamic, so strong they won’t need a single adverb to help them out because adverbs, like the past perfect tense, are evil, and they steal your breath late at night when you are sleeping.

If I get 15 more friends, the big five publishing houses will offer me contracts with an embarrassingly large number of zeros behind an embarrassingly large positive integer.

With 15 more friends, I might finally get Twitter followers and I might finally Tweet with some regularity.

Fifteen more friends might finally help me with that whole numbers dilemma I face. When do you spell out the number and when do you just write the Arabic? One of those precious 15 new friends will definitely know the answer.

With a thousand friends on Facebook, I won’t need Pintrest, Instagram, Ello, Google Plus (or is that Google+?) or MySpace. Remember MySpace? I spent years over the past decade wringing my hands over MySpace when I was writing my unpublishable novels, certain I would never make it anywhere in the book business if I didn’t have a MySpace account.

However, even if I did get 15 more friends, I would still join WUPHF.COM because that is the future of social media and if you don’t have a WUPHF account, when you query an agent, they will check, and they will consider you a non-entity because of your WUPHF-less status. You might write a brilliant book, but they won’t take it seriously if you don’t have a WUPHF account. Or if you have less than a thousand Facebook friends.

With 15 more friends on Facebook, I would exercise more, eat better, lose weight, and I might even believe in God again.

All I need is 15 more friends.

Books don’t matter. My family doesn’t matter. Nothing matters except getting 15 MORE FRIENDS!

Until then? I’ll write books. I’ll get them published. They won’t do as well because 985 Facebook friends isn’t as many as other successful writers have, but in the end, I will write books and get them published by any means necessary.

And besides, I do like Facebook for the pictures of kittens and the stuff from George Takei and Chuck Wendig. Love those guys.

And you know, even if I do hit that magic number, that magic four-digit number of awesomeness, unicorns, and rainbows, I still wouldn’t be happy because the real juice comes at 5,000 friends. The universe can’t handle any one person having more than 5,000 friends, so Facebook blocks them to prevent the universe from exploding. Seriously. Look it up.

Late at night, these are some of the thoughts I have, and yeah, the stink of desperation doesn’t smell like roses, people. It’s my job to stay relatively sane and do the next thing in front of me. It’s my job to take actions and then leave the results up to fate, destiny, God, or Mark Zuckerberg.

In the meantime, I need to love the friends, the real friends, I have in my life.

About the Author: Aaron Michael Ritchey is the author of Long Live the Suicide King, a finalist in the Reader’s Favorite contest. Kirkus Reviews calls the story “a compelling tale of teenage depression handled with humor and sensitivity.” His debut novel, The Never Prayer, was also a finalist in the Colorado Gold contest. His forthcoming works include a new young adult novel from Staccato Publishing and a six book sci-fi/western series from Kevin J. Anderson’s WordFire Press. He lives in Colorado with his wife and two goddesses posing as his daughters.

For more about him, his books, and how to overcome artistic angst, visit He’s on Facebook as Aaron Michael Ritchey and he tweets - @aaronmritchey. 


  1. Best post ever!

    As an avid social media user, I agree 100%! SM will never sell you more books and its artificial-ness ensures any relationships won't be very deep. We all know that word of mouth is still the absolute best way to sell books, so create enriching relationships. Not only will they help you sell books, they'll give you a lifetime of happiness.

    Luv u Aaron!

  2. For 10 or fewer items, spell it out. For more, use numbers. That's what I was taught as a girl so it has almost certainly changed.

    However, this mnemonic still works: Fewer raindrops mean less water. Raindrops=separate items. Water=undifferentiated mass of something.

  3. Should I change my name and friend you again? I'm here for ya, man.

  4. It's easy to obsess to much over the social media marketing machine and it can detract from your writing. Good for you for seeing it for what it is.


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