Facebook, Dick Pics, and Being a Female Professional Writer Online.
I’m a writer by profession. I write novels, scripts and blogs, and it’s how I make a living. To make a living, people need to know I exist or they won’t read, buy or invest in any of the work I do. And to let people know I exist, I depend heavily on a social media presence.
Through Facebook, Twitter and Instagram I’ve been fortunate enough to meet some amazing and inspirational people, I’ve connected with audiences who read my blogs and my books (thank you by the way, you help me feed my children), and I’ve networked with industry professionals who are vital to advancing in my career. In short, I’m grateful for how social media is a free and efficient way of doing the stuff that you need to do to be a writer, that isn’t actual writing.
In order to do this, my professional Facebook account is open. It’s easy to find and easy to make contact with, and I try to accept friend requests because you never know who the person adding you will be. If it’s closed, I can’t do all the connecting and networking that is so vital to my job.
But my Facebook is a never ending swamp of men. I’ve had 3 different men try and video call me through Facebook messenger so far this morning and it’s not even 7:30am as I write this. I’ve not had enough coffee to cope with this nonsense.
My desire to accept as many friend requests as possible, because so many people who add me are decent and interesting or relevant to my work, is challenging when I get so bloody many.
Filtering through them is impossible. I do the obvious and delete requests from people who are nude or have porn in their profile picture, but for the most part I can either accept all, ignore all, or randomly select people to accept or delete and risk missing out on an opportunity that’s valuable. But I get so many every day that it’s really not easy whatever I do.
So, for those I accept. Then what?
I don’t like getting phone calls from people I know. I cope because I have to, but when it’s strangers I’ve never interacted with? No thank you. Also, why? Why call me? My assumption is, however unfair this may seem, is that the video callers want me to see their dick. I assume this because of the number of dick pics I get sent.
I’ve covered the actual implements out of respect for my readers, but seriously, I’m sick of seeing random unwanted penises. It’s gross and it’s abusive. I have not consented to seeing these picture, and I’ve not even spoken to these people before they send their knobs into my messages.
It’s got to the point where I’m almost paranoid about opening messages. So many times I’ve opened them and found unexpected wang that I now have an inbox full of unread messages.
And what am I missing? Is there a potential job opportunity? Someone who loves my work and wants to talk about it? Someone I’ve chatted with on Twitter who’s come to Facebook too?
The whole point of leaving my profile open is to enable the communications I want…but I’m so bogged down with random men that I’m not getting those anyway!
Of course, I do have a Page people can like, as well as a profile. I prefer interactions on my Page because the weirdo’s don’t tend to go there…
Although sometimes they go there too much… Of course I want interactions on my Facebook page, it’s why I have the thing. But this sort of like bombing means nothing. No way has this guy actually looked at my posts, the responses are too close together. So what’s the point? Why do it?
Being a woman online is a challenge. I want to be able to have my professional profile open, I want to be able to work in public without harassment, either online or in person. But it’s hard and it’s disappointing and it’s frustrating. I love my job, and if I can’t get people to read my writing then I won’t have a job. Is this the price I have to pay? Do I have to field constant unwanted calls, fend away unexpected cock shots, and forage my way through a minefield of potential perverts just so I can keep working?
It’s exhausting. And I don’t know what to do about it. And, more annoyingly, it doesn’t happen to my male writing partner.
If you’re thinking of sending a photo of your junk today, please don’t. I just want to make a living doing the thing I’m good at, but your knob gets in the way.