I am a Social Media Whore

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            In a way I believe social media saved my life.

            Do you think I am being over dramatic?

            Well fuck you, read this then decide it I am being over dramatic you judgmental pricks!

            Okay … wow, sorry about that. I’m not sure where that came from. It’s been a rough few weeks and I think I just vented on all of you and for that I apologize. But consider this, if I couldn’t vent my rage and frustration would build up and I may have decided to end it all for me and the family via carbon monoxide poisoning. But because I could vent to you here in my Journal (via Social Media) my family lives another day.

            See?

            Okay, enough hyperbole and supposition, on to the meat and potatoes of this piece.

            In the summer of 2008 I was at a high point in my life. By fall of 2008 I would hit the single lowest place I’ve EVER been in my entire life. I’d gone from my dream job and the whole world coming up Millhouse, to a destroyed pile of fat and tears.

            I will not go into the story again. I have told and retold it until almost all of the pain and rage has been expunged from my body, mind, and soul (if I have one). I will once again give a shout out to Mr. Eloy Lasanta owner and operator of “Third Eye Games” (www.thirdeyegames.net). Without his support during the dark days none of what I’ve accomplished would have been possible. Enough of that, there is no point giving him a big head. He has 2 awesome kids, a hot funny wife, and a respected company. He doesn’t need this scribbler’s adulation.

            My Social Media whoring.

            In the fall and winter of 2008 I spent a lot of time on the internet. I mean seriously if you people think I am on here too much these days you wouldn’t have wanted to know me back then. And remember this was before I’d ever even considered getting a smart phone. In fact I’d just bought my first phone which could reliably pull email from the ether of the digital web.

            One day I found MySpace.

            Yes I know. Everyone have a good laugh that I found MySpace when it was on its final legs. I’ve never been a Luddite, in fact I love new technology, and I am just lazy when it comes to change of any kind. Or at least I used to be before the medication. But I’ve talked enough about that lately as well and this Journal is about non porn related internet.

            MySpace was a revelation. If you are reading this and the only exposure you’ve had to the site is the current configuration you don’t know what you were missing. The sloppy fun mess of a social network was something new and different. I was the first time instant and intense interaction with other people via the interwebs was a doable thing. Before that we were relegated to message boards and America Online Chat rooms where the most interesting thing you could do was fuck with the sexual predators.

            I’d been pretty damn lonely since 1994. I had a tight group of trusted and loved friends in Michigan when I was forced by circumstance to move to Dayton Ohio. The circumstance of the move being the brewing war between me and my stepmonster, only one of us could have survived that clash of Teenage Male and Old Bitch.

            When I arrived here I had one friend, Jeff. We’d gone to school together for three years when I lived with my grandparent s and for a long time I considered him a brother. In the summer of 1995 he, I, and a friend of his got an apartment together. It was a nightmare.

            Let me sate this for the record, if you ever have to get a roommate make it someone you are only acquainted with and not a good friend. Jeff and I watched our friendship dissolve while Dana (Jeff’s friend) and I got along pretty good. I could have stayed his roommate indefinitely.

            Good guy.

            I met Karen (My Wife) while I lived with Jeff and after our lease was up I moved in with her. We were married had kids and have been living our life together ever since. But I never made another friend I could hang out with again. Not going for a pity party here, I still to this day have some of my friends in Michigan, and in Indiana. But when it comes to a buddy I can just call and hang out with … none, nadda, zero, and zilch.

            I think a lack of friends to vent to and talk to on a regular basis helped contribute to my mental breakdown. Add loneliness, unmedicated bipolar disorder, an inability to talk about things because I was a recalcitrant asshole, and the apparent destruction of my career and I think what happened was kind of inevitable.

            But that also needs no retelling.

            On Social media I rectified my loneliness. I made connections with people who shared my interests, debated issues, and told filthy jokes I even made my first connection with the aforementioned Mr. Lasanta via MySpace. I was enjoying Social Media but I would not yet say I was a whore.

            Twitter changed everything.

            I was entrenched on Twitter before I ever even looked at Facebook. I blame one Mrs. Jessi Shaffer for this. She introduced to the joy of micro blogging my every move, bite, drink, thought, and poop. Okay I quit doing the last one pretty quick but you get the point, for a person who really WANTS to over share Twitter is crack! It wasn’t long before I moved to Facebook. Then the gates were opened and the whole of the Social Media universe ran a train on me.

            I use social media as my number one tool for getting my writing out into the world. It appears to be working because my sales steadily grow every month and I ended this last year firmly in the black.

            I use social media to network with my colleagues. I know that sounds douchey as hell but I’ve met all the artists and editors I’ve used through social media. I have also networked with dozens and dozens of the most amazing and generous writers you’ve ever met. Through these people I have become a stronger more confident and skilled writer.

            But more important than anything else I’ve made real friends on Social Media. In the bad old days of the early internet we said something along the lines of, “Never trust anyone you meet on the web” this was good advice then. But now I would say, “Take it slow with people you meet on the internet” I think that’s better advice now.

            I’ve made real friends on Social Media, friends I think I will know the rest of my life. I am not going to name them but I think you all know who you are and you know I love you.

 

            -Josh

 

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Josh Hilden

When I was born on August 3, 1976 in the great state of Michigan the hills shook and the sky was swept with fire. These were portents of the greatness for my future that was written in the stars ... I'm still waiting for that greatness. My name is Josh Hilden and I am many things. I am a husband, a father, a son, a friend. These are all important things but at my core I am an artist and the medium that I work in is words. I am a writer of Horror, Science Fiction, Drama, and Role Playing Games. I worked for Palladium Books (www.palladiumbooks.com) and Third Eye Games (www.thirdeyegames.net) before striking out on my own and founding a small press publishing company Gorillas with Scissors Press (www.gwspress.com). I also work for Fat Goblin Games (www.fatgoblingames.com). In the everyday world I can be found spending time with my family and friends. I have been married to my lovely wife Karen since 1996 and we have six amazing children. We tend to be a family of unabashed geeks and gamers who were geek before geek was chic. If you are really interested in me I am very active online with a personal and a writing blog along with a plethora of social media outlets. If you have any questions or just want to chat hit me up!