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Author Katie Mettner

Follow the Leader

In this digital age we all know what 'following' means. We also know that we have our own 'page' or 'platform' where we get to share our own personal opinions or stories. For once, we have an opportunity to be a leader AND a follower in our online kingdoms. It's our one chance to have our cake AND eat it too. What I'm left to ponder is, whether that's a good idea. Why? Because when we have the option to be both on a platform we often take our 'leadership' role and transpose it onto our 'follower' role.

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You may be wondering what I mean by this, so let me give you an example. Earlier this week I was talking on the phone to a woman who has become my friend over the years on social media. We were talking about my upcoming books that will be releasing. I said that After Summer Ends is first in September, followed by my Halloween and then Christmas story. I told her that After Summer Ends is about two women who fall in love. It is a clean read and not about sex, but about love, kindness and forgiveness (You can read the full post on NA Alley about what I hope to accomplish with Willow and Summer). She immediately said she would rather promote my Christmas book, which I was absolutely fine with. What she said next, however, was what left me scratching my head. She told me that if any of her followers told her that I wrote a book about lesbians, and weren't happy about it, then she would have to stop tweeting for all my books. You read that right. She would stop tweeting all my books, because someone else told her to. 

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Now, don't get me wrong, I have plenty of 'followers' and one person not tweeting my books isn't going to make a huge impact on my readership. What disturbed me was that she was allowing her 'followers' to be the 'leaders' of her own platform. 

(Sorry but this applies again)

In fact, one of the books she has been heavily promoting is about a man who is part of the LGBT community. While he ends up marrying a woman, the book heavily emphasizes that as Christians, our only job is to love one another. In fact, there is something in every one of my books, whether it's premartial sex, loss of faith, alcohol, deception, multicultural couples etc. that would make one or more of her followers not want to read the book. What she doesn't know is how many of her followers need to hear the message that book offers, so if she listens to the one follower who doesn't like it, all her other followers miss out. (Eventually she would only be able to tweet pictures of cats and dogs because there wouldn't be any 'safe' book except maybe Dr. Suess) For the last several years, she's been tweeting about my books with no problem related to her own moral compass, yet suddenly she would stop completely because one person told her to? At the end of day, this is your platform, and you can use it the way you want to use it! Of course, if it is your own personal mission statement that is keeping you from promoting or supporting something then I am completely on board with that decision. But if one or two 'followers' gets to tell the 'leader' what to do, who is really leading? 

I can't fathom the idea that she would willingly stop promoting something she believed in simply because one of her followers didn't like it. Let them un-follow you, but for the love of everything holy don't let someone else decide for you what you will and will not believe in, trust in, like, dislike or participate in. When did we, as leaders and followers, forget how to be plain old humans? When did we forget about kindness, love, fellowship, and the joy of helping others? When did we become so worried about what our 'followers' would think that we forgot how to be leaders? When did we throw out our own 'mission statement' of how we will 'lead', for the mission statement of our 8,000 'followers'? 

I'm here to tell you that isn't how I run my 'leadership' platform, or how I 'follow' others. If you share something of mine, I'll share something of yours. If you retweet one of my tweets, I'll retweet one of yours. I don't care if you write erotica, LGBT, Christian, contemporary or any other kind of book in between. I don't care if you are black, white, yellow, orange, purple, gay, straight or anything in between, I will support you. That is what 'social media' was meant to be. Social. Helpful, meaningful, and worthwhile. My own personal mission statement is simple: "Do unto others as you would have done unto you," Luke 6:31 and that is what I will continue to refer to as I lead. 

Love Never Fails...
1 Corinthians 13:8

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