When it comes to fanfiction, many people think it’s a harmless hobby. After all, it’s just fiction, right? Sadly, that couldn’t be further from the truth. In this blog post, we’ll discuss the harmful effects that sharing fanfiction on social media platforms has on your personal life. Keep reading to learn more.
The Dark Web
Sharing fanfiction on social media platforms is absolutely safe, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t equally harmful. After all, when you post a story on social media, you’re essentially giving it a life outside of your own Twitter account. If that story ends up being leaked or ‘doxed’ (a cyberattack aimed at exposing someone’s identity), you’re severely harmed. That’s why it’s crucial to keep your fiction (especially if it’s sensitive or deals with mature themes) under your own control. Fortunately, there are ways you can prevent this from happening.
Pro-Tip: Don’t Post On The Dark Web
The dark web is a place hidden from the regular, search-based web browsers. It’s usually accessed through an encrypted browser like Tor, which will redirect your web requests to different locations on the globe. Sometimes, people will visit one of these darknets just to read your fiction. In case you ever end up there, it’s imperative to realize that this is neither a place nor a network you want to be in. It’s a place you want to avoid at all costs, especially if you value your safety.
The Effect On Your Personal Life
The repercussions of posting sensitive or mature fanfiction on social media platforms aren’t limited to just the story itself. When you share a ‘doxed’ (or otherwise publicly exposed) story, you’re essentially putting your personal life on display for the world to see. Even if the story is fictional, it still carries a lot of weight because it’ll then be associated with your real life. When that happens, the world will be able to connect the two. In today’s society, where anyone can find and expose your personal information, the effects of this can be devastating. Keep in mind:
- Your reputation is on the line
- Your safety could be at risk
- You could be forced to change your identity
- Your friends and family could be affected (especially if the story is about them)
- You could lose your job
Sharing your fictional stories will never be the same again. Even if you think it’s harmless, the ability to expose yourself this way should not be taken lightly. While some may see it as a way of expressing yourself, it can have much deeper implications for your personal life. If you’re not prepared for the ramifications of sharing your fiction, then perhaps publishing isn’t the right choice for you. After all, you could end up seriously hurting yourself or someone you care about if you decide to write about violence, sexual assault, and/or other controversial topics.
Writing Is A Healing Process
If you really want to be successful as a writer, you can’t solely focus on publishing your stories and watching the money roll in. Instead, you need to shift your attention to the much more important matter of self-care. When you start to see your work as a way of healing or expressing yourself, rather than a creative outlet, you’ll start to wonder if publishing is the right choice for you. After all, you’re putting your mental health on the line by doing this.
The Difference In The Way You’ll Feel About Yourself
Even if you don’t show your fiction to the world, you’ll still have an audience of one in your own head. When you start writing, nothing feels quite as good as creating a fictional world, exploring places, adventures, and/or characters you imagine yourself to be. This is your creative outlet and it gives you a sense of freedom and expression you may not find elsewhere. However, this doesn’t mean that everything you write will be perfect or that you’ll want to show your work to the world. Sometimes, you’ll have a story that just doesn’t work and you’ll have to ditch it. It’s a part of the process of growing as a writer.
More Than Meets The Eye
When you start down the road to being a published author, you’ll discover that it’s more than just writing and getting your work out there. You’ll then have to deal with the much more important issue of marketing and publicizing your work. It’s likely that you’ll need an agent to help navigate this process and get your work in front of the right people. Even if you do end up being successful and gain lots of attention, you’ll still have to deal with the haters. As a writer, you’ll eventually come across individuals who don’t like what you have to say or who feel threatened by your presence. These are the things you’ll have to deal with as an author. While this isn’t an insurmountable issue and it doesn’t mean you won’t make it as a writer, it’s something you need to be aware of from the get-go.
Sharing your fictional stories is neither right nor wrong, per se. It’s a personal choice that each individual needs to make for themselves. For some, it may be the best way to cope with the world. For others, it may cause them great harm. Ultimately, it’s a decision you need to carefully consider before you begin sharing your work online. If you’re unsure of how sharing your fiction on social media will affect you, then perhaps it’s best to leave it alone.