Me and Social Media

 


When it comes to me and the use of social media, some people might actually accuse me of being anti-social. I don’t believe that’s accurate, however. Not only have I made a number of new friends on Facebook and Twitter, I’ve also renewed old friendships that way.

I couldn’t tell you the number of former English students I’ve enjoyed catching up with on Facebook. I know some of them feel strange addressing me by my first name now–one fellow is so respectful I’ve just about given up on convincing him I really want him to–but at this age (I turned seventy-one yesterday) my old students and I aren’t that far apart in age. One of my most interesting former student reconnections is with Tom, who now lives and operates his own restaurant in Colombia.

I’ve also become friends again with an old friend from high school. Who would’ve thought she’d end up living in Richmond when we’d been in high school together in Norfolk? Or that she’d become one of the most enthusiastic supporters of both my writing and my music? My wife and I enjoy getting together with her periodically for a meal out.

And who would’ve thought I’d find another old friend–this young lady from one of my previous work places–who was at that time living in Brazil and had written her first novel? When I asked her to email a copy of it, my wife and I both love it so much I connected her with my original publisher; she ended up with a three-book contract. Yes, the original book was long enough to cut into three shorter books!

Probably most of my Facebook friends are fellow authors I’ve met at conferences. But I have been blessed to meet some of my readers on Facebook, too. Truthfully, those are the people I’d most like to get to know better.

One real failure on my part is not always staying up-to-date with my wonderful daughter and her terrific family. It’s certainly not lack of interest. I just can’t seem to make myself get on Facebook to see what’s going on in other people’s lives. If people post on my timeline or send me a message, I always respond. But doing Facebook just to do it isn’t my thing.

Twitter is more of an enigma to me. I honestly don’t get it. Maybe if I were a teen…

I occasionally tweet blurbs about an author friend’s books and occasionally about my own. But authors are cautioned to not do too much tweeting (or Facebook posting, for that matter) about their books. So I don’t. And the easiest way to avoid that is to rarely tweet at all.

I’ve met a couple of interesting people on Twitter, however. My favorite is Meggie Jenny, a Christian actress/screen writer/director/producer/you name it-er. Interestingly, she followed me first. I have no idea why. I admire her tremendously, so I’m careful not to bug her. And with that kind of relationship, I can count on her to tweet back.

I have Instagram, LinkedIn, and Pinterest accounts. I rarely pay attention to Pinterest, although it’s amazing how many times people have re-posted some of my pictures from a tour my wife and I took of the Martin Guitar factory a few years ago.

Although my blog posts automatically go to Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn, I’ve never figured out what to do with LinkedIn and I don’t need one more app on my phone to really take advantage of Instagram.

The thing is, I really do like people. Even though I enjoyed the solitude of computer programing for a number of years, now that I’m retired and spending all day at home writing while my wife is out making a living, I find that I do miss people. Walking at the mall in the early morning gives me some vital human contact, but–no matter how it might pain me to say so–so does my limited participation on social media.

But social media is far from being an addiction for me, and that’s a good thing, too.

What about you? Are you a media addict or do you use it reasonably…or not at all? Your comments are welcome.

 

    

Links you might be interested in:

I’ll be back again on Sunday. If you’d like to receive my posts by email, go to “Follow Blog via Email” at the upper right.

Best regards,
Roger

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Bombarded!

Every few days my wife turns to me and asks if I saw something particular about one of our friends or acquaintances on Facebook. Although it’s usually something I’m interested in and wish I’d seen, I have to admit to her that–as usual–I failed to see it.

Facebook is a wonderful way to keep in touch with friends and family and to make new friends. I can’t deny that. Nor can I express anything but appreciation for the friends from many years past that I’ve caught up with on Facebook–people I wouldn’t have had any chance of locating and catching up with otherwise.

Whether they’re  former students or co-workers, people I used to know from former churches, or even a friend I’d gone on a mission trip to Australia with but had lost total contact with, my life would be vastly less interesting.

Maybe even lonelier.

So why don’t I pay more attention to Facebook?

Before I try to answer that, I need to admit that I’m that way about other electronic media, too. I have a Pinterest account. A LinkedIn account as well. Originally I posted some pictures on Pinterest, but now I totally ignore it. If I get a contact request from LinkedIn, I’m apt to confirm it. After all, my blog posts go there, and those people are potential readers of my books. Otherwise, why am I there?

And Twitter? Oh, wow! I don’t know why many of the people who choose to follow me do so, but I’ve met a few really interesting people that way. Sure is embarrassing, though, to admit to someone who’s apparently well known that I’ve never heard of them before. Only a few of the people I follow back respond, and I can’t think of more than one or two Tweeters whose names I can even remember. Nope, Twitter gets ignored, too.

But email is the biggie. I normally get several hundred messages a day–and that’s not counting the ones that automatically go to the Junk folder. When I check email, I typically “Select All” and then go down the list, unchecking those I’m really going to have to look at. I delete the ones that are still checked–and that’s apt to be 80-90% of them–and THEN read the few that are left.

Please don’t think I hate people, even though I might sound that way. Some of you have read the post I wrote about being an introvert. Not a shy introvert, but one who tires easily from being around more than a handful of people, and those people must be close to me at that. When I’m in a crowd, I can’t wait to escape.

I think that’s why I feel the way I do about electronic media. In my solitary lifestyle–I’m home by myself most of the day–I’m not apt to seek electronic company. Being bombarded with it is just too much. It’s apt to tire me just as much as being among a crowd of “real” people.

But I do enjoy the company of the select few.

I receive Facebook notices in my email, and I don’t mind those, no matter who they’re from. In fact, I’m happy to respond to them. But at least those are things that relate to me personally.

If I weren’t an author who’s always seeking more readers, I wouldn’t feel under such pressure to deal appropriately with the social media. Although we’re advised not to use the e-media just to make sales pitches, publishers expect authors to have a huge number of media followers.

What about you? Is keeping up with email and social media too much, too? Do you feel bombarded? How about leaving a comment?

NOTE: Various people have complained about not being able to find or leave comments. Go all the way to the bottom of this post, beneath my “Best regards, Roger.” On the very bottom line of that last section just above the previous post you’ll see “Leave a Comment” if yours will be the first or “X Comments,” where  X denotes the number of existing comments.

~*~

Links you might be interested in:

I’ll be back again on Sunday. If you’d like to receive my posts by email, go to “Follow Blog via Email” at the upper right.

Best regards,
Roger