Tag Archives: social media

Is Facebook Dead? & other Techy Stuff for Parents and Writers

It’s evident that most kids have emigrated from Facebook to cyber sites less-frequented-by-adults. This mass exodus has caused the extinction of previous social network sites, and I can’t help but wonder if Facebook is the next dinosaur of the cyber world.

For parents, this constant migration away from adult eyes means chasing down vines, instagrams and snap chats–an exhausting endeavor at best.

Yet for writers, it means one more way to date our writing. And that is never a good thing unless we pen historical fiction.

The bunchy phone cords of my childhood were replaced by cordless phones, then bag phones then cell phones that now know exactly where you are, what you’re doing and who you’re doing it with on any given day. It’s terrifying and could have been a sci-fi novel a handful of years back.

So what does the future hold for the written word in regards to technology?

Do we follow the trend of the day and pray that by the time our novels are published the tech hasn’t left our words behind?

Or, do we create our own, similar technology and use it as stand ins for the real thing?

And what is this social media thing all about anyways, and how will it continue to evolve? Is Candy Crush the future? Will we be wified from birth so that every thought, every memory, every sight we see will be instantly networked to curious onlookers? Will fiction become fact sooner than we think? How do you handle this and other techy conundrums in your life and your writing?

Curious  minds want to know!

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WordPress Impressed: Where do you blog?

My sister-in-law and I were talking the other day about websites. She has started a business with a talented girlfriend of hers and commented that they needed a website, but couldn’t afford one right now. As a writer with two names for my two types of writing, I know my way around blogs/websites. I’ve been on them (hit and miss) for nearly five years now. I’ve also helped other small businesses design user friendly sites of their own.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not the world’s most-or-even-close-to tech savvy gal around, but I do know a thing or two about what makes some servers more user friendly and/or professional than others. It’s because of this familiarity that I recommended WordPress for all her small business needs.

And before I hear a chorus of, “But you haven’t been blogging for eternity”, I would like to say that re-immersing myself with the social media world in the past weeks has actually made me appreciate the intuitive nature of WordPress all the more. In fact, one of my favorite aspects of WP at the moment is their new posting feature that allows me to hop back and forth between my kid blog and this blog so easily. LOVE IT.

“But wait,” you say. “You said website. What you have is two blogs. NOT the same thing.”

I can assure you that because of my YA writing, I am very familiar with WP as a static website and absolutely adore my webpage for it’s clean professional look that is easy to update when necessary. And yes, I have a different website for my kid books through Wix which isn’t nearly as easy to navigate–for either the designer or the viewer–as my WP one is. I also blog on two separate blogs with blogger and have a hate/hate relationship with them.

So, while I haven’t been the most consistent social media guru in the past six months, I do have some practical experience with the cyber realm of websites and blogs. Hands down, WordPress wins.

But don’t just believe me. If you’re looking into all web options, please consider this: the powers that be at AgentQuery Connect advise writers that the most intuitive and cheapest services out there is none other than WP–all without compromising on quality and professionalism.

So, what’s in your cyber wallet? Who do you blog with and where do you park your permanent dot com? Feel free to share the things you hate or love about the different servers.

Curious minds want to know.

Social Media…The Death of Us All?

While discussing the downfalls of social media with my big kids last night, Eldest commented that technology would be the destructive force that takes down mankind.

I think he’s right.  Orwell’s 1984 has never been more present than now.  And it’s not necessarily the government we need to fear.  It’s ourselves.

We put so much of ourselves into the vast world of technology that we no longer have any sort of privacy (says the blogger who connects nearly every writing post to real life).  It’s dang scary.

And while I occasionally get opinionated and loud about certain issues, my motto is: If I can’t say it to my mother, my mother-in-law or my pastor, I have no business saying it online, because inevitably, anyone from my kids to their teachers to the mayor to the president can feasibly read what I write or ogle every picture I ever post.

That’s fine.  President Obama doesn’t care that my dog eats socks and sleeps on her back in her kennel.  Or that I think kids get by with bullying because adults are too afraid to step in.  Or that our inability to address early literacy issues as a preventative measure literally condemns thousands of children to an adult life in poverty or prison.  That we spend far more money incarcerating adults who had potential but lacked the ability to read well, instead of helping them as at-risk kindergarteners learn to succeed is one of the greatest tragedies our country has ever created.  Economically, emotionally and socially.

The Pres doesn’t care about me and my thoughts.  But somebody does.  Actually, lots of somebodies potentially do.

They like every new account I create, every website I visit, every purchase I make, every hot button word I say, every picture I post.  They like it because it’s information.  And information, if used correctly, can cause damage.  It can destroy job security, rip apart marriages and financially cripple individuals who aren’t careful.  Heck, even those who are.

Every picture of that beer can in your underage hands can keep you from attaining that coveted scholarship.  Every snarky word you type into cyberspace can influence other’s opinions and decisions about you, including a judge’s should you get busted for spouting off about your illegal gun supply.

We are the guilty parties in Cyber Space 1984.  We want to be heard so much that we forget what not to say.  We rail against agents as we email query letter after query letter.  We snark off about certain authors and their less than stellar books only to later realize when our own books arrive on the shelves, authors are reviewers too.

We take pictures of naughty parts and pen less-than-pure prose as captions to our lovers, never believing our spouses may find them.  We threaten others every day with hate-filled words, never believing someone will use our prejudices to take us down.  We destroy our own integrity in a constant battle to be seen and heard by our friends, never really understanding that it’s not just our friends who hear us and see us.  It’s the entire cyber world.

And that world is a very big place.

I urge everyone, regardless of age, race, gender or profession to carefully consider the long-term impact of their cyber footprints before setting anything loose into the vast and unforgetting realm of social media.

Our words count.  They add up.  They create a picture of what we look like to the outside world.  And sometimes, that picture ain’t pretty.  Don’t hang yourself with your words.

My favorite saying of all time comes from William Backus.  “”The concept behind personal integrity is wholeness. When a person is the same without as within, when what others know about him is the same truth he knows about himself, he has integrity.”

So, if you believe yourself to be a kind and gentle soul, your words should reflect this.  If you’re crass and crude and selfish on the inside, then so be it.  Present this truth to the world.  Just remember, we alone are responsible for what we say and how we say it.  The sandbox/lunchroom/break room has just gotten bigger.

How do you feel about social media as a whole?  What responsibility do we have to ourselves to set clear rules of social media engagement?  And what might those rules look like?  What types of behaviors spell certain social media death?

Curious minds want to know.