Tag Archives: technology

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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Just testing…

Today was the last day of school for my kids. 

It was filled with track, chaos, friends, swimming, reading, snacking, playing, movies and bonfires.  Oh yeah, and cleaning. 

I’m too tired to have a last day of school! 

One more thing, I found the cyber monster’s lair.  I was able to comment on my blog and will try my third post of the day.  If this works, I’ll subdue the monster and attempt commenting on everyone else’s blogs tomorrow.

Night all and thanks for hanging in there with me and my technological tribulations!

I’m a Cell-Out: Texting in Text

I know someone who is in the habit of randomly picking up unattended cell phones and reading through the texts found therein.  I don’t know about you, but I feel this is a serious invasion of privacy and more unethical than the nosy phone operators from the sixties who listened in on the party line.

However, this technological eaves-dropping has become quite common in YA books of late.  The key piece of info is texted to the wrong person, or a Facebook Folly creates irrepairable damage to relationships.  Cyber snoopers wreak havoc for the innocent PMer.  The wrong party pic ends up in the wrong hands.  The list is endless and limited only to our imaginations experiences.

Yet I can’t help but wonder about this trend.  Is it a cliche?  An easy out for info gathering?  Reality?  Necessary to engage our readers? 

The thing I like about writing Middle Grade is that the pressure to add these elements isn’t quite there yet.  Though I am under no illusions that, as more kids get phones younger, MG won’t fall victim to the trend/reality sooner rather than later. 

To date, I have only used texting in one of my novels.  My NaNo09.  It actually plays a key role in the suspense and over all story.  I’m not sure how I feel about it, except to say I don’t know if I could have pulled off my plot without it. 

I hate texting in real life.  I dislike it even more in my manuscript.  I think this makes me a hypocrit–being old fashioned and reluctant to integrate, yet needing the ease of texting to create a more plausible plot development.  It makes me feel like a sell-out.  And yet I can’t help but wonder…

Is social networking a necessary component in contemporary fiction?  Have you used these devices in your writing?  If so, how?  If not, how do you feel about the idea in general? 

As a reader, do passages of texting, emails or chats distract from the story at hand or enhance it? 

Am I the last cell-out?

Tales from Technology

Our world is simultaneously bigger and smaller than it was twenty-five and fifty years ago.  This is a tremendous benefit to grandparents and writers.

Last night my Middle Son had a music concert.  Week night events are nearly impossible for grandparents to attend.  My parents are three hours away and DH’s are four.  Not an easy, hop-in-the-car jaunt when the musical event is sandwiched between two work days. 

Had the concert taken place fifty years ago, our parents likely would have been living in the same town or even the same house as us.  They would have had no problem attending a week night event.  Twenty-five years ago, they might have been a town or two away.

As technology has advanced, so has our mobility as a society.  Now-a-days, we judge proximity by states not miles. 

Yet last night, an amazing thing happened.  Our parents did attend the concert.  Our school is in the infant stages of webcasting school events.  From four hours away, DH’s mom nudged me via a text What is he wearing?  Is he next to the girl in the red dress?  Oh, I just saw him speak!

It was magical to share our lives from so far away. 

And some astute authors are cashing in on this magic.  They have begun virtual book tours and blog tours.  They speak at events through webcasting, chat on the phone with book clubs or discuss topics online via chat sessions. Connecting to a wide range of people is limited only to an author’s  imagination and determination.

All this technology has expanded our global reach.  We can be the guest of honor on a blog in Australia.  We can attend a school visit in Europe.  We can “chat” with authors and readers from one coast to the next, all from the comfort of our home. 

Yet as our world expands, it also shrinks.  Technology takes the miles away and brings our family, friends and loyal readers from states away and puts them back in our home towns and right into our living rooms.  We can connect on a personal level despite the distance. 

With this magical new world comes greater responsibility.  As writers and as humans, we need to be hyper-conscious of the ease of technology.  We need to safegaurd our relationships.  All of them.  I think technology could easily replace personal relationships.  It could become so comfortable to web-cam from home to home that the urge to visit and be visited diminishes.  After all, why bother with the inconvenience of travel when it is easier and more cost effective to boot up the computer?

As technology becomes the norm, we may be able to attend events without ever really showing up.  Which is fine if you would prefer Aunt Maud to spill her cranberry vodka on her own carpet while you said quick hellos from across the room continent on Christmas morning. 

But what about writers?  My worry is that, unless we are mindful, technology can create a chasm between writers and readers.  It would be rather easy to revert back to the smoking jackets and hermit-like ways if we can sip our cranberry vodkas while “speaking” to a room full of kids.  This valley could become an uncrossable canyon in terms of knowing our audience and really connecting with them.

Do you feel that technology enhances or detracts from a relationship?  What concerns do you have about going “virtual”?