I seriously believe people born after 1985 inherited a mutated gene that gives them an innate ability to understand the social rules of cyberspace society. Our children may disappoint us when they text during dinner, but plenty of strangers in the cyberworld feel they have impeccable manners. My daughter once informed me that if you don’t respond to a text immediately, it’s rude. Better to ignore the real person than the cyberperson.
I was born in the sixties. My generation’s first experience with technology involved a circle and spinning. Yep, we mastered the rotary phone. Then it was on to manually changing the buttons on the TV, which we learned only because our parents were too lazy to get off the couch and do it themselves. By college, we mastered the cutting edge stuff—the typewriter, the stereo and burgeoning technology, the computer. Some of our generation excelled and some of us got busy having babies and our greatest adventure in the world of technology consisted of the baby monitor and the awesome automatic baby swing.
All of our kids learned to poop in the potty, walk, talk (Unfortunately on some days.) And then they learned to email, Tweet, Instagram, Tumblr and Pinterest. As we framed their elementary school portraits, they left us in cyberdust dust, pathetically puffing our chests over the fact that we figured out how to post pictures on Facebook.
In the olden days, we made fun of moms who tried to dress and act young. Now my kids make fun of adults who think they can keep step with social media. (I’ll let you in on a secret. There’s a conspiracy organized by everyone born after 1985 to make sure no mom ever, ever, catches up.) The trouble is some of us are forced to try.
I have a book contract that requires a “presence” on social media.
I spent the weekend in the Lehigh Valley, hanging out with my college roommate, Suzanne, at a writer’s conference. We decided to attend a session given by social media guru Kristin Lamb. We both walked into the session, feeling rather proud of ourselves for getting the hang of Twitter and Facebook. Neither of us really understood blogging but wanted to learn. I walked out of that room choking on my humble pie, embarrassed to even think about logging on to Twitter ever again. My tweets, Facebook posts and blog entries violated every rule of the social media universe. Only luck kept the social media police from arresting me for obnoxious behavior. (As I type, Suzanne is in deep blog repair mode also. She’s sitting across the table, huffing over her WordPress theme than refuses to bend to her will.)
The sad part is I spent hours trying to do it the right way and still screwed up—big time, spending an entire year annoying the hell out of cyber space. So here it is folks,
I apologize. Sincerely and thoroughly apologize.
No more marketing, no more tweets saying “buy my book, buy my book.” From now on I’m going to use this blog to do the one thing I’ve secretly wanted to use it for but felt foolish admitting to. I’d like to make some new friends. (That sounds pathetic, but it’s true.)
You see, I work from home, not just writing, but also, for my day job, managing rental properties. Sometimes I don’t get out of the house for days and feel really out of touch with the planet. So, let’s talk. Want to complain about technology? Leave a comment. Hot flashes annoying the shit out you—vent away. Work from home and feel lonely? Let’s have a virtual coffee break or a glass of wine.
So, don’t buy my book, just introduce yourself through the comment box and let me know you’re out there, trying to master cyberspace, too.