I’m sure we’ve all heard the expression, “It’s a small world after all.” Love the ride at Disney (ADD side note: funniest description I’ve ever read of this ride is in the opening pages of Going Bovine by Libba Bray. Do yourself a favor & click on the link to read the free preview on Amazon, and prepare to really ROTFLMAO!) . . . where was I? Oh yeah, love the ride, not a big fan of the saying. Ever since the invention of the Internet, this world just keeps getting smaller and smaller, to the point where I am afraid for the kind of world my 13yo and 9yo daughters are growing up in.
I’m frightened enough that when I took my English 6-12 certification exam a couple of weeks ago (in preparation to teach middle school Language Arts, and you should read the awesome story about that if you haven’t!), and I had to write a persuasive essay about an invention I wish would’ve never been invented, I wrote about social media sites.WARNING: If you’re my 13yo daughter reading this now (b/c she occasionally cares enough to see what her old mom is up to), you may want to melt me with that laser look you’re so good at when I’m done with this blog post. So get it ready now. And remember Mom loves you.
It drives me nuts to see my daughter’s iPod Touch attached to her hand . . . to the point where she challenged herself to a 5 day detox and couldn’t last 24 hours. I walk into a house to pick her up from a party and instead of everybody talking, they’re texting the person next to them on the friggin’ couch! They constantly ask, “How many Instagram followers do you have?” to the point it becomes bullying because if you don’t have at least 1,000 followers then you’re not cool. (Just made said daughter take down her account because she let too many strangers ‘follow’ her). Her ‘boy’ friends inhale violent video games through Xbox Live into the wee hours of the night. Her girlfriends think life can be encapsulated in a 140 character Twitter message or Facebook status update. BUT THERE IS NO COMMUNICATION! To the point where we run into one of her friends outside of school at a Shrek the Musical Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre performance tonight, and they don’t even know how to properly SAY hello to each other.
You see, my daughter lost her iPod Touch three weeks ago, so she couldn’t text it, email it, tag her in a FB status, post a duck face with her friend on Instagram, ect . . . . and by the way, these past three weeks have been HEAVEN without that little Apple. Dreading officially getting her a cell phone before school starts up again, but we’ll need to because of the logistics of my job change Note: this will be her first cell, and I’m proud of that. When I taught 3rd grade this past year, the majority of my class had cell phones and a FB account . . . at 8 years old. Yeah, and we wonder why we have such an ADD problem in this country now. Oooh, squirrel!
But here’s the LOVE part. Yanno that Shrek show I mentioned? I got to meet a publishing sister/blogger buddy all the way from Ohio there tonight. Why? B/c when hubs and I were trying to win the tickets through a, wait for it . . . YEP–Facebook contest, Tara Tyler saw it and said she’d be attending the show. I asked, do you mean in your area or are you visiting on vacation? She answered she was vacationing in Florida and did I live near there? Um, heck yeah! And this is the 4th blogger buddy I’ve had the pleasure of meeting in person due to social media. Well, I wouldn’t have any blogger buddies without social media, would I?
The other part I love? As a debut author, I could probably expect to sell 100 books to my friends and family without social media. But the social media frenzy caused my reach to multiply that by 10 so far, and it keeps growing. For the past 3 weeks, 18 Things has trended in the top 100 for Coming of Age fiction on Amazon, ranging anywhere from the 30’s to 100. Why? I haven’t done any real promoting since March. I’m guessing all those people who came across my debut novel through the What Are Your 18 Things bloghop and then the 6 week book blog tour have finally gotten around to reading and recommending it (the book came out in January). That’s the power of word of mouth, and it starts with social media sites, and most importantly, it’s all FREE!
In the end, I love connecting with fabulous people like you and the thought of a couple million people potentially reading my book. But on the flip side, I hate all the murderers and child molesters that potentially could be looking at my daughters on one of those sites too. It’s a win-lose situation, but I know social media isn’t going anywhere, and I must adapt or die . . . which happens to be one of my favorite quotes from the movie, Moneyball. If you’ve never seen this inspirational true story, make some time to watch it!
What are your thoughts? Do you LOVE social media, or do you love to hate it? Have you meet any blogger buddies in real life yet? Oh, and don’t forget to check out Tara Tyler’s new novel, Pop Travel, a sci-fi noir, cat and mouse game where the hard-boiled detective is chased across the world, “popping” with teleportation, which has a deadly flaw he is determined to expose. How cooool does that sound?!