Saturday, May 29, 2010

Social Media

The other night I was watching Ann Curry talk about being stuck in an elevator for an hour. She mentioned that everyone stuck with her seemed to be involved with social media and they were all tweeting and taking videos with their phones and sending them around.

It was around 1 a.m. and I had abandoned my computer and was crocheting a hat while I watched her interview All those cell phones must have come in handy on the elevator. At least they could get the word out that they needed help.

For me, I need help with all the social media. That particular night I had abandoned my computer because the over 900 emails in my box were like a fever dream. Only days earlier, I’d gone through them until my eyes were blurry, and got the number down by a couple of hundred emails, and then despite my best efforts, the number had crept back up.

Facebook had sent me messages that 59 people want to be my friends if only I’ll give the okay. The best I can tell is that they are 59 strangers. Why again do I want to make them my friends? I mixed my wall up with my message box on the social media site and couldn’t understand why things I knew I hadn’t deleted had disappeared.

Don’t even get me started on Twitter. Yes, I got an account, but I can’t even remember how to find it and who knows what my password is? Okay, I’m fascinating to myself, but I find it hard to believe that anybody else is that interested in the mundane details of my life. As in should I tweet - about to go in spinning class. Hope I get a good bike.

Am I the only one who goes out and doesn’t text, tweet, or talk on my cell phone? Whatever happened to being alone with your own thoughts?

All the social media stuff probably worked for Ann Curry and her fellow elevator stuck people. All the tweeting and videoing probably kept them from getting claustrophobic.

I must have angered the computer gods with this post because when I tried to go online and post it, my internet connection wouldn't work. Hmmm.


Kaye said...

How I chuckled at this post. I thought I was the only one who felt this way. It took me 20 min to text my daughter one day in answer to her text. Cannot see the point. I have exactly the same feelings about facebook. I swear I don't know half of those people who want to friend me. If only I could figure out how to delete the whole darn thing.

Have a great weekend and thanks for the chuckles.

Terri Thayer said...

Watch out, it's dangerous to anger the tech gods.

Seriously, though, I've only gotten good things from Facebook. Some of the people I don't "know" that I've friended are fans. It's great that they want to stay up on what I'm doing. Others are fellow writers whose posts about work I find inspirational or at least comforting when I'm slogging away alone at my computer. And family - we even had a long lost family member find his half-brother on FB.

It's not the technology, it's what you do with it. It's easy to get overwhelmed but there is some good stuff out there.

How else would I have "seen" my niece's team get their championship trophy? I wouldn't have known a good friend from high school is writing wonderful non-fiction books for kids (Catherine Reef, check her out). I wouldn't been able to follow Nancy Pickard as she writes, then throws out, fifty thousand words on her latest manuscript.

I don't spend a lot of time on Facebook, and I don't post every day but it's a value add for me.

Kelsi said...

I'm kind of glad that I stumbled upon your blog to give my opinion on how you can maybe make your social media experience better. :)
Sounds like you need to start off by changing your Facebook settings so that you don't get an email for EVERY little thing that happens.
Second, you need to block those annoying applications, not just click "remove". All of that in itself may be a pain to go in and change, but it is VERY much worth it.
As for as people trying to add you, its so simple to just hit ignore. If they don't leave a msg with their friend invite telling you why they would like to become your fried, "Ignore!"
Facebook is what you make it. Follow others who play games and non-professional, you get an unpro. Facebook. You add pro type friends and family who are interested in what you do, you get a more pro. Facebook.
I can go on about how to use Twitter and make it worth something, but this comment is getting to long

Camille Minichino said...

As Terri suggested, best to make friends with the tech gods!

Like anything else with an on/off switch, social media are a choice and you control the usage not vice versa.

When a new technology enters my life -- like my smart phone last year -- I find a teenager to tutor me. They love to do it and it works every time.

signlady217 said...

I'm convinced that my computer hates me! It will do the weirdest things sometimes. My husband says it only does what it is told, but I swear I didn't tell it to do some of the things it does!

Camille--that's a great idea about a teen tutor. I think some of them were born knowing how to do some of this stuff!

Linda O. Johnston said...

I feel so backward at social media use that I'm going to take an online class! Will it help? I hope so, but I know there are no guarantees for someone as intimidated as I am.

Joanna Campbell Slan said...

Betty, you're a riot. This was just great. Loved it. And Kelsi? Would you contact me? I'd like for you to write a long blog post about managing this stuff. I agree with Betty: It's overwhelming. My email is

Terri Thayer said...

Maybe Kelsi would like to guest blog. I would love to hear her take on Twitter.

Dixie Handmade said...

Hi Betty,
I can relate to your frustration. I don't have a cell phone, anything to text or twitter. I do though enjoy blogging and facebook. I found your facebook link on your website where I went to see how many books were in the crochet mystery series. I am reading the first one, and love it. Molly is a very likable character. I'm enjoying her story. I think you should make a fan facebook page for fans of the crochet mystery series, then it wouldn't seem so much like you are befriending strangers. : )

Betty Hechtman said...

Kaye, I agree about not seeing the point of texting. I have enough trouble typing on a keyboard, let alone with my thumbs on my tiny BlackBerry keyboard.

Betty Hechtman said...

Terri, Good thoughts about the value of Facebook. I have actually connected with some people on it. Very cool about your family member finding a lost half brother.

Nancy Pickard throw out 50,000 words. Wow!

Betty Hechtman said...

Kelsi, thanks for all the suggestions. Consider them taken.

Betty Hechtman said...

Camille, you are absolutely right. I am going to take Kelsi suggestions and be in charge of Facebook instead of letting it trample over me.

Betty Hechtman said...

Linda, good idea about the class.

Betty Hechtman said...

Joanna, I like you're thinking. We could all learn from Kelsi.

Betty Hechtman said...

Dixie, I'm glad you like Molly. Good idea about making a fan page. Thanks for the suggestion.