Saturday, September 26, 2009

The Last of Her Kind

Yesterday, Charles brought up the dreaded topic of social media.  What is the most effective way for an author to utilize the myriad social sites that now exist?  Whether one likes it or not (and I don’t), one has to face reality and deal with the fact that the world now interacts electronically, or risk being left stranded by the side of the technological road, waving goodbye as society advances into the future without him.

I have a Facebook presence, though I don’t utilize it very effectively.  I’ve never posted anything on You Tube.  Not yet, anyway.  I am making an effort to learn how. My problem is not as much lack of skill as it is lack of interest.  Judging by some of the clips I’ve seen, it doesn’t take much more brainpower to upload something onto You Tube than it does to learn to tie your shoes. To create a piece that is engaging and witty, with good production values, that’s another tale.  Like those of my blogmates who have weighed in on the subject, I wouldn’t tweet if I were on fire and I needed someone to come put me out.

I hate to sound like an old curmudgeon who goes on about how she used to live in a shoebox in the middle of the road and eat mud for supper when she was a child, but that’s not going to stop me. I write a historical series, but I don’t think the past was better than the present.  Far from it.  I’m not nostalgic for the past. I don’t rue the fact that the world is changing.  That’s the way of the world.  But I very often rue the fact that I hardly recognize the planet I grew up on any more.  I don’t value the things that most of society seems to value.

For those of us who attained majority before the advent of the computer age, it seems unfair. We aren’t stupid. But we grew up in a world that required an entirely different set of skills. It’s as though my native language is English but the new universal language is Chinese.  I can learn to speak Chinese, too, if have to, but I’ll never be as fluent as someone who has spoken it from infancy.. I’ll always have an accent. 

I expect this happens to everyone, and has since the beginning of time.  I wonder sometimes about those souls who manage to live to be 100 or 110.  How must they feel about the fact that everyone else who understood their world is gone?  How must they feel when the very world they knew how to live in is gone, when they find themselves on what amounts to a different planet, and they are the only ones of their species left in existence?

Hmm, there’s a plot in there somewhere.  And now I beg to be excused so that I can practice my You Tube skills.  I find that my Chinese needs work.

1 comment:

Jacqueline Seewald said...

I'm not any different. People stare at me aghast when I admit that I don't have a website or a blog. Can I be a real writer? Actually, yes I can! I'm just a bit tech challenged I suppose--or maybe just rebelling against the current norm.

Jacqueline Seewald
THE DROWNING POOL, Five Star/Gale 2009