Sunday, February 8, 2009

Social Networking Via The Internet

I'm new to the whole Facebooking thing (I know I'm like a grandma, or in this case probably a great great grandma as it would appear that everyone knows how to navigate it and what it's all about). I have to admit that I'm just not that into it. Some say it sells books, some love it for the socializing, but my take is, "Enough already!" Seriously, why does the whole freaking world have to know what I am doing know? And frankly, who cares? I doubt that you all care if I'm cleaning house, writing a new chapter, or cooking dinner. When did it become okay to know everything about everyone at any given time? Is this our fifteen minutes of fame?

Now I do understand the need to socialize, especially for writers who are isolated much of the time, but if I don't have time to go to lunch with a friend or call up a friend on the weekend and only communicate with her via the Internet, then something is wrong with me. And, we are raising a culture of kids (mine included) who don't do face to face time with their friends and others. If I can't find one of my teenagers I have to text them for a response. There is a positive to this--they respond and I am usually put at ease, but the negatives I see are kids not really learning how to socialize. They can hide behind their computers and their phone. They can "say" horrible things to people without consequences, or they can write things that are easily misconstrued, where when yu actually talk with someone those things tend to not happen as easily. To me, that's troublesome.

I also see where being on these networks can become obsessive. You could seriously spend all day making comments back and forth, updating your news, your photos, and on and on, but I know as a writer that I would never get any writing done.

On the flipside, I do think it can be a decent networking/marketing tool as far as posting what book is coming out. It also keeps you in touch with readers and makes you accessible to them. But I worry that communication through the Internet is going to keep us behind closed doors, keep our focus from the things we really need to be doing in life, spending time with people we love, and sucking us of energy.

What about you? Do you like social networking? Do you spend a lot of time on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Redrom, MySpace (and on and on and on)? Do you find the networks to be a poositive or negative in our culture? And for the writers out there--I want to know if you believe or have foudn that social networking via the Internet sells books.

have a great week!

Cheers,
Michele