Help! I am becoming a social media junky

Okay, what started it all was this crazy desire to be a writer.  But nobody sits downs and writes anymore. They socialize, they connect, they advertise, they promote, they sell.  They pound the pavement on line to build a platform. Reminds me of selling potato chips door to door to raise money to attend Y Camp as a kid.

I naively signed up for blogging 101 and build your author platform with Dan Blank, our social media guru. Before I knew it I was hooked.

First he encouraged us to blog.  Got that down.  Next step -Twitter.  Twitter scared me. I feared the CTA (Cyberspace Transit Authorities) would catch me smuggling words across borders.  Twitter feels like passing notes in class to strangers.  Twitter is like it sounds –  a bunch of magpies sitting on a telephone line gossiping.

Next Dan insisted,  «join Facebook. » What a tool. Daunting. The concept scared me.  I  avoid  mirrors. I don’t particularly enjoy looking at my face these days, so why  would anyone else ? Yet now, as if displaying the bulletin board of my childhood, my mug shot flashes on the « wall » of the world.

All these people are coming out of the woodwork.  It’s awesome reconnecting with my high school and college alumni, but also unsettling. I can’t get my head around it.  It’s like looking into a trick mirror – we look grey and paunchy. Yet I’m still sweet sixteen in my mind, a skinny thing in pig tails and skinned knees.

The worst part of my new social media gig, is that I no longer want to go to my real job interacting with real students and real colleagues.  It is more rewarding to catch up with former students and friends on line. They are so much smarter than me. English teachers are obsolete. Seriously, no one writes complete sentences anymore.  Even Shakespeare  looks like this – R & J in love 4ever. The downside of social media is that it makes me feel old, dumb, and ugly.

Yet for somebody living abroad, it is a way to link in with old classmates; to keep up with the youth,; to meet new people in a  writers group that shines from sea to shining sea.  Rebecca in San Fran and Barb in LA, Viki in Chicago (, Porter in Atlanta (, Kathy ( and Jen in Virginia ( ) Judith in Italy ( and Dan in NYC.

To attract more followers, Dan says we need to host events, plan give aways, and create gimmicks.  It makes me feel more like the on-line Avon Lady than Virginia Woolf.  One thing I know for sure working with teens, social media is the future. Tomorrow we “boogie, “on their terms; my generation is on the way out! So suck it up, Pat, and get it on with it.  Tweet. Tweet.

Posted in humor, relationships.


  1. What a delightfully accurate,funny and colorful portrait of “Boomers in Cyberspace” you have created here,Patty! I love it and I can definitely relate to everything you said.Love the image of the “magpies on the telephone wire gossiping”. And I’m certainly with you in your shout out to #danclan1 which “shines from sea to shining sea”. Great post.This needs to “go viral” so tweet,tweet!! 🙂

    • Funny how even with all the social media contacts, life can be lonely…so glad to have a hope sister out there to keep me connected to what really counts.

  2. Pat, you are on it!!! I have totally enjoyed using Facebook to get back in touch with high school classmates but overall, it scares me!! Plus I don’t know the abbreviations!

  3. Hang in there Pat, FB is facebook LOL! I’m on both twitter & facebook, but, admit I like to tweet:) AND I’m one of those old-timers who would rather tweet than go to work. Shhh, don’t tell that to my employer!


    • Oh Clara, I am progressing at a snails pace…thought LOL meant lots of love….so slow on the uptake. But getting there along with a lil help from my friends! LIke you.

  4. Sista, OMG this is SO scary TRUE and SO Hilarious LOL! Egually loved the “magpies on the telephone wire gossiping!” image.
    You have captured our mixed bag of feelings regarding social networking and I am really proud of you for facing this FEAR in da FACE FB! You Go Girl….keep on writing in whatever form it takes!

  5. OMG, Pat, you crack me up! Here I am at DIY, after sitting in on Dan’s author platform presentation. I’ve already given a testimonial to three people who were in the audience! Thanks for the mention and link – you rock!

  6. Nice piece, Pat! (And I really like “ex-Pat,” that’s a perfect yodel for your Swiss-ness. Second only to Elizabeth Craig’s blog title, “Mystery Writing is Murder,” lol.) I recommend you just substitute the word “commercial” for “social” every fifth time or so you go to say “social media.” It keeps you a tad closer to the genial truth of it: we are cordially thieving magpies on this line, smiling our neighborly beaks off as we develop our commercial platforms, me quite often with a direly clever Rossini overture playing. And while Avon might not have done the trick, I actually can envision Virginia Woolf moving a lot of Tupperware around the Bloomsbury group, can’t you? Nothing to do with how old you are. The young ones, bless their hashtagged hearts, actually believe that “social” business, which is why we commercial magpies hang out just over their heads, waiting to swoop down on their callow little souls and sell, sell, sell. Youth and beauty are, still, no match for old age and treachery. 🙂
    Beautiful pic, btw, and I like this open-magazine-page graphic here, quite nice. Congrats!
    (PS – I’m now based in palmy, dolphin-y, tropical Tampa, except for the endless loose ends of the real-estate debacle. I know you passed on my offer of the Brooklyn Bridge, but could I interest you in a condo in Atlanta?)

    • Thanks Porter…I LOL over your comments esp. the image of Virginia Woolf hawking Tupperware. I will go forth with trepidation following your gallant lead. We have to out fox the kids and beat them at their own game. See ya back on the line. Tweet Tweet.
      Altanta, naw…. Florida sounds nice, but only in the winter.

  7. “The downside of social media is that it makes me feel old, dumb, and ugly.” So much of your post resonated, Pat, but this part REALLY did. A friend of mine told me I needed to try YouTube. So I set my camera to “movie” and took a run at a practice video. Bad lighting, no makeup, didn’t fix hair – I mean, it was PRACTICE.

    HOLY CRAP!!!! When did my neck skin turn into two velvet ropes? And is one eye smaller than the other? My hair sticks straight up in places, and my face is melting southward. All I can say is, I’m glad I’m a writer. At least I can hide most of the time!

  8. Fun and accurate portrait of a newbie addict. 🙂 It’s funny that you mention the unsettling nature of re-connecting with friends from years past. For the most part, I like this about FB, but to be honest, I’m not interested in revisiting high school again just yet and have, luckily, been under that particular clique-ish crowd’s radar. 🙂 Glad to be making friends abroad, though, especially clever “ex-Pats” like you.

    Take care!

    • One of greatest perks of our course was building friendships with like minded people in love with words. Now that I have finally gotten the hang of it, hope we can use all the tools to stay connected.

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