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. http://wegrowmedia.com/ 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 (http://www.friendgrief.blogspot.com/), Porter in Atlanta (http://www.porterandersonmedia.com/), Kathy (http://krpooler.com/) and Jen in Virginia (http://jenhenderson.com/wordpress/ ) Judith in Italy (http://aromacucina.com/) 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.