Monday, July 20, 2015
The Brave New World? Keeping up with the Kids
LUCY BURDETTE: When our kids travel these days, they never make a hotel or B and B reservation. They even skip places like HomeAway and VacationRentalByOwner. It’s all about Air B and B. They have been ecstatic about the places they find and they gloat about the dirt cheap prices.
Okay, says I, last time we traveled to Venice CA for a big celebration, I’ll try it. I searched the listings in Venice near our daughter, wasted many hours reading reviews, and finally settled on a cute guest house in someone’s back yard. It wasn’t cheap, I assure you (but what is in California?)--so I assumed they’d be delighted to have us. Then I got this message back:
We would love to host you.... but could tell me a bit more about yourself, and fill out the BIO on this site...and a photo please...
Really? I need a bio to pay them money? And a photo? So I posted a few chipper lines about how I write and John has a retirement website and how we’d barely be there--our user footprint would be like nothing, and we definitely go to bed early. And then I chose the most cheerful picture of us that I could find. Nope, no ax murderers in this crowd!
Phew, we were accepted.
The other new thing I’m trying is Instagram. My daughter explained that posting on Facebook is deemed pathetic these days. So I’m trying--I get the part about choosing great pictures. But why does everyone have a weird handle? And how do the hashtags work (not like Twitter!) And is this a promotional device, or a way to share photos?
How about you reds, are you stretching yourself with tools from a younger generation?
HANK PHILLIPPI RYAN: Please tell me about Instagram. I would love to learn about it. I know, everyone's mom is on Facebook, what can I say.
I cannot watch TV on my computer, so forget that. How do you even do that? But we have Roku and Acorn and Amazon TV, and those are great. Does that count? (I still cannot turn the TV on, I leave that to Jonathan.)
And sorry, my family is all about Airbnb, too. I say, and it's just me, I know: yuck. And Lucy, that story is only part of why. Not a chance.
DEBORAH CROMBIE: I'm glad to know I'm not alone on the Instagram thing. Lucy, you are going to explain it to us, right? My daughter only does Facebook, no Twitter or Instagram, so I figure maybe I am not THAT out of it. And I'm with you on the Air B&B, too. I understand people wanting to know about you before they have you in their home--but I don't really want to stay in someone's else's home! Maybe I would try it for a night or two, but I wouldn't book a three week stay in London and not have any idea what I was getting into.
I do sometime watch TV on my computer. And we have had Roku for ages and watch almost everything streaming. Rick things I'm completely dorky because I still like to watch some things in real time, even though I'm recording them....
RHYS BOWEN: My son and daughter in law just returned from an air B and B stay in the village of Kais Kais in Portugal. Loved it and particularly loved being able to shop for their own fresh produce. I don't think it would be for me. I'd be uneasy about being in someone else's home. And I like Marriott style beds these days. We rented an apartment on Corfu and the beds were not good. Lots of grumpy mornings.
Instagram--I can barely manage Facebook and Twitter. And I don't see the point of pictures. I love the interaction with my fans on Facebook. I just passed the 11,000 mark and did a survey to show LIKES from every state except North Dakota and many countries around the world. So please don't ask me to learn Instagram now. But I do watch PBS and ESPN on my computer and we do have a smart TV. So not totally old fogies. However today I got one of those calls from India purporting to be Microsoft with a message about my computer. I've tried everything with them. This time I said, "I'm sorry, honey. I'm just a little old lady and I don't know nothing about them computer things.... " Very satisfying.
SUSAN ELIA MACNEAL: I'm a different generation, but I still wouldn't do airbnb. I just wouldn't feel safe, especially if traveling alone. WHO ELSE HAS KEYS? I feel like it's a murder mystery just waiting to happen.
I agree Facebook is fading a bit, but I still love interacting with readers. Oh, and I refuse to learn to use Instagram — no more social media. No. More. Social. Media. (I take world's worst pictures anyway....)
Twitter, though, has been growing on me. If you're on Twitter, you MUST follow fictional character, the Duchess Goldblatt. Here's her bio: "FEASTING ON THE CARCASSES OF MY ENEMIES: A LOVE STORY (Random House, '16). Inspirational author, AN AXE TO GRIND. Goldbatt Prize sponsor. Trophy ex-wife."
Seriously. You'll thank me. Her Grace (and yes, you must address her properly) is often my reason for switching on the computer in the morning.
JULIA SPENCER-FLEMING: Susan, I follow Her Grace as well! Probably because I saw her on your Twitter feed, which is one of the things I love about Twitter. You "meet" people you would otherwise never find online. As for Facebook, yes, it may be for us olds, but everyone over the age of twenty-five is on it, and it's still the ideal platform to reach readers (professionally) and family (personally.)
The thing the kids are on? Tumblr (both my daughters have accounts,) Snapchat, What'sApp (I may be misspelling that) and if they're of a certain age, they're swiping right and left on Tinder and Grinder. None of my kids are big picture takers, so no Instagram for my family. Which is okay - I mean, how many social media platforms can you visit and interact with in a day? And still get some work done and feed the dog and cat?
As for AirBnB, I've never tried it, but I know our peripatetic friend Jenny Milchman has used the service a lot when she's not touring with her family, and she loves it. Who knows, maybe Ross and I will give it a try when we go to Bouchercon in Raleigh!
Red readers, how do you manage the newfangled technology? Can anyone help us with Instagram??
If you're on Instagram, tell us how to find you! You can follow Lucy here.