Saturday, May 26, 2018

Just Say On. (Not A Typo)


HANK PHILLIPI RYAN: Okay, risky topic today.  Let me just float some words to you: boost, retweet, opt in, gif, trending, hashtag,  algorithm, SEO, likes, unfriend…well, I could go on. Ten years ago? Some of those words would have been baffling, and others would have meant something totally different.

How much—I hesitate to ask—has social media changed your life? I am all in for Facebook, Twitter, and now, Instagram. And email, gee, that’s not even worthy of mention—it’s just how things are done.

And here’s the frightening reality. When I put my hand into my purse and don’t instantly feel the shape of my phone, I honestly have a physical reaction. Of loss, and fear. That is—how shall I put it—nuts.

But I have recently fallen in love with author Amy Impellizzeri—she’s smart and wise and  a terrific writer. (She’s also a Tall Poppy Writer—have you visited the Facebook page? All readers should, really, it’s a lovely community and you will be welcomed right in.)

She’s giving away a copy of her brand new THE TRUTH ABOUT THEA  today—to one lucky commenter.  And we’re commenting today on something that, oh, gosh, not one of us is susceptible to. Social media addiction. #notme  #I’mfine #Icouldgiveitupanytime


Just say On

Recently, I was on the planning committee of a group in town that sponsored a community health workshop on Teen Anxiety and Social Media use.

We brought in a fabulous speaker - Joni Siani - an educator and filmmaker who supervised her college students as they documented themselves giving up their cell phones and social media for a week. The stress and strain the cell detox caused and then the ultimate liberation most found after the detox was enlightening. 

At dinner, the night before the workshop, Joni entertained the committee with fabulous stories of social media addiction ... and recovery. I gobbled up every word and nodded vigorously.

“Yes! I want to detox from all this chaos too. I want to stop being ruled by my phone and social media,” I boasted boldly.

I concluded by asking her for a selfie, requesting her to friend me on Facebook, and promptly posting and tagging a picture of us together.



Sigh.
I guess I’m not ready for recovery after all.

I have a true love/hate relationship with social media. Some days I want to delete all of my social media accounts as a complete time suck, and other days I’m so grateful for the needed connection, I can’t imagine living without all that- not even for a week’s experiment.

It was this love/hate relationship that first gave rise to the idea behind my latest novel, The Truth About Thea

In the novel, a young woman claiming social media addiction as a defense to a high profile crime ends up in rehab being treated alongside alcoholics and drug addicts. She claims she is not like them, and her counselor is tempted to agree.

But then, after weeks in rehab, she gets her hands on her counselor’s phone after he has set it down, and she fantasizes about scrolling through a newsfeed for the first time in weeks. And gradually the reader learns just how big a role social media has had in this young woman’s life. Addiction, it seems, is an elusive and difficult predator. 

I blame my own social media use on my work. I need to connect with readers to have a publishing career. A necessary evil. But it’s more than that, too. Publishing can be a lonely business and the connection to other writers - and readers- is sustaining. Necessary. Not evil at all in those moments. 

So tell me Reds and readers, what do you think about social media? A necessarily evil, or not necessarily evil at all? 

(By the way, I’ll be selecting two random commenters to receive signed copies of The Truth About Thea). 

HANK: Ohhh…don’t get me started. I am over the hill, none, lost to social media. (By the way, if someone could give me a few quick  Instagram lessons, too, I’d be grateful…I am lurching along trying to teach myself.)

How about you all?  Love, hate, love to hate? Which do you use?  Could you completely stop? I have ridiculously learned that when something happens I can get the scoop from Twitter first. Ah.

And hurray—THE TRUTH ABOUT THEA  to one lucky commenter!




Amy Impellizzeri is a former corporate litigator, start-up executive, and award-winning author of fiction and non-fiction.

  Amy is a frequent invited speaker at Lawyers in Transition Meetings, annual Bar conferences, and creative writing workshops across the country. Amy is a member of the Tall Poppy Writers and the Past President of the Women’s Fiction Writers Association. She is a 2018 Writer-in-Residence at Ms-JD.org

The Truth About Thea:


The Truth About Thea is a Francis Ford Coppola Winery Books & Bottles Pick!

About the Book:
Will, a recovering heroin addict-turned-counselor for whom truth is a championed element to recovery, has a dark secret—shared with no one outside of his anonymous support meetings. Over twenty years ago, after an ultimatum from his pregnant ex-wife, Will was forced to assume a new identity and to fake his own death to get out from under his dealer and user-friends once and for all.

Now Will is counseling Thea, a young woman who has been diagnosed with a pathological addiction to creating fake social media identities, and who founded a start-up company (“Alibis”) that created false internet identities for clients, many with suspect pasts. Thea’s addiction has landed her in rehab as a condition of her parole—after a plea bargain cut short a court case that would have put both Thea and Alibis on trial for a very high-profile crime.

As Will counsels Thea, the past is on a collision course with the present. Both Will’s, and his young client’s, fast-held secrets start to unravel... and reveal, at long last, the truth about Thea.





129 comments:

  1. “The Truth About Thea” sounds like a timely, intriguing story, Amy, and I’m looking forward to reading it. Social media has become such an ingrained part of our society . . . it will be interesting to see how Thea interacts with it . . . .

    Although I think it’s nice to have social media sites available for everyone to access and use, I’m afraid I am not at all good with the whole social media milieu. It’s easy to understand why authors use social media to keep in touch with their readers, and I agree that it's an excellent platform for them.
    However, I don’t feel compelled to sign into Facebook or Twitter or Instagram every day or to post something all the time. I’m not at all certain why some folks want to post every moment of their lives . . . I mean, is it really necessary to post a picture of the sandwich you’re going to eat for lunch??? What happens to these people if there’s some catastrophe and these sites suddenly aren’t available? Sometimes I worry that somehow we’ve managed to sacrifice face-to-face interactions in favor of texting or social media site postings . . . .

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. that's it Joan, what happens if it's suddenly not available? I do find myself wandering around life thinking "that would make a great instagram!"

      Delete
    2. Oh, I so agree! That terrifies me! What if it’s all gone? And then I just… Don’t do anything about it.

      Delete
    3. I often think this! What happens to all my pictures if it’s all gone ... it’s a slippery slope ...

      Delete
  2. Hi, Amy. I love both the Tall Poppies and WFWA. I learn so much from the questions members ask in the FB groups. My son works as a counselor at a residential drug rehab facility in the city. He's scheduled on overnights now, and there is always some adventure that makes my hair stand on end. Thea as a social media addict--how interesting!

    I have integrated social media into my life. I enjoy it, and it's useful to my job and writing. I am often dismayed by what I see people post, but I can get that same experience listening to people at the drug store or supermarket. I am comfortable with my time, and I enjoy the goofiness and connections. I don't mind photos of lunch, but not injuries and abused animals. Gah, please no! What I hate is my cell phone. I can't have that thing on me 24/7. When I'm at a conference or away from home, I carry it around, but in my house, it sits in my purse and gathers calls and texts that I am always 3 days late responding to. On the flip side, I like it for photos. So, good mixed with the bad.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And Ramona, you have build your own wonderful community online, and people rely on you for encouragement and guidance! So I think you are a perfect example of someone who has it down pat.

      Delete
    2. So the funny thing is that I put my phone away for a few hours today while at an amusement park and I was worried I was missing something - and I was! I was missing talking to you guys :)

      Delete
    3. We’re always here! Cannot wait to hear about it!

      Delete
  3. A great premise for a story, Amy! I'm with Ramona on social media. I connect with fans, with my cousins in California, with childhood friends, and with fellow authors. I love it, but agree it's hard to put down. Unlike Ramona, my phone is always in my back pocket, because it's also my fitness tracker. I've been on twitter for a while but I don't think I have the hang of getting the news off it. And Hank, Instagram is kind of fun. I've been doing more over there, but I keep it separate from my FB posts. I find reading long strings of hashtags incredibly annoying, too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Agreed, Edith! I am beginning to understand it… I still can’t quite figure out how to browse, or why people think it’s so valuable. But I know it is… I’m not quite grokking it yet.

      Delete
    2. I also really like Instagram - it feels very positive and uplifting - all those beautiful travel and pet pnotos! And BOOKS! All the books ... But I haven’t mastered the hashtags, either :)

      Delete
  4. Welcome Amy! What a great story--this will resonate with lots of people.

    Ha ha Ramona, I don't hate my cell phone, I hate my land line:). If we had the nerve, we'd cut that cord!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We keep a landline with an answering machine. I never answer answer that phone. And no one calls me on it except that guy trying to sell me the "I fell and can't get up" button and the Microsoft tech with a heavy accent who wants access to my computer, my bank account routing number and my entire life.

      Delete
    2. No, we have a landline too, because if you call 911 from your cell phone, the dispatcher does not know where you are! But I agree, I never answer the landline, it’s ridiculous.

      Delete
    3. I still have a landline too, despite everyone telling me I should get rid of it because of the cost.

      Delete
    4. Lucy, we have to keep the land line for my husband's job, but also because my mother calls me every Monday on it. I know that won't last forever, so it's worth the cost while it lasts.

      Delete
    5. Our landline is through our internet and about $10 a year. We keep it because we've had that number for so long that it's linked to a lot of accounts, but we never use it. And nobody that we want to talk to calls us on it.

      Delete
    6. Thank you!
      At its core the story is about authenticity and the struggle we ALL have trying to achieve it ...

      Delete
  5. Welcome Amy, and happy book day.
    My name is Ann, and I am an addict to social media, starting way back in 1995 when I got my first home PC and my first AOL account. This was when it cost three bucks an hour to be connected to the World Wide Web, which is what we called it before Al Gore invented the internet.

    It was amazing.

    I had a brief flirtation with My Space, and then Facebook happened. All of a sudden I was connected with people I hadn't seen since third grade, all my family and current friends, and a whole new world of people I may or may not ever know in real time.

    I used to read the morning paper from cover to cover and spend my weekend buried under the NYT. We still take a daily paper, but I only glance at the front page for local news. The Sunday paper is useful for the Book Review, the magazine, and Arts and Leisure. Other than that, I get all my news online.

    Since the 2016 election I have boycotted TV news, again making an exception for local. I still listen to NPR when in the car, pinko commie liberal that I am. But the moment I hear the voice of IQ45, I hit the off button.

    Twitter, on the other hand, I have avoided, mostly because I know it would further feed my addiction, sort of like going from a gateway drug straight to heroin.

    I lurk on Facebook over my morning coffee, and Jungle Reds is my favorite place, where I usually crawl out from under my rock and post. I try to limit my time to one latte, but I find myself checking my phone all day, long after the laptop has been returned to its dock.

    My grandparents were born in the gaslight era, raised a family of five in a tiny Kansas town where no one had flush toilets or running water. By the time they died, they'd seen people sent people to the moon, they had color TV and all the mod cons, and working heaters and radios and air conditions in their cars. They didn't once complain about the changes.

    Things change. Always


    Yikes. I should stay in bed later on a Saturday morning. If you're still reading, happy Decoration Day on Monday. xox

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love this story of evolution, Ann! And it is difficult to remember when there wasn’t email…

      Delete
    2. I hear you. I also get so much news online - BUT - the plus side is that there is also a whole community to discuss that news with there as well ...

      Delete
    3. Ann, that was just all so delightfully written that I had to read it aloud to my husband! I'm only sorry I didn't make it to JR earlier today!

      Delete
  6. Great premise. Made me hesitate over the share on twitter button. Hum...am I addicted. Nope, not to twitter, FB maybe! Like Ramona, I would ditch the cell when I can and like Lucy I am wishing I could cut the landline cord. Alas, living in hurricane country makes that a bit harder. But I don't answer it.

    Your book must have the powers that be at FB shaking in their boots right now! All the best with it. Sounds like a great read and I'm looking forward to adding it to my tbr.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes! And now that Alexa is sending our conversations to friends, that gives you another pause! And you are so right about the landline, you need it!

      Delete
    2. Ha! I know - I’m constantly promoting my book about social media addiction ON SOCIAL MEDIA ...

      Delete
    3. HANK here: That's why it's SO perfect!

      Delete
  7. I think social media is useful if you keep it in its place. As you say, it's invaluable for authors to stay in touch with readers. Facebook is usually open when I'm at my day-job and it provides a good break from the tedium. I've gotten into Instagram because I'm a sucker for pretty pictures. I was on Twitter, but it became such a toxic place after the 2016 election I mostly bailed. I still have an account, but I rarely use it.

    But I did take Facebook off my phone. A good Facebook check gets my mornings started, but then I can close the laptop and walk away, so I'm probably going to be slow responding to comments or messages. My phone sits on a shelf when I'm home and all my alerts are "coded" so I know how fast I need to respond to them. I do freak a little if I'm out in public and I can't put my hand on it in my purse--but only because it's an expensive piece of hardware!

    Mary/Liz

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Took Facebook off your phone? You are so brave!

      Delete
    2. I’m really impressed by that decision ... I might give it a try ... some other day ;)

      Delete
  8. Hey now, social media can't be all bad. After all, it has connected all of us in some form or another.

    The problem is when you OVER USE it. It took me a lot longer to get on Facebook than others and that was only to keep in touch with one of the players I coached. It took me even longer to get on Twitter and that was because a book PR guy was trying to get in touch with me to offer me an advance copy of a book to review,the outstanding "I Am Pilgrim" by Terry Hayes.

    I use both accounts regularly to keep in touch with people and to flog the various writing work I do. I don't believe that qualifies as being addicted. I mean, I use a flip phone for goodness sake. I can't access the internet in any way on the phone so no Facebook or Twitter from the phone.

    I do text, but I've only done that for about a year and that was because of a new group of friends that do a lot of communicating by text. Before that, people would ask if I'd gotten their texts and I'd say no. They said, "But I was trying to get ahold of you." I could've told them to simply call me and SPEAK to me, but I usually tell them that they were under the mistaken assumption that I wanted to talk to them.

    Without social media, I wouldn't be writing for the two websites that I work for doing reviews of CDs, cassettes and concerts. I also wouldn't be writing for Mystery Scene.

    For those who need use social media as a means of connecting with people to have a career whether it be writing or otherwise, I can see how it would be a NECESSARY evil. But for the most part, I don't think it is evil. After all, it just exists. How a person uses it determines whether it is used for good or evil.

    And for those people that use it to do evil, or simply try to irritate the living crap out of me...I just ignore them.

    By the way, in case it wasn't seen in one of my replies yesterday, here's the link to my recap of meeting Edith Maxwell, Barbara Ross and Sheila Connolly: http://classic-rock-bottom.ning.com/forum/topics/meet-the-author-s-edith-maxwell-barbara-ross-and-sheila-connolly

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, terrific day! And see? Social media allows us to go places and have experiences we wouldn’t otherwise be able to, right? So glad you all had a fun day, and as for I am pilgrim, I still have not read it! Everyone says it is fabulous… so adding your recommendation to the must-read list.

      Delete
    2. Thanks, Jay. Great recap, and so lovely to meet you in person!

      Delete
    3. Hank, you definitely need to read "I Am Pilgrim". At the time I read and reviewed it, I said it was the best book I'd read in 20 years. And thanks for reading the recap, it was a terrific day for sure.


      And thanks for reading the recap Edith. I'm glad you enjoyed it.

      Delete
    4. You’re so right. It can be terribly useful ... and not always terrible... thanks for sharing ...

      Delete
  9. We were just talking about social media last night at dinner, and how much it has meant to me as a writer for the last thirty years. Social isolation is a fact of life for most writers, and social media makes an enormous difference, on so many levels.

    Yes, I found myself online in 1987 or 88, when I first typed three lines into the ether. I could never figure out how anyone could ever find them, or where to go to find other like-minded ether writers at the time, but there were very soon platforms for such a thing: Usenet first, then CompuServe, Prodigy, AOL, and MSN.

    I still keep in touch, mostly via Facebook, with women I made friends with on the alt.sewing boards on Usenet and the other sewing boards, which we all seemed to wander to together. One of those women is a British writer and lives in Normandy in France, and my photographer husband and I visited her and her photographer husband (also named Steve) when we went to France a decade or so ago. I also got to meet another of these friends when I was in London, and we spent a day together. Over the years I'm met countless online friends in my travels, including many who are reading this right now. I just think that is amazing, especially when interacting in person turns out to be exactly the same as interacting online.

    Facebook started for me as a way to keep in touch with my children, especially my oldest daughter and grandson, who lives 300 miles away. Boy, has the relationship with that platform changed over time. Being able to communicate with others equally horrified by our political landscape has kept me sane (somewhat) over the last few years. Just knowing I'm not alone helps.

    Although I have an Instagram page, I still don't get what it's good for. It seems like the photo aspect of Facebook, as Twitter is the comment aspect. And there are so many duplicate posts across platforms. Can anyone explain this?

    On landlines: we are keeping ours, especially since I added a feature from the telephone company that screens out the robocallers (just in time for the midterm elections, yay!). When a human being calls they are prompted to dial/press one additional digit in order to connect. Robocallers, and callers hooked up to auto dialers, can't do this, so their calls cannot go through. Now when the phone rings I know for sure it's someone I want to talk with, and Caller ID ensures that knowledge further.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And Thea sounds like quite the character! Love the premise of this book, Amy.

      Delete
    2. And I cannot say it enough times: if you call 911 from a cell phone, the dispatcher does not know where you are! That's why they now saw "911--whee's our emergency."
      And Karen, should we find some INstagram seminar???

      Delete
    3. Thank you, Karen!
      I love your stories of connection. Honestly, this is what we try to achieve through storytelling - right?
      Real life connections ...so maybe it’s not surprising that writers and readers enjoy social media so much ...

      Delete
  10. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Congratulations on your new book! I love reading about the fictionalized perils of social media. My smart phone lives on the kitchen counter, unless I'm driving somewhere. When I travel, I ignore it except for a daily text to the kids. Yes, the camera feature does come in handy. Yes, Face Book, Twitter, and Instagram are necessary for a member of the mystery writing community.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes - agreed. How about Snapchat? That remains a real life mystery to this writer :)

      Delete
    2. Oh no no no no! No idea! Should we explore together?

      Delete
  12. I certainly wouldn't say social media is all bad - how else would I know all you folks? Since my internet is rather unreliable and cell phones work here sometimes (when the leaves are off the trees and I stand on my front deck!) I don't have a smart phone which is probably just as well.
    As soon as I sat in front of my computer this morning the power went out! It was a very brief outage (by the way it never went out during that blizzard with 3+ feet of snow -go figure) but my first thought was oh no! now what will I do? I had almost convinced myself to walk down and get the paper out of the tube when the power was back. It was such a relief but at the same time I don't like something having such a hold over me. I really don't spend a lot of time on the internet but I do admit it is part of my daily routine.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is SO weird how disconcerting it is to be without electricity. MUCH stranger than you'd expect.

      Delete
    2. I’ve noticed that lots of you check in via laptops more often than cell phones which actually seems to help with the whole moderation thing ... interesting...

      Delete
  13. I was late to social media via Facebook, but I love it. It connects me with friends near and far (including my 89-year-old mother in a different province), my feed includes valid news sources, and I love the kitchen-table type chat I have online with people I would otherwise not take the time to 'talk' with -- by which I mean that I would not pick up the phone or write them a letter, but the online chat maintains and builds our relationship.

    I love Twitter for its immediacy and my feed is eclectic and wide-ranging. I love that I can get news when I need it -- from the local hockey team's score, to the results of a referendum in Ireland, to political election results from around the world.

    Soapbox: Like with any technology, unless we remain the mistress (master) of it, it will rule our life. Its power doesn't reside in it, but rather in our own head (and hand). Now getting off soapbox.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, I am loving Twitter these days. I just had to get used to it . Each place is so different!

      Delete
    2. Totally agree with your assessment of Twitter ... (and your soapbox speech ;))

      Delete
  14. I have mixed feelings about social medias. From what I see around me, it takes so much time and people are so dependant or addict. I love being able to surf on the Net when need be and to read this blog but can't imagine having the time to do more. Maybe when I'll be retired. For now, I'm not yet ready for Facebook, Twitter or Instagram and can't see the use. Maybe when I'll be a writer.
    But reading a good book will always catch my interest as do your book Amy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Very wise! And yes, got to admit, we rely on it--and else how would we all know each other so well?

      Delete
  15. I'm really only on social media because I have to be for professional purposes. I do enjoy goofing around and live-tweeting occasionally, but I'm not a regular on Twitter, and I have to be frog-marched to Facebook. I suspect for me it's because of my odd introverted extrovert thing: I soak up energy from face-to-face interactions and leave conversations more energized, but phone calls, email and commenting leave me drained.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And Facebook gives you a place to link the rest of us to the millennial and the youngest. Thank you; they help me believe that thinking is alive and well. Hope for the future. :-)

      Delete
    2. And you should be WRITING ,anyway! (no pressure...) xoooxox

      Delete
    3. I hear you about the energy of real life convos ... also - I don’t use “frogmarched” nearly enough!!!

      Delete
  16. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Hank, great post! When I started using Facebook, it was a way to help me remember the names of people I meet. Since I was in early stages of hearing again after not hearing any sounds (except white noise) for too long, I was getting my "sea legs" in terms of hearing again. And I would go out with my boyfriend, who spoke clearly. Some of his friends spoke too fast or mumbled or had accents so I would look them up on Facebook so I could remember their names and get an idea of who they were.

    Amy, welcome to Jungle Reds! Is there a connection between your legal work background and your writing books?

    Diana

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. OH, that's so interesting! Great idea!

      Delete
    2. thank you :-) . it worked for me.

      Delete
    3. Hi Diana, what a great idea. As for your question, it’s funny because THEA is my third novel, but first Legal Thriller. For so long I resisted writing a “legal” book because my practice was civil litigation - the most un-sexy kind of law! But then this idea came to me - and I was excited about the chance to finally come back to my legal roots in my writing :)

      Delete
    4. Hi Amy! I took several law classes, including civil litigation and torts. Thank you and I look forward to reading your novels. Hope you have a wonderful weekend. :-)

      Diana

      Delete
  18. I thank the Internet gods every day that social media did not exist in its current form when I was in college. LOL! Email was about it and the Web was in its infancy. I was dragged into FB, etc., reluctantly, then I got really into it and then I realized I didn't want my personal stuff out there, so five years ago, I took it all down and started over with professional pages and accounts, so now it really is just a tool to reach readers and keep in front of what is going on in the world. When I find I am trying to fill the mental writing void with a scroll through Twitter, I stop myself and force myself to go clean something instead. It's taken some discipline but I think I'm better for it. My pages look like I'm on them all the time but I usually carve out an hour a week and schedule my posts for the week. Much easier that way - keeps me on task both online and offline! LOL. I love the premise of your book, Amy! The Truth About Thea sounds wonderfully timely and gripping!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. In college, the computers were still too complex. The easy install of the current Apple laptops did not exist yet.

      For me, using Facebook was a learning process. Now I rarely use Facebook except to talk about books in Save Your Cozies group and Online Book Chats with Marie McNary.

      Diana

      Delete
    2. I was so bad at remembering names of people I met in college. LOL.

      Delete
  19. At my mid-seventies, I guess I'm a luddite, I only have email. No social media, and though I have an iPhone, I very rarely use it and never carry it except in special circumstances, such as someone needing to contact me while I'm away for a day.

    I was quite good with computers in their early days, and taught computer user classes for several years. But the technology got away from me, and the software companies continued to "simplify" things for the user in such a way that we lost control of the basic management of files and folders. Now it's all "apps" and no control. So I use a laptop and email and that's it. I can read blogs and communicate, I can write a review of a book I read. What else do I need?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We can keep you in books, dear Rick! :-)

      Delete
    2. wow! you use email. some people still refuse to use email or use a computer.

      Delete
    3. I think your perspective as a former computer teacher is fascinating!

      Delete
  20. Oh, and if something has a pound sign (hashtag) in front of it, I ignore it completely.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. VERY wise! #howdidthatallhappenanyway?

      Delete
    2. Ha! But Hank...books. Oh yes, I have books, many, many, plus an active library account.

      Delete
  21. "The Truth About Thea" sounds fascinating, and I absolutely believe you should send the free copy to our spammer, drlovetemple, who is selling spells above. I don't know why. Some strange compulsion.

    A couple of years ago I noticed that I never seemed to have time anymore for reading or gardening, or vacuuming up dog hair. I thought to myself, 'I used to do all these things and now . . .' Yeah, I realized I was spending all my time on Facebook. So I backed off. I didn't quit, because Facebook is useful for keeping up with family news. I reconnected with two of my closest friends from high school, and my bestie from college through Facebook. But I really, really don't need to read endless posts about politics, and I find posts about friends' middle school band accomplishments of only passing interest. So now I scroll rapidly, rather than reading deeply, and I may only go there once a day. Twitter is just annoying to me, and I'm counting on Debs and our mutual friend, Cora, to bring me up to speed on Instagram. Otherwise, I'd rather read a book.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. SIgh, I know. But it's addictive, the idea you could KNOW more stuff. It's just rarely important, as it turns out. But you never know. xoo

      Delete
    2. Hank, I think you’ve hit the nail on the head. If your addiction is reading, as mine is, I can’t bear the thought of missing something I might need to know or find interesting or even profound. But that doesn’t mean I DO read everything on Facebook or other sources because you’d just go down a black hole. So there is always that tension of deciding what to read and what to skip over. I recently stopped looking at Facebook during the workday, so just a peek in the morning and then a more thorough look at night. But I always leave time to read my current book for an hour or two each day!

      Delete
    3. Yes - it’s only an addiction if it’s keeping you from something else you love ... good for you for figuring out how to prioritize!

      Delete
  22. My friends call or email. We really do not use Facebook to communicate. I follow authors on Facebook and do read the occasional posts from friends and family. I rarely post anything myself with the exception of photos of flowers blooming here, meant to cheer up or torment friends up north in wintertime. Oh! And we pass along jokes that are worth reposting. No political stuff please. It got too nasty in 2016 and I had to unfriend some people. I don't tweet at all; nothing I do is that interesting so why bore others? I don't do Instagram or look at it. Facebook is a big enough time suck. I do enjoy reading blogs, obviously! I would love to rip out our landline. I hate it. With very few exceptions most calls are junk calls.
    My mindset is such that I am still surprised when I get a call on my iPhone. I am just as likely to forget it and leave it at home as I am to carry it with me. The only exception has been when family members have been hospitalized. I would make a real effort to have my phone on me in those cases. Someday when we move somewhere else I am not going to get a landline. Unless my husband insists.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Agreed! I leap into the air when my phone rings. I always think--WHAT'S THAT???

      Delete
    2. Me too! I stare at a ringing phone like it’s an alien life form!

      Delete
  23. Hi, Amy, and happy book pub! I love the premise of the truth about Thea--I've been thinking about it while doing chores this morning so will have to read to find out what happens!

    And great questions, Hank. I like social media but don't think I'm addicted. I have no trouble at all going AWOL for large chunks of time. I have a Twitter account but only use it for book stuff. Most tweets seem to be links to something else, and I can't imagine how anybody could find the time to read all that stuff. I have much preferred Facebook. I love keeping up with readers on my author page, and love keeping up with family (especially my daughter's grandbaby posts) and friends on my personal page, but I'm a quick scroller and not very consistent.

    I do have to admit that I am really liking Instagram, and that I keep my smartphone with me most of the time. I really like taking pictures, and I really like looking at pictures, so Instagram is what I do on my little fun breaks.

    And, Hank, yes on the Instagram seminar!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I like to read Twitter ... like a voyeur ... but I like to participate on FB ...

      Delete
  24. For those unfamiliar with the Books & Bottles program, I did a post about this earlier in the year. I am sure this will appeal to many of the readers here:
    http://bolobooks.com/2018/01/books-bottles-book-club/
    The Truth About Thea was one of their first offerings and I can tell you, there is something special about receiving that delivery!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! Was so grateful for your review of Books & Bottles ...and so grateful to Francis Ford Coppola and the winery peeps for picking THEA!

      Delete
    2. Did you get to try the wine? :-)

      Delete
  25. I’m sold. Don’t need to win it. I’ll just buy it.

    ReplyDelete
  26. I would be alone without these sources of connection.

    ReplyDelete
  27. I think I am in the group of people who are not addicted, but still constantly want an "update" from the news, a person, a cause, etc. When someone has not "checked in" for a few days I start wondering if they are ok...before social media I didn't wonder about someone's "status" LOL. I do enjoy taking a connect-less vacation and try not to use the internet while on vacation. Sometimes it is easier than others, but still nice to not be constantly checking the gadgets.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. HANK HERE: Isn't that strange? Without social media, you'd think of a person from time to time, but now..ah. We NEED to know!

      Delete
    2. Interesting ... there are certain people I expect to hear from often ... like my fellow Tall Poppy Writers ... if one of them goes dark .. I’m all - what? are you too busy writing?? ;)

      Delete
  28. Intriguing . . . right now Facebook is behaving badly, hiding my comments, showing me fewer posts -- I've decided it's a sign to read more books instead. I don't have a smart phone, so if I'm away from the computer, I'm free from electronic temptations, and I must be out of it, because I don't understand the "Just say on" reference. ;-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. HANK HERE: Oh, I worried about that...:-) . Like turning ON your phone, you know? Instead of just say no. Weak, I know. :-) oxxoxo

      Delete
    2. Like ON line :)
      FB can be wonky at times ... I totally agree ...

      Delete
    3. Storyteller Mary, I was wondering why I haven't seen you online very much. I think FB has this way of enticing you to post more. I usually have to hunt for your comments by clicking your timeline page. I rarely anymore, get notifications of your posts, even though I have that requested.

      Delete
    4. Thanks -- I was wondering, since I'm so behind in technology, if there are devises that turn on to voice commands. I'm still hoping FB gets fixed. Others' comments show I'm not alone. Hugs <3

      Delete
  29. Social media is such a love/hate relationship for me, too. I mostly love it for the connections to all my book friends, my family, and my friends from my hometown and other places away. I can keep in touch with so many and share their joys and sorrows, not losing years to absence of physical presence. And, oh the book love and love of the book community, especially the mystery/crime community, is just such a gift of enjoyment. But, I did find myself stretched too thin recently and majorly stressing out over a book page, not my blog, that I had created ten years ago. So, I have stepped away from it, and I feel so much relief. Trying to keep up with something that you aren't enjoying on social media is just ridiculous. I now do my regular FB and some book groups that I can just comment on, the occasional twitter, and my book blog. Hank, I need help with Instagram, too. I just haven't gotten the hang of it, and I think I would actually like it.

    Having said how I like social media, I admit that I'm glad I grew up without it, especially the teen years. I think it puts too much pressure on young people and can be used in ugly ways. And, I'm glad that my daughter and son, ages 34 and almost 31, escaped the main onslaught of it, too. They are definitely not hooked on it. They do have FB pages, but they aren't constant posters. My daughter has limited her teenage daughter's use of social media, and, in fact, she doesn't even have a FB page. That has avoided lots of drama.

    Now, I must go check my FB page to catch up. Hahaha!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ”Trying to keep up with something that you aren't enjoying on social media is just ridiculous.” Yes! This!

      Delete
  30. A fascinating and timely premise for a book.....exciting reading for sure! Facebook and email are life "enhancers" for me, since health issues keep me a bit homebound these days. They provide an added layer of social connection that I other wise wouldn't have, even though I am blessed with friends who call and visit and get me out and about. I follow a few people on Twitter but have never posted or commented myself other than "hearting" a post to let the poster know they are being read. I haven't figured out what to do with Instagram other than just enjoying the often really great photography, and as with Twitter have never posted myself. I am on Facebook, online news sites, and JRW every morning along with my tea to start the day.....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh! That’s beautiful. So glad for the connection it brings you ...

      Delete
  31. I got on Facebook after I retired and love checking it every day on my computer. Sometimes Jungle Red Writers shows up on Facebook and sometimes not.

    I love my landline because I don't carry my cell on my person so I can answer the landline upstairs or downstairs. Some of my friends were so happy when I got a smart phone and could text. Since I live alone, it is so great that two of them text me almost every day. Other friends use e-mail. Social media is just like TV, books, food, etc. you have to manage it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I do find texting to be mst efficient ...

      Delete
    2. Love you, Amy! xooxo Thank you for a fabulous day!

      Delete
  32. I've been deliberately selective about my social media usage/presence. I love Twitter and use it for political involvement, as well as to keep up on books, rescue pets, and witty people. I choose not to participate in Facebook and I don't text, no matter how much pressure I receive--and the campaign to get me to turn in my flip phone for a "Smart Phone" and hop on board is relentless, and ridiculous. But I'm happy with my level of social media presence;

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love that you have figured out how to make it work, Beth!

      Delete
  33. Book sounds amazing and I love the cover! (Cover Envy!) ...

    As far as social media, I don't love or hate it. I like it ... but I have scaled back over the last year because I really hate all the negativity that stems from people who disagree with each other. I have friends are every possible side of the political sphere, and to read them all saying things that make me sad, angry, upset hurts my heart. So I've scaled back. That said, there are elements I really enjoy, and Amy hit on one of the most important: connections. As writers we live solitary lives because we spend hours every day alone writing. I like seeing what my friends, family and fellow writers are up to, and I enjoy posting about my kids, or following my kids on social media, especially the two who have flown the nest. Plus, for business -- and my Facebook author page is devoid of politics. I don't allow it. If people want to get in heated arguments they can find that elsewhere, for me I'm all about books, kids, and cats. And sometimes, crime and punishment issues because I write crime fiction. I should do more, but I have scaled back across the board. I think it's all about balance. ...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, darling Allison! Love you! And it's a joy to keep up with you--or, whew attempt to--on social media! Yes, the balance is a tough juggle. xxooo

      Delete
  34. AND THE WINNER! Of THE TRUTH ABOUT THEA is: Margaret Turkevich! Hurray!
    Email me your address at Hryan at whdh dot com and I will send it to Amy and she will send you your book!

    ReplyDelete
  35. HANK HERE: The fabulous Amy has chosen a second WINNER!!! Pauline Dudley! Send me your address via the email above!

    ReplyDelete