As we enter week three of the “author blog-hop” (see below), it’s time to reflect on the effect of computer technology on writing and our lives. When Lisa Sanchez introduced the concept of a blog hop to the group of authors at Omnific Publishing, I asked myself, “Blog what?” I’m just getting accustomed to the idea of a blog, and now it’s hopping?
Fortunately Lisa was patient with us technotards (thanks qjmom for the word techtard) and now the hop is a great way to cruise over to multiple author blogs/websites to meet authors and readers. A definite plus of computers is the ability to post this message and discuss ideas with people all over the world. I’m also struck by some definite disadvantages of the technological wizardry assailing us daily.
Here are some pros and cons of computer technology as I see them:
• The opportunity to chat with you fine people on this blog.
• Facebook, twitter, and goodreads are places I can keep up on my friends’ lives like never before.
• I’ve met some incredible people on fan forums for my favorite books and TV shows. Two women I’ve befriended online—one from South Africa and one from France—have blessed me with wonderful support of my writing. Very cool!
• Researching facts when writing is much easier online than trudging to the library. Thank you to my editors at Omnific Publishing for correcting the instances when my quick online “research” wasn’t entirely accurate! Hee hee.
• I can post a music playlist for my novel With Good Behavior on my blog? Really? Technology continues to amaze me. (See playlist on the right).
• From what I understand, ebooks are revolutionizing the publishing industry, and obviously the internet is essential for the ebook market.
• The frustration of computer cluelessness. I purchased the domain http://www.jenniferlanebooks.com from domain.com four months ago and my author website is STILL not pointing to this domain (the site’s finished though—this blog is part of my website). Apparently domain.com is not user-friendly at all; therefore I’m now in the process of transferring my domain to godaddy.com so that my web designer can get the site up where it belongs. Naturally this process is totally confusing to me, and nothing can test my poor frustration tolerance like computer problems. I scream and cry like a two year-old on a tantrum.
• Does the constant distraction of technology make us more stressed out? One reason I believe the answer is yes comes from my work as a psychologist. I have worked in university counseling centers that cannot keep up with the increasing psychopathology and counseling needs of college students. Why are more young people suffering from mental health problems? One theory is that the constant bombardment of mp3 players, smart phones, laptops, e-readers, texting, multiple email addresses, social networking sites, video games etc. is overwhelming our sense of peace and focus. Instead of being mindful, doing one thing at a time, we have become mindless multi-taskers.
• I have to laugh at my own frantic technological behavior. On a typical day, I see two new tweets so I open twitter, soon to be distracted by a gmail email announcing I have a new friend at goodreads.com. Then I notice that a private message just came in on facebook, and I chuckle at a long-lost friend exclaiming “OMG you wrote a novel?!” Then back to my work email, discovering that a psychotherapy client wants to reschedule. Soon after I’m checking out a review on another site or typing a blog idea before I forget it. After hours of this techno-binge, I feel anxious and frazzled, and I somehow can’t understand why I didn’t get any writing done that day.
So what do you think? What are some technological pros and cons in your world? Are you a technowhiz or a technotard? Please post a comment and then hop on down to our author blog-hop!
Good morning, readers and authors! It’s Monday, which means it’s time for the author blog hop.
Here’s how it works:
READERS: Follow as many authors as you like. Just follow the Linky list and hop from author to author. The idea is to find as many “new to you” authors as you can, and hopefully some great new reading material as well. Leave a comment as you hop from blog to blog! We’d love to chat with you!
•Follow the Meet an author Monday host (Cali Cheer Mom) along with any of the wonderfully talented authors on the list.
•You will need to enter your name and blog url into the Linky tool.
•Grab our super cute button and place it in a post. (THIS IS IMPORTANT!) If you don’t create a post for the hop, your readers won’t have a place to comment, and the hop will stop with you. So create a post, paste in the Linky code and start hopping!
•The purpose of the hop is to meet “new to you” authors and discover great new reads. Follow as many authors as you can. Leave a comment and introduce yourself!
•If you’d like to share the Linky list in a post on your blog ( Please do!) just follow the link and copy/paste the code into a blog post.
15 thoughts on “Techno-whiz or Techno-tard?”
I totally feel your pain on the good and bad when it comes to technology. Been there, done that–every dang day! I thought technology was supposed to make our lives easier? 😉
And I loved your idea about going \”unplugged\” for an entire weekend! Sounds very refreshing. Thanks for your comment, Liz. Jen
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Such a topical post! 😀 I read it yesterday, but ironically, couldn’t face technology or talking about technology last night. I too was going to suggest a weekend without it – but I’d like to synchronise it with certain people! 😉 Perhaps it should be EVERY weekend! Okay, every Saturday. ;)The internet has broadened my horizons considerably -– information and news at a glance; I’ve ‘met’ such lovable people with whom I never would have crossed paths; and I’ve finally wrapped my head around (the insane, collective denial known as) Daylight Savings Time! ;DI feel you, though, about social networking sites leaving you feeling frazzled. When I first joined Twitter, I followed everyone who I recognised and was literally bombarded with clutter! I soon learnt just to stalk (I mean ‘follow’!) those people with whom I chat now and again. I also don’t take Facebook too seriously, preferring to use it as a general stalking tool. 🙂 Let’s not talk about TV show forums. 😉 Or fan fic sites! ;DI have a slightly different experience of social networking to the norm because I keep my online existence completely separate to my Real Life. None of my friends/family are in touch with me here. (I’m also aware that all it takes is a couple of clicks and ‘Nix’ has *poofed* off the face of the planet. Of course, over time, you create certain expectations and *poofing* becomes incredibly rude! :s )Talking to strangers online consumes a lot of my time… and on my worse days I find myself coming back to the age old question: “Is this all a colossal waste of everyone’s time??” Provided that you’re on the right websites, everyone is extra polite and tolerant of virtual strangers who talk to them… We could all spend years putting up people with whom we wouldn’t choose to spend time in any other circumstances! One day, when we’ve all moved on and look back at this: Was all the time and energy that we invested online worth it? Should we have spent that time relaxing, catching up with friends and family, or working?!……Which leads me to a giant con for me: MY WORK ETHIC! *out the window!!!* ;DAnd finally, what’s with people who have multiple email addresses??!!
Hi. My name is Hannah. And I have 260 functional email addresses. *bows head in shame*
Online communities / websites are fabulous for getting the word out –- for example about a new book! 😀 I’m new to Goodreads and it’s Awesome! The trick to everything, I think, is moderation. 🙂 Enjoy the pros when you’re online and take time out when you need it!
Hmm, an organized Unplugged weekend? It's got potential! We could compare notes afterward.Another pro you bring up: The internet has been a great way for me to learn about different countries and cultures, always a blessing.My online existence and real life identity are starting to collide more and more even though I'm using an author name. It's a big frightening! I'm glad you know I'd be sad if you *poofed* now.I find the internet a nice way to unwind between clients, but it does reduce my productivity if I'm trying to write a presentation or type my case notes. Another con.
Hannah Verbose (ha ha),Only 260 email addresses? You've been slacking lately!
Goodreads is a reader's playland. I just joined Library Thing too–I'm slowly learning a little about that site. Thanks, gals!
The techie stuff is a blessing AND a curse! I am easily distracted, so I must turn off Twitter when I'm writing. But I can't deny that I love connecting with other writers via Twitter and blogging. It's nice to hang out with like-minded people, so I don't have to bore my dear husband with writer stuff!
Great website – awesome layout and concept! Well done!
Hi Julie, thanks for leaving a comment. Obsessively scanning websites is a seductive lure while writing, that's for sure. You're smart to turn off twitter–that site seems to be the worst at sucking me in! I think, \”oh, I'll just read or type a short little message\”. Four hours later . . . 🙂
Thanks, IDGS! All the kudos goes to my web designer Kassiah and her company, Creative B. We wanted to showcase the lightness AND darkness of Chicago in my novel With Good Behavior.
Such a relevant and oh so true post. The worst thing for me is that it is sooooo time consuming, but if you're not out there these days, you don't exist and for a writer that's death. I love blogging about and finding other authors with whom I share so much, but I sometimes think I'm doing too much of that. There's heaps of writers blogs, but how to get to all those anonomous readers that I know would love my book.
Hey tahliasmasks, thanks for your comment. I really enjoy all the internet activity (participating on a fan forum is what got me started with this writing thing) so I don't necessarily rue the time spent on my techno binges, but you're right that it is quite time consuming.That is definitely a challenge I'm facing–how to get my novel out there when it's not in bookstores. But hopefully our blogging will get the word out about \”Lethal Inheritance\”! Jen