Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Writing Magazine (which incidentally ~ and I hope coincidentally ~ has improved considerably since the days when I was a columnist and sometimes squirmed slightly at the house-style of cliched cosiness) has added its voice to many others in the publishing world who insist an author's place is on the Social Media map. You must venture online if you want to be taken seriously as a writer, and be present on at least one social network is the featured pull-out line of an article in the new issue.
As someone who doesn't need a literary excuse to roam happily in a virtual world, I don't really understand people who connect with family, friends & colleagues on email and do their banking & shopping online yet say, like a politician who won't inhale, "I do draw the line at Facebook!"
I start my day with Facebook. To think this means playing with imaginary farm animals or watching cute talking pets is comparable to assuming that anyone going in a bookshop must be heading for the press-me-and-I-squeak board-books. I browse national & international newspapers, journals and websites - some posted by like-minded friends, some direct from organisations I belong to. I've never been so politically informed in my life, and sharing posts initiates discussion & uncovers links to other publications, or online research, or Youtube evidence...
And then there's invitations to the rich creative life of the real, visceral, world - theatre, music, parties, festivals, fairs... It's like having flyers posted through your door daily, only much better because you can't tell a postman to filter out the stuff that wouldn't appeal to you, plus it's all stored tidily & chronologically in one readily accessible place. And then there's continuity of contact with friends & family through high moments shared in words and images.
As you can tell, I wouldn't willingly start my day any other way but next week I'll have to because there's no wifi in Cortijo Romero, which is where I'm off for a week of 30 degree sunshine. Apparently facebook is now an addictive disorder but even for a FADist you'll see there will be compensations...

1 comment:

Crysse said...

Another example of the power of FB to inform, disturb, and touch the heart: a tribute to Gore Vidal's death yesterday posted by a friend:

"Because there is no cosmic point to the life that each of us perceives on this distant bit of dust at galaxy's edge," he once wrote, "all the more reason for us to maintain in proper balance what we have here. Because there is nothing else. No thing. This is it. And quite enough, all in all."