Mediating My Media: Am I Old, or Am I Sam Elliott?

If I picture that I’m Sam Elliott, somehow Pinterest becomes less annoying.

The other day I wrote an article on an herbalism website with a cute picture of my dog. I proceeded to pin the picture, and then tweeted the pin.

I realized that if I was more skilled, I’d probably have facebooked the tweet of the pin of the picture. Or maybe that’s the dumb thing to do. I’m not sure.

And that’s what makes me feel old.

I have nothing against technology itself. Not a darn thing. I don’t have a problem with the act of facebooking a tweet of a pin of a picture, but…what if someday there are more?

What then? Can I keep up for forever when I’m barely hanging on a thread now?

How Do The Kids Do It?

The kids do these things so seamlessly; it’s as if their very blood and brains are pumping with html code and built-in photo filters.

(Once, I had a dream that the world started to look like Instagram to save everyone trouble. It was horrifying.)

Last night I had a revelation. The fast-growing importance of the Internet is scary, but not like horror movie scary or even Lifetime movie scary.

It’s more like the wild frontier. The buzzy glowing pulsating world of the Internet is unfolding before us in previously unknown glory, and it is up to us to make the most of it.

Sure, there are some strapping young cowboys and pretty maidens that have an easy time fighting off plagues and jumping from rock to rock over the swift chilly rivers of change, but that’s okay. Good for them. There’s also Sam Elliott.

And he’s not young. But he is awesome.

How Can The Old Folks Do It?

There are plenty of writers that have embraced technology and seem to be dancing over the rocks on that river. Jeff Noon, for one. His blog Metamorphiction is pretty amazing. It is as if he is living in the realm of the Internet and manipulating all of its features like play dough.

Probably because he isn’t afraid of it. Isn’t afraid of learning, isn’t afraid of letting it all in and not resisting the shifts that are happening.

The Truth

It’s time that I fess up that many of the grievances I have towards technology are really my insecurity. Well, some of them at least. I’m afraid that things are progressing so fast that I am having a hard time maintaining speed, and if I fall too far behind at any given moment, maybe I’ll end up in a stampede of gigabytes or an avalanche of megapixels and never find my way to the gentle warmth of the sun again.

Worse, I fear my writing will never find its way to an audience because I won’t know where to put it. I’ll be sticking the newfangled CD into the familiar old VHS slot, when really neither are working because it’s the wrong television set entirely.

So there. I got that off my chest, and also shared my secret.

When in doubt, just be Sam.

Your Turn!

Now, how about you? Is it easy to tweet your pins of Facebook updates, or whatever it is you do?

How many sites do you think we will have to maintain in the next year, four years, five years?

Or are things just fabulous either which way and none of this matters and good writing will find an audience even if the writer is just pretending to understand how to use social media?

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21 thoughts on “Mediating My Media: Am I Old, or Am I Sam Elliott?

  1. Actually, I share your concern. I am flirting with the notion of self-publishing and when I read about all the other tech mastery required to have a chance at marketing my book… I want to write, not market; not master a blog; not master visibility; not develop spheres of influence and friends to whom I sell my book individually. It’s hard enough writing!

    • I know, I am in the same boat there. I’ve considered self-publishing, but it would be so hard to do the selling aspect. But then, trying to get real-published is also hard because you need the agent and in order to get one, it’s nice to have some thriving social media sites.
      I wish there was an easy answer and a way that you could just do the writing and let other folks take care of the other stuff. Maybe there is!

  2. I am so with you on this. Love it in some ways but can’t quiet get my brain around some of it. I just finished reading a book on social media which looked at using Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Google +1, blogging, etc. to increase your business whether it be selling a product, a service or promoting your writing. I think I’m more confused now than before and break out into a cold sweat at the thought of organizing it all. I have a twitter account but don’t really know how to tweet. I unknowingly sent out a tweet the other day on a book I read and have no idea how it happened. I don’t have Facebook because of my work and I can’t imagine keeping up with any other type of media when I can barely keep up with posting on my blog. I think a personal assistant would help – preferably one of those kids who brains are pumping with html code – some young person who can do this stuff effortlessly, reliably – oh and might work for free? But the way things are going, this type of person would probably only read job advertisements on social media so I’m doomed to figure it out on my own. And then I remember, I started blogging primarily for myself so maybe that is enough for right now – at least for me.

    • I relate so much! And I also bet that if you are serious about looking for an assistant, you could put a message on your Facebook if you have one, asking if anyone knows someone. Or, just tell your friends or make a post about it- one of the cool things about the Internet is that word can travel really quick, and there are a lot of people out there who understand this stuff better than us and are looking for jobs :) I hope you are having a great day! And yes, for now, blogging for yourself IS enough and can be forever even with publishing a book; anything’s possible!

  3. Totally with you on the “let other folks take care of the other stuff.” I just enjoy playing with words. Perhaps someone will come along some day with a bright idea of something more that can be done with my musings. Maybe not. But in the meantime, what a joy it is dabbling in a rhythmic dance with words. And we’re in total agreement on Sam Elliott.. His voice gives Morgan Freeman’s a run for the money…

  4. Yes, “good writing will find an audience even if the writer is just pretending to understand how to use social media?” And everything else will gradually fall into place, so what the hell. Don’t worry, keep learning, and “stay in the here and now”. Everything will be fine :-) P.S. I don’t even k now about ‘pins’, don’t tweet or twitter (don’t need anything that instantly – and there’s my cell). We don’t really need to know EVERYTHING. We can let others be the experts on some of it….

  5. Great post – you hit the mark, and now I am officially hiding under my bed away from the realm of social media. Okay, in answer to your questions I don‘t have a problem with putting up posts and such- especially on Twitter. I find Facebook useless in regards to advertising my writing. Funny story; I used Facebook to market my poetry & prose blog for four weeks – didn’t get a hit. I began to use Twitter – gained 29 hits in less than a couple hours upon creating my profile – I adapt incredibly easily to such conceptions – it is the updates that get to me. Many sites require updates and they completely mess me up.
    In regards to how many sites will need to be maintained – I would say that it is up to user prerogative. I for one have five, six if you include my MySpace page that I have not visited since Tyrannosaurus Rex walked the Earth. My Marketing Comm. teacher has a view of her own. She says we should use a site like GoDaddy.com and buy the rights to the one thing that is truly and utterly ours forever and always – our name, and then use as many sites as we deem necessary to market ourselves to our intended readerships. Her daughters are 14 and 16 and she has already done this for them. Very good question BTW!
    In regards to writing…well, I think the key to using social media might be this; everyone is pretending online. We all pretend to be different people, and we do a great job of fooling others as we market ourselves and acquire audiences to provide to them the work that we have legitimacy orchestrated. As long as you do a great job pretending to know what you are doing, you will be fine. In regards to yourself ma’am, I do not think you need to fear, if such an emotion indeed cripples you so, for you are writing, yes? People are reading your work? Commenting on your notions? You could say that you are succeeding, yes? As long as you keep writing, and people keep reading, you are doing nothing wrong.
    Also, in relation to your title – if your gravatar image is accurate – you don’t look old at all – so, once more, worry not ma’am, worry not.

    • Aw your comment brought a smile to my face! You make it seem so simple. Yes, I am doing nothing wrong, and I am succeeding in many ways, which I am so happy about! That is pretty amazing that you got so many hits from Twitter so fast. I have the hardest time with that one, aside from Pinterest. If I can figure out how to find you on there, I will follow you!
      I will keep trying to pretend that I understand these things…yes, yes. Great plan! Someday perhaps it shall lead to real understanding!

  6. I agree social media is out of control. It can be fun at the same time. I am in my 40′s and can boast that I have grown with the technology. I still find it harder to keep up that is for sure. I am not stressing about tweeting everyday or making a post to my Facebook page. I just want to keep it fun for myself. :)

    • That’s a great notion- just keeping it fun and not stressing. It’s awesome that you are keeping up with it, too! I have a harder time than some of my friends, but then an easier time with some things. Not stressing = the key!

  7. This post made me laugh so hard! But all the media options confuse me. I often yearn for a simpler time, and figure I’m the only person who’s out there doing everything wrong…. It’s comforting to hear that others are equally befuddled. All of you who write, do try using http://duotrope.com to find writing markets. Many publishers accept e-submissions, so it’s cheaper than ever to send out your work and find a nice home for it. Cheaper, mind you, not easier.

    • I’m so glad you laughed :) I am exploring Duotrope right now. It seems awesome. It’s like the Writer’s Market book except less confusing; or more confusing, I can’t tell yet.
      Thanks, Vicki!

  8. It is more tiring than fun if u are into marketing and promoting urself. The kiddies who do fb, twitter etc all day may seem like having faster brains than others, but the overuse is gonna affect them in the long run. :) So, don’t worry. Step out of the line, let the current run past u. Get urself a higher perch and enjoy a birds eye view of the rat race.

    • Aw thank you so much! I am not accepting awards right now for various reasons, but I did check out the list you posted, and shall continue to do so. I am so happy that you enjoy the time and effort I put into this blog!

  9. Pingback: Food for Thought: Are Bite-Sized Writing Tips Leaving You Hungry? « Enjoy Life For Once!

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