5 Reasons to Embrace the Brave New World

downton-abbey-dowager-countess

“First electricity, now telephones. Sometimes I feel as if I’m living in an H.G. Wells novel.”

I’ve been thinking a lot about how things are changing so fast these days… technology is obsolete the moment it comes to market, there’s a new “must participate” social network every week, and publishing, well, after a good 100-year run, publishing is finally being forced to enter the 21st century.

It all feels a little overwhelming sometimes, and I know many people are just plain tired. We raise our glasses to the Dowager Countess who said, “I do dream of a simpler world, as long as we can keep our trains and our dentistry.”

I never thought I’d be this young and yet feel so antiquated, but make no mistake, if you’re over, say, 30, you’re an old fogie. You grew up when there was no Facebook, texting wasn’t the primary mode of communication, and people read “books” made of paper, glue and ink.

It’s sometimes tempting to be a “Luddite.”  How lovely to hide out in our homes shunning cell phones, rejecting Facebook, dismissing Twitter, eschewing text messages. And above all, boycotting e-readers.

But I think there may be some very good reasons for us to avoid the avoidance… and instead, embrace the future. (Since, as they say, the future is here.) Here are a few.

1. Staving off dementia. Yep, I said it. You know how they say the best way to avoid succumbing to Alzheimer’s or senility is to keep your brain working. Well, might as well keep it working by learning all these newfangled technologies. What else are you going to do, play Sudoku?

2. Keeping Up is Easier than Catching Up. You know what this is like. If you didn’t learn blogging, Twitter, and Facebook one at a time as each one entered the mainstream, you’re pretty much gobsmacked if you’re faced with learning them all at once.

3. Avoid Old-Fogie-itis. Wouldn’t you rather be the parent or the grandparent who gets it? How embarrassing to hear your kid say, “OMG my mom wants me to read a BOOK, like the kind with paper and stuff. I mean, that’s what my iPad is for.”

4. It’s the Economy, Stupid. Recession hit you much? If so, you’re probably keenly aware of the importance of having marketable skills. And in most lines of work, you’ve got to be up on the latest everything to be perceived as valuable. Just because your beloved rotary-dial phone became extinct doesn’t mean you have to.

5. If You Can’t Beat ‘Em, Join ‘Em. Or if you’d like another another cliché… you can’t fight progress. You can resist, but that takes an awful lot of energy. Isn’t it more fun to learn new ways of thinking and doing things? Must we get so set in our ways that we become obstinate and annoying?

Okay, now that I’ve written these five reasons, I can see that they’re not going to convince anyone. Your turn.

What are some more reasons to embrace our brave new world? Or alternatively, what are your reasons NOT to?

 

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  • Brian

    When I want to get away from the world, I go backpacking. In fact, a lot of techie people I know spend a lot of time outdoors. Some trail run. Some rock climb. Some car camp. But they all love to return to nature to get away from their computers.

    When you return from a week long or two week long backpacking trip, you end up looking around your place and seeing all the stuff that you really don’t need. I find myself wanting to return to nature more and more as each of my life passes.

    Would I ever live in a city like New York? No way. I need to be driving distance to a trail, so I can lose myself after a week of work. I want to cross a stream and feel the water flow through my trail runners. I want to take deep breath of clean air.

    As for publishing, I think the old houses are putting themselves out of business slowly. It’s the death of a thousand cuts. They slowly bleed as they realize they have become the record stores of days past. Sure, some folks still by records, but they buy less now then they did a couple of decades ago.

    Egon said it so long ago in that Ghostbuster movie: Print is dead. It sure feels that way.

    Sure, I’m rambling. It’s what writers do before the red pen of doom comes out.

    Do I want to grab a hold of new tech and love it to death? Well, sometimes I want to look from afar and wait for the early adopters to learn what works and what doesn’t before I take the plunge.

  • http://hmlashelle.wordpress.com/ Happy

    Oh how I love this post–I get such a kick out of watching Downton Abbey, myself–particularly fascinating to me is the new coming up against the old in the early 20th century– and yes, the Dowager’s quippy remarks about it all. She really does have the best one-liners!

    I love that you paralleled this with our own experiences with today’s technology. This is SO true. It almost makes it easier for me now that I know I’ve got the Dowager as my cohort!

    One absolutely can’t stand in the way of progress. Though I may take it slower than some, I am faster than others… I think we all need to allow ourselves our own pace.

  • Bailish

    Before I’ll buy something, it’s got to prove to me that I will benefit from having it. None of the handheld devices fit that description, falling heavily in the time-wasting range. The last things I want are those that take away from my writing time.

  • http://nancysthompson.blogspot.com/ Nancy S. Thompson

    1. With characters and plots and dialogue and setting and tension to develop, nothing fights dementia like writing a book.

    2. I’m no techie, yet I’ve learned to blog, Facebook and Twitter, all at the ripe old age of 48, though to be honest, I don’t get the appeal of Twitter. It proves two things: that we have a short attention span and we can annoy the crap out of people with tweets every other minute, trying to promote our books.

    3. Yes, I’m an old fogie, but after a day running AutoCAD and an evening on my PC writing the great American novel, it’s relaxing to sit in a tub of hot water & read my pile of paper, ink, and glue. I’m certainly not going to attempt THAT with my iPad. I’ve already lost 2 iPhones to water.

    4. I am a business owner with a rare trade experience. Can’t get much more marketable than that.

    5. But I must admit, I like keeping up to date. I do buy every new gadget, sign up for all the social media, but it doesn’t really make me any happier, just more harried.

    And this old fogie still gets carded, so I must be doing all right! Thanks for letting me have a little fun!

  • Ilima

    Sounds good to me. Can you send this list to my dad?

  • http://heathersunseri.com/blog Heather Sunseri

    Here’s crazy, and maybe my small town is behind the times and this is happening everywhere, but our public schools have decided that it’s cost effective to give every child 8th through 12th grades an iPad intead of purchasing textbooks. And that is taking in consideration the rate of replacing ones that are broken or stolen.

    Also, I read where restaurants are starting to invest in iPads for their ever-changing menus and forego the cost of printing every time they want to change the prices. Yep, “market price” is a thing of the past.

    So, it’s either embrace the change in technology, or go hungry. :)

    • http://bookinamonthmom@blogspot.com Heather Gilbert

      Okay, Heather, that ipad info is SHOCKING! I AM TOTALLY SHOCKED! I’m wondering who did the cost breakdown on books vs ipads for the schools. Wow, still shocked.

      • http://heathersunseri.com/blog Heather Sunseri

        Yeah, Heather, I’ll have to do some research and see if a grant was involved. But the high school already implemented this for the 11-12 school year, and eighth graders are getting them next year. It’s crazy.

  • http://rickbarry.blogspot.com Rick Barry

    Rachelle, I suggest another reason to keep abreast of technology is in order to remain relevant as a person. If the day ever comes when the only thing we can without help is warm a chair by sitting in it, then we would be rendering ourselves irrelevant. Others will simply step around us and wish we would get out of the way.

    At a conference I sat down to use a laptop beside a retired missionary in his eighties. He, too, was emailing and surfing the web to do research. I mentally applauded him for using a computer at an age when many of his peers say they wouldn’t know how to turn one on.

  • http://www.catherinejwest.com Cathy West

    I can’t understand why anyone wouldn’t want to keep up with the times. Especially if you’re in any way involved in publishing. It’s just too vital not to have the advantage of tweeting, facebooking or whatever at your fingertips when you’re announcing a debut novel release or an interview with Barbara Walters or whatever the case may be. The fast pace of today’s electronic world might be a little frightening for some, but if you learn which options work for you and use them wisely, you can build community. I disagree with those who say that communicating online has replaced old-fashioned face to face dialogue. Do both. In my case, I live on a small island where I have no writing community to speak of. I’d be utterly bereft without the internet. I certainly wouldn’t be published. The only thing I haven’t succumbed to is the cell phone. I use mine for emergencies only and I can’t text a word without trying four or five times and finally giving up. My kids know how to reach me. Facebook message. :)

    • http://www.fallible.com Katy McKenna

      Cathy, it cracked me up when I read that you, a British citizen, use your cell phone for emergencies only. As you know, I was raised by a father from Scotland, but here in the US. The other little girls called their friends on their rotary princess phones every night and gabbed. We HAD a princess phone, so it wasn’t THAT. But my daddy insisted that our phone was for emergencies only, and he meant it! Every Christmas, he made a 2-minute exception and received a call from his sister back in Scotland. So, considering I grew up a true Luddite, I think it’s remarkable that at 58, I use facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, an iPad, and can text if I have to. I still don’t talk on a cell phone, though. In honor of my dad. :)

  • http://Glosdrumbeat.blogspot.com Gloria Sigountos

    Personally while I see the many benefits of social media I find them purely professional and actually detrimental to my personal emotional life. maybe i am doing it wrong but I am currently taking a a break from writing on my blog and checking facebook and starting a twitter account because quite frankly I am tired of talking to only my self. Lack of comments except to point out a miss spelling in my status update makes me feel like I suck at writing and I should just quite. and if that is wrong, which I hope it is, then i have been rejected by social media and considering that supposedly the people who friend me on facebook are “friends” that hurts worse then when I was the reject in high school.

    • http://cavemanreflections.blogspot.com/ Michael Mulligan

      Gloria, your attitude about social media and rejection have something in common, both need an adjustment. Once you accept rejection as a stepping stone, something every writer must do, you will no longer see social media as a detriment to your personal emotional life.

      As a matter of fact, social media will bring you MORE rejection, simply because you are more exposed. It will also bring you more rewards if you avoid withdrawing.

      • http://Glosdrumbeat.blogspot.com Gloria Sigountos

        you talk of rewards… after years of blogging trying to be active on facebook the only reward i get are is the sound of crickets. if someone would post anything to let me know that anyone reads what I write that would be something, but for all I know every hit on my blog is by someone looking for a picture. I want to use social media, It’s just that it either i don’t know how to make it work or I am a complete fool who should just give up

        • http://cavemanreflections.blogspot.com/ Michael Mulligan

          Don’t give up. Be patient. Keep a good attitude, even when you face rejection. Give something of value to your readers. Be consistent. I’m fifty-one years old, a dinosaur in this new world. My three teenagers run circles around me in the social media world. They take it all for granted because they were born into it. I have to work at it, daily. And I’ve faced incredible rejection in my life. But I don’t give up. And I ask the best people in the industry to post on my site because I realize there are plenty of people out there much smarter than me. Instead of withdrawing, I invite them to my site to teach me and other writers how to do all the things you seek. The answer is right in front of you. Please don’t give up.

        • http://vickiorians.blogspot.com Vicki Orians

          Hi Gloria!

          I have to agree with Michael on this one – blogging is TOUGH work, especially the building-your-followers part, but it’s totally worth it when you start seeing the networking happen. I know for me, blogging was a hassle at first because I didn’t understand it, but once I started posting comments on others’ blogs and partaking in blog hops, etc., I’m starting to see my followers go up. For example, just this past week I gained 10 followers, just by participating in a blog hop.

          And as far as people getting after you about misspellings/grammar mistakes/etc., most bloggers don’t do that. The ones that do are jerks, and you can delete their posts and block them from your page, or you can require each comment to be viewed by you before you even allow it to appear for other’s view.

          Anyway, this is ending up being a blog post in itself (sorry about that!), but just know that we all start at the same point as you, and we have all felt the EXACT same way when we started out, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel (to be cliche). And being a writer, you have to develop thick skin, because you think comments on blogs are bad? Just wait until you get a book published. Whew baby – just looking at reviews of some of my favorite books is painful!

          You’ll be okay. Just keep pushing through and don’t ever tell yourself you’re not good enough because there are plenty of people out there just waiting to read YOUR story.

          Okay, I think I’ve left a long enough reply. :)

  • http://www.ministrymatters.com Jessica

    I love the Dowager Countess! My favorite line of hers was in response to Cora saying “they do things differently in America.” She responds, “Yes, they live in wigwams.”

    Your five reasons are right-on, and pertaining to #3, I was very tempted to say to someone last week, “Don’t you want your grandkids to think you’re cool?” It’s as good a reason as any to keep up with the times!

  • http://www.sueharrison.com Sue Harrison

    I LOVE having a 100+ books at my fingertips on my Kindle without having to pay thousands to own those books. I LOVE the help my FB community gives me as I rewrite one novel and plot the next. I LOVE the availability of information via the Web.

    I HATE how dumb I can be with technology! (And I still wish I were a better speller, although spell checkers do help.)

  • http://www.rashadpharaon.com Rashad Pharaon

    So true. I’m 37 and just the other day I found myself telling a teenager, “when I was your age…” and stopped dead in my tracks. Has it come down to this, already?!

    I think embracing this brand new world keeps you sane. Take my situation: I’m working on a project in the middle of a hot desert. Back in the 80s what would I be doing during my free time? Dying of heat. Now? Well, at least the brave new world is granting me some time online to chat and blog it up. While I die of heat.

    Best,

    Rashad.

  • http://www.daveyandmariejank.com Davey

    An unwillingness to be left in the dust by my septuagenarian mother is my motivation. She texts, skypes, Facebooks, does PowerPoints and creates her own movies. Sheesh, Mom. Dial it down a bit.

  • http://www.cgblake.wordpress.com CG Blake

    I fought social media at first, but now I embrace it. It’s just another way of connecting with people. I like my Kindle but it will never beat sitting in a comfy chair with a hard-bound book, savoring a great story.

  • http://bethvogt.com Beth K. Vogt

    I dove into social media … well, waded into social media, because I’m an author. And it’s part of the profession.
    But here’s the real reason I’ll embrace the Brave New World: I’ve watched my mother-in-law do it. She got her first computer when she was in her 80s, after using an IBM Selectric typewriter for years. (Yeah, go google that!) Now that she has macular degeneration, maneuvering the mouse is tricky, but she’s still working away on the family history. Sometimes she calls my husband and says, “I can’t find my document” and he has to talk her out of where ever she wandered … but, hey! She’s one courageous 93-year-old.
    I like that about her.
    I think I will follow in her very brave footsteps. (And, yes, years down the road I will probably be calling my kiddos too . . .)

  • http://rmabry.com Richard Mabry

    Rachelle, You make some cogent arguments, and I agree with them. Sometimes I feel as though I’m being dragged along, kicking and screaming, but it’s necessary. Learn it now or have it all dumped on you later when you realize you’re stuck in a time warp.
    I still identify with the words of my hero, obsessive-compulsive detective Adrian Monk: “I don’t mind change. I just don’t like being around while it happens.”
    Thanks for sharing.

  • Liza Schneider

    First of all, let me say that when I finally grow up I would love to be the Dowager Lady Granthem. She is my favorite character on any show in a very, very long time. And I believe she would say what I think about most things, including technology, “Well, everything has its place my dear.”

    As the owner of two computers, Android phone and the like I embrace technology as I embrace all change. It is inevitable so you can either embrace it or get left behind by it. What I find dismaying is the “baby and shiny key-chain” approach to technology so many people take. People tend to be distracted by new shiny technology the way I used to distract my nieces and nephews with my shiny jingling car keys. They didn’t need the keys, shouldn’t play with them, and did them no practical good, but they wanted them anyway.
    Over the past year I have embraced all the change that I find useful in my writing life, the rest I leave for those who need the new and the now. I have the new technology that I need for now, and it all has its proper place in my life.

  • http://cavemanreflections.blogspot.com/ Michael Mulligan

    I made a promise to my family the checkbook would be off the table when pursuing my writing/publishing wish list.

    All of these new social media tools are free, perfect for a writer on a budget. Yes, I admit it, the tools are awkward at first, like learning a foreign language. The rewards are out of this world…and staving off dementia is a nice incentive.

  • http://novellinguist.blogspot.com Cara M.

    Embracing new technologies just because they’re new and relevant can be as dangerous as rejecting them all out of hand. Unless your purpose is solely marketing, doing something because everyone else is doing it is as stupid as it always was.

    The truth is, adopting social media, new technology, new ways of interacting with people will make an impact on your life in particular, and it may impact you in ways it does no one else.

    Do Twitter alerts blow your train of thought? Does facebook give you undue anxiety? Are you terrible at remembering to charge electronics? (What is the use of an out-of-batteries ereader?) Would the money you spend on gadgets be better used elsewhere? By buying all the new tech and dumping them just as fast are you building a pile of trash bigger than your house? By learning all the new pirating software are you showing appreciation for the services rendered?

    Learning how things work and keeping up with them are fine, if you have the time and energy to spare (not that it takes all that much). But adopting them and using them is a much more fraught decision.

    My advice? Don’t be an idiot or a sheep. Actually use the brain you’ve got. Okay?

  • http://www.juturnafaerthing.blogspot.com Juturna F.

    If my grandkids ever think I’m cool, then I’m either doing something horribly wrong, or they’re adult enough to know what ‘cool’ really is. Or, you know, I’m skiing in the Alps or frozen in suspended animation.

    Technology was made to serve man, not the other way around. So if it’s not convenient, money-saving, and/or useful, I ain’t touching it. So far, that means I use e-readers, computers, cellphones, blogs, FB, Google+, and text messages. What don’t I use? Twitter or smartphones. Twitter isn’t useful to me yet (although I expect it to become so in the next six months to a year, which is when I’ll start using it), and smartphones just seem like a waste of money to me. Or maybe I just feel bad for my cute little ‘dumbphone.’ Hey, it texts.

  • Janelle

    I enjoy being a troglodyte, frankly. I can’t see spending all that money on ipads or kindles or whatever else they have out there. My cell phone is at least 8 years old, but I make and receive calls on it (receive texts but haven’t figured out how to send them) and that’s all I need it for. Social media – well, obviously I follow a few blogs but otherwise it just seems a good way to waste writing time (or time in general). Will my lack of interest in technology affect the sales of my books in the future? I doubt it will to any significant amount, and I’m happy to ‘sacrifice’ those in order to live with more peace of mind. (Oh and my family find my disinterest amusing – they think I’m cool anyway!)

  • http://www.sarahanneloudinthomas.wordpress.com Sarah Thomas

    I’m all for embracing technology that HELPS. Innovations that improve our lives and the way we do things. Of course, like most things, there’s always a “good” side and “bad” side to technology.

    Written way back in 1987, you just can’t beat Wendell Berry’s essay, “Why I’m Not Going to Buy a Computer.” http://home.btconnect.com/tipiglen/berrynot.html

    His standards for innovation are:
    1. The new tool should be cheaper than the one it replaces.
    2. It should be at least as small in scale as the one it replaces.
    3. It should do work that is clearly and demonstrably better than the one it replaces.
    4. It should use less energy than the one it replaces.
    5. If possible, it should use some form of solar energy, such as that of the body.
    6. It should be repairable by a person of ordinary intelligence, provided that he or she has the necessary tools.
    7. It should be purchasable and repairable as near to home as possible.
    8. It should come from a small, privately owned shop or store that will take it back for maintenance and repair.
    9. It should not replace or disrupt anything good that already exists, and this includes family and community relationships.

    Even if you don’t agree with his guidelines, I think they’re a good place to stop and think before jumping on the latest technological bandwagon. Especially #9.

  • http://www.olivianewport.com Olivia Newport

    Adopting technology does not mean always having to be on the bleeding edge. Some people love living there, but I am not one of them. I enjoy my technology but I don’t have to have the latest and greatest the moment it hits the market. I’m okay with letting a few people figure out the glitches, the pros, the cons, the whyfors and whatnots and then glean from them what will serve me best.

    • http://www.janesteen.com Jane Steen

      Olivia, I also wait until technology becomes aaaaaaalmost mainstream before I jump in. Still puts me ahead of the pack but I don’t have the hassle of the first few software glitches.

      The exception is signing up for new social networks. I do that fairly fast nowadays because I want to have my real name as my username. You can always leave the account dormant for a while to see if it goes mainstream and is worth using. I think it took me a year between signing up for Twitter and actually using it, but I got @janesteen and not @Jane12345!

  • http://ainsleyshay.blogspot.com Ainsley Shay

    i love technology! but i still try to make the technology that i do invest in work in my best interest – as in making life simpler – or making it as simple as possible. because there’s no doubt technology – at times – complicates things, and it can definitely be overwhelming. there’s so much out there – it can be hard to keep up.

    good post!

    • http://www.emptynesttravelersblog.com Bobbi

      I loved this post!

      Technology can be a benefit as long as it doesn’t take over your life to the point where you are afraid to go any length of time unconnected.

      At fifty eight and sometimes, yes, an old fogie, I like to think I can embrace the technology that will add to my creative flow while keeping some of the maybe old fashioned methods that continue to work for me.

      The best way for me to beat a block is to leave shut down my computer, get away for email, texting and pull out one of my favorite pens and a pad of paper.

      The best things in my opinion a person, any person will get from the always changing technology is the constant need to learn which requires mind engagement.

  • http://ibischild.blogspot.com marion

    I used to laugh when my mother called a record player a “gramophone”.

    Now the joke’s on me. I remember record players, 8 track tapes, and videotapes.

    By the way, Rachelle, I don’t know when you changed your website photo. I love the new photo. Casual chic. Professional and friendly.

  • http://sandy-stevener-mystery-writer.blogspot.com Sandy Stevener

    So True. I learned to text because it was my grown children’s mode of communication and I realized I could sit at home and complain because they never call me or I could communicate with them on their level.

    Realistically how selfish is it of us to expect others to communicate with us in our antiquated methods? If we are Christian and follow the example of Christ, we will learn to speak to people in the way that THEY will understand.

    And it’s fun to learn new stuff. God created us as seeking beings; we like to look for things, to find things. I haven’t jumped into the Twitter pool (don’t have any contacts that do that) yet but I’m headed in that direction. The Facebook and blogging I got, not saying I’m good at it but I’m getting better every day.

  • http://www.jilliankent.com Jillian Kent

    I love Downton Abbey and the lines of the Dowager Countess, such great wit! Great idea for a post, Rachelle. I can’t remember the last time I had any real time away from technology, but as I read Brian’s response about back packing I thought how nice it would be to have a couple weeks away from it all. I think it’s important that we embrace technology and keep up with the important things related to publishing, etc. as it pertains to our work. But I think we do ourselves a disservice if we don’t get away from it all now and then. If I can only figure out how to do that. :)

  • http://crowproductions.com joan Cimyotte

    “Don’t stand in the doorway, don’t block up the halls for the times they are a changing!” -Bob Dylan

  • Sue

    Another Downton Abbey fan! I adore the Dowager Countess and can’t wait to see her and Cora’s mother (Shirley MacLaine) devour each other in season 3.

    I love technology. I love sitting on an airplane with my Kindle and my iPod, all the comforts of home in mobile form. I text, email, Facebook (yes, it’s a verb now) and have been known to blog. I’m not on Twitter but that’s because I don’t think I can complete a sentence in less than 140 characters. Though, now that I think about it, maybe I should try just for the challenge.

    However, my greatest reason is to stay current. Many of my friends live far away (Thailand, London and more) and I can watch their lives through their Facebook posts and pictures. I know when friends and family are getting married, having babies, struggling, asking for prayer, and having a great vacation. I can give virtual hugs, cheer them on before a job interview, watch their children grow, and grieve with them even if I can’t be in their presence.

    I play Scrabble (Words with Friends) with a good friend who just moved a couple thousand miles away. I can give running baseball commentary to a friend who moved and can’t watch her favorite team (Go Rangers!). I can share my world with the people I grew up with, went to college with, used to work with, or currently see on a regular basis. It’s immediate, dynamic, but still intimate.

  • http://www.chattykelly.com Kelly Combs

    I think the main reason to stay up on technology (as a mom) is to keep up with my kids.

    I was apprehensive to get an e-reader, because I love books. But I got the kindle fire for Christmas, and I love it! I read 8 books over Christmas break! I’d never do that with regular books. And I follow websites that showcase free books, and my kindle is loaded. I’m reading more, and cheaper. It really is good to join the 21st century.

  • http://latinapen.blogspot.com Mona AlvaradoFrazier

    Reasons to embrace: the adventure, the challenge, and to say I tried it & don’t like it (the experience) or I do.

  • http://www.danielfcase.com Daniel F. Case

    Why keep up with changing technology?

    One word: Dinosaurs.

    D.

  • Barbie

    Another Reason to Embrace our Brave New World – It provides an opportunity to communicate with kids on their playing field.

    When my son was about 7, he saw my record collection and asked what those black discs were. That was when I realized my black Frisbee vinyl records and I were both becoming obsolete! I vowed to stay ahead of Tyler and learn to compete in the “New Brave World!”

    Epic failure – Tyler was eleven. I bought a 62” television for Christmas. I bounded down the stairs the next morning, excited to read the 80 plus page manual and learn how to use my new TV; Tyler had video games running on one half and a cartoon playing on the other half! He can get that stupid TV to do anything; I’m thrilled to change channels.

    But adhering to one of my favorite mottos “Old Age and Treachery Will Always Overcome Youth and Skill,” I remained undaunted.

    My proudest moment – “Mom, how did you get Twitter set up?” ;)

  • Bret Draven

    One technology I DO NOT embrace, it the friggin’ butt-puckering volume of TV commercials!

    There’s a technology we could live without!

  • http://www.writerspenn.blogspot.com Ruth Douthitt

    One reason: to sell my product!

    If you want to sell your product to the masses, you have to get it out to the masses. I am grateful to have technology to help me get my product (my book…and myself!) out there.

    And it’s a great way to meet people. :)

  • http://www.Savvy-Writer.com Amandah

    That’s funny that people over 30 are considered ‘old fogies.’:) I may be a part of Generation X, but I’m closer to Generation Y because I love and embrace technology. It moves faster than a speeding bullet, and I do my best to keep up with it. I’m waiting for the next BIG social media site to eclipse Facebook.

  • Jennifer Major

    Another Dowager Countess line-”What is a week END?”

    I do mission work in the most extremely remote Quechua villages in the Bolivian Andes. 10 hour Jeep rides from anywhere to a people completely cut off from the world, 15 team members, 1500 radios, but lots of survivors!

    Nothing is as freaky as watching Quechua shepherds move their flocks of sheep from one 500 year old rock paddock to another and the HEAR THEIR CELL PHONE RING!!!
    Seriously!!

  • http://readinrittinrhetoric.blogspot.com/ Terri

    Not quite a year ago I found myself single again, working three jobs to make ends meet and living in a two-room office in my business building. All at the age of 51.

    I don’t have cable and my cell phone is my only phone. Last week my brother asked me if I was okay being alone all the time.

    Alone? I have the best friends ever. I don’t have to be in the same room to have great conversations and share and just have a ball. Today is my birthday and I got over a hundred FB wishes. I don’t think I’ve gotten that many birthday cards in the last twenty years.

    Technology lets me live in a small town and make a living. It lets me indulge my somewhat solitary nature without becoming isolated and the only thing I want to take to the nursing home is a wide screen laptop with a wifi hotspot.

    I don’t see how social media is any different than getting together to play cards or have lunch. It’s about making connections and community.

    I have to admit, Twitter is still a bit of a mystery. I feel like I’m at a noisy cocktail party holding a drink in one hand and a cookie in the other while wearing a “Hi, I’m Terri” sticky tag. But, I’m learning and am accumulating a few followers here and there.

    After a year on my blog, I decided I was going to write about what I wanted to. There is a collection of pictures, cartoons, silly stuff, a bit of politics, essays about writing, book reviews, and a performance art project I call “The Story of Book.” [For a year I am taking my favorite book everywhere I go, taking pictures, and blogging about it.]

    I quit worrying about comments and ta-dah, the page hits started trickling in. I just got into Pinterest and it is both fun and brings traffic to my blog.

    I have been patient and am seeing some rewards for it. Don’t quit unless you really don’t like it. And don’t only use social media to endlessly slog your book. I defriended someone today because his birthday wish included a pitch to check out his book. Talk about a DON’T!

    As for gadgetry, I try and stay right behind the curve. I have what was last year’s best and brightest. The bugs are worked out and the price is down. I’m typing this one my beloved 22-inch all-in-one computer with touchscreen. I just went with a smart phone because I travel with one of my jobs and need email access. I knew if I waited a year, last year’s smart phones would be the freebies. My Kindle was a gift and I’ve almost worn the paint off the keyboard. A tablet or laptop is next (mine crossed the silicone bridge), but I haven’t made up my mind. I’m streaming Pandora through my Roku.

    I learned to type on a Selectric and my first computer had a 10 mega hard drive that I installed myself with pliers and a butter knife. The only thing I want back from the 1980s is the music and my waistline. As for the future, bring it . . .

    Terri

  • http://lindsayharrel.blogspot.com Lindsay Harrel

    Yes! Love this. Thanks.

  • http://neuroticworkaholic.blogspot.com Neurotic Workaholic

    I read this article about this 20-something guy who gave up social networking for a long period of time: no Twitter, no Facebook, no e-mail, no texting, etc. I guess that was a big “sacrifice” for someone like him, because like you said, the younger generation grew up using all of that stuff on a regular basis. But as I read that article, I couldn’t help thinking that I do live without most of those social networking tools all the time (except e-mail and blogging); I don’t even like texting. I have thought about joining Twitter, but it kind of seems like a lot of work to keep updating a Twitter feed while following other people’s Tweets, especially since I’m already spending a lot of time blogging.

  • http://girlseeksplace.wordpress.com Brianna

    We have to embrace because eventually that’s all there will be. There won’t be books or land lines or typewriters or any of that. The future is electronic and we have to be plugged in.

  • http://dabneyland Dabney Hedegard

    I love your blog. I don’t throw that word around lightly, either. Each post I learn more about this evolving industry and the steps needed to stay current.

    Recently–more out of utter frustration that I couldn’t figure this blogging-thing out–I spent hours reading WordPress tutorials, wondering all the while, why am I wasting time.

    Ha. But I’m not. I’m not playing on FaceHook or watching sitcoms or reorganized my sock drawer (which desperately needs attention) avoiding building that all-important platform.

    I’m encouraged. Thanks for the push. And the post.

    Dabney

  • http://catherinemjohnson.wordpress.com Catherine Johnson

    Fun post, Rachelle. I was about to join the millions heading over to Google+ and Triberr etc. but in the end I think people are just raving about them but not being specific as to why you need them. So I’m leaving them to it and watching to see if they magically write more books or land a great book deal through it, I doubt it :)

  • http://sharonalavy.com Sharon A Lavy

    Husband and I love technology. Recently I went with him to the cardiologists to get an echo-gram done. I took his iPad along and was looking at my email or something and the technician said she thought it was wonderful when elderly people embrace technology.

    Husband and I laughed all the way home. I guess we are elderly and just don’t know it.

    • http://ibischild.blogspot.com marion

      I enjoy reading your comments, Sharon.
      You aren’t elderly, just savvy!

  • http://www.artesianministries.org Donna Pyle

    Embracing our newfangled technology keeps us relevant and relatable. Embracing our avoidance of it when we need to recharge is essential.

  • Teressa Ryan

    For the everyday Jo or Josephine, learn the amount of technology necessary for your own daily life. As for those who have an issue with learning technology, usually they just have “issues.” If you listen to them long enough this becomes clear. This is an observation and not a judgement. I have found myself on the other side of groovin’ with the Techies and having to play a bit of catch up a couple times.

    My fave is when I meet an 80-90ish year old and they know more about this “stuff” than I ever dreamed.

    Have an enlightened day all.

  • http://www.birthofanovel.wordpress.com Marielena

    After a frightening hospitalization with my mom and now caring for her, I found technology to be a double-edged sword. It saved her, it helped me stay in touch with family. But I also found that technology can also replace what is most important. Real relationships. Face-to-face contact with real people. Yes, I’m up to speed on all of it — tweets, blogs, FB and more — and yes, I am old. But right now, I just want to “unplug” from the world for a month. Maybe after this post, I will.

  • http://dianeyuhas.com Diane Yuhas

    I can remember when computers were the size of refrigerators. I hadn’t even heard of the internet when I bought my first computer, which I used primarily as a word-processor. I’ve been up and running now for years and can’t imagine being without a blog and all the social sites. I think the publishing industry is currently faced with a great opportunity to redefine itself within the social media evolution. It doesn’t have to become like everybody else, but it does need to communicate in the same language.

  • Zillah

    “Another thing agents do is champion worthwhile authors and books—trying to convince publishers to take a chance, even against market conditions or conventional wisdom.”

    I’m so relieved to hear this. I had thought such an attitude had died out :-)

  • Maril Hazlett

    My 75 year old Dad is my tech hero. He’s open to trying anything. Come to think of it, he embraces life in general that way, not just technology.

  • http://hmallon-ftheeiwasateenagequaker.blogspot.com/ Helen W. Mallon

    Just have to say, Rachelle…it totally made my day to read the word “gobsmacked” in this post.

  • http://www.fragmentsandfriends.blogspot.com Christine Dorman

    It is hard to add to your list, Rachelle, you’ve hit on the main reasons to keep up with technology. Perhaps one doesn’t need to go so far as to embrace it, but keeping up with it is the only way to keep from becoming lost and confused in our “brave new world.” There are two things, though, that I’ll add to the conversation. First, keeping up with the technology can be fun. You mentioned being the mom who gets it. I’m not a mom, but I am a teacher. Last night, I asked my college writing class to take the broad topic of technology and narrow it down to a topic sentence for a paragraph. While trying to lead them through the topic, I suggested this as a possible topic sentence, “E-books are more convenient than traditional print books.” Many of the students were surprised by this sentence because it had never occurred to them that this even could be a debate. I was surprised, though, when some of my students asked, “What’s an e-book?” This question was not asked by the “mature” students. It came from twenty-somethings. I replied, “Kindles,” assuming that they only knew the devices by a brand name. Their response was, “What’s a Kindle?” I was gobsmacked (I love that word!). When I recovered from my shocked, I realized that it was great fun to be more up on the current technology than some of my young students. However, as I reflect upon it now, perhaps, they have jumped straight to ipods and having heard of Kindle because it’s becoming obsolete. Oh well!

    The other thing I would like to add to the conversation is this: embracing the new technology doesn’t mean rejecting the old. Enjoying the convenience of taking fifty books with you on a Kindle when you travel doesn’t mean you have to abandon your beloved friends, print books. I agree with Nancy Thompson; print books make better bathtub companions. Additionally, learning how to communicate via Twitter and Facebook doesn’t mean you have to lose all knowledge of how to write in full-fledged words. Finally, in the brave new world of Skype, isn’t it lovely to hear the phone ring?

  • http://www.brokengirl.info London Crockett

    I don’t think I’ll ever own an eReader. The Nook software works just fine on my MacBookAir, which is light enough to carry everywhere. Not to mention the two books that sit in my bag, Eric Ambler’s A Coffin for Dimitrios and Reinhold Neibhur’s The Irony of American History, are lighter than any eReader and cost less than $15 is they get lost.

    However, I’m active on Twitter, know my CSS, blog, etc. My only reservation about the “embrace the future” is that we’re still riding a Richter 9.0 in the social media world. Until the landscape settles into whatever new shape it takes, there’s too much change to keep up with it all effectively. I think we have to pick our spots carefully and avoid trying to jumping onto every new social media that comes our way.

    It’s hard to imagine being effective at writing, holding down gainful employment if you need to, and keeping up with GoodReads, Tumbler, Facebook, Twitter, G+, LinkedIn, and everything else. A lot of these will go the way of MySpace and AOL, so some skepticism is called for.

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