Wednesday, July 2, 2014


Is it just me? Am I the only one who takes offense when you have a group of friends over to catch up and stir the creative muse and you glance over to see one of them not so discretely carrying on a Text session with someone not on your guest list? Or you’re in the middle of a holiday dinner and your son is scrolling through his e-mails? Or at the sound of a ding, everyone around you grabs for their phone like well-conditioned Pavlovian dogs?

In my younger years, I delighted in Huxley, Orwell and Bradbury tales of artificial helpmates taking control of humanity. Guess what? It’s here! Welcome to the Twilight Zone of technology.

Don’t get me wrong. I love Social Media. In fact, I spend the first HOUR of my allotted two hour writing time each morning catching up on Facebook, Twitter, Pintrest, blog posts and e-mail. An hour I could be using to finish those edits. What’s with this obsessive need to be connected every minute of the day and night? Do I care if Darcy Dimwit is playing Candy Crush or what kind of Superhero or mythical being I might be? (well, yeah, maybe). In that 15 minutes I’m in the car driving from my desk phone to my home phone, do I need to endanger life and limb to answer my cell? (No) When I’m enjoying a meal and a conversation with friends and family, do I need to keep glancing at that mini-screen to see who else might want to interact with me? (HELL no!) So why do we feel this insatiable need tune in, turn on and turnip?

Seeking behavior – We’re a hunter/gatherer society, always in touch with our surroundings. What’s going on? Who needs me? What am I missing?

Immediate Validation- Someone wants me. Someone likes me. Someone’s listening to me. See how many friends, tweets and Pins I have!

Artificial companion – Sometimes life is a lonely place or we’re afraid to be alone with own thoughts. With social media we can always reach out and touch someone.

Control – Social medial and cells are a safe intermediary. They lessen direct confrontation, place us on top of the situation and allow us the first and last word. A Big Brother/Mom’s Watching dream come true.

Phones and tablets and Internet replace face-to-face and TV’s passive voice interactions with vibrant, immediate input to feed our minds and fill our hours. A bad thing? No, not unless it becomes the only thing, the most important thing, an interfering thing that keeps us from what we should be doing. Devices are a tool, something to aid in human communication, not something to replace it. So take time to reconnect with your friends and family, with your own thoughts and let the artificial world spin on without you for an hour or two. Or over a holiday weekend. Now there’s a challenge! Would any of you make it three whole days unplugged?

Buuuut if you do find yourself seeking and gathering, I’ve recently joined Romance Writers of America’s new books and author site called Novel Engagement. It’s free to sign up and puts your favorite romance reads and writers at your fingertips with i- and Android apps, and will soon be available for PC. Check it out . . . just not during family dinner.

Happy Holiday! Happy Reading!

Insecure Writer's Support Group

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer - aim for a dozen new people each time.


  1. Great post! I'm the last known human being on the planet to not have a cell phone and I've been debating whether or not to change my status on that. But for now, a holiday weekend without electronics (besides my laptop, but I still have no home internet) is definitely in my future. Have a wonderful Fourth! :)

    1. Don't give in to the dark side, Kristen! Enjoy the holiday!

  2. I'll have to admit, I'm guilty of checking emails and catching up on Words With Friends when I should be interacting with the people around me. It's a difficult habit to break, but I'm working on it!

  3. Have to say I do like your style, Nancy. Great post and I totally agree with you. You've also inspired me to join IWSG. Thank you!

  4. I went 5 whole days at my sister's without internet. Talk about withdrawal. Yikes! Love the IWSG and thanks, Nancy, for hooking me on it. :)

  5. Nancy, I think that..hold on, my phone is ringing...nevermind it was just a fb like. You are so funny! I love how you can tell the truth in such an almost-non-judgemental way. I seem to recall having a friend/writer gathering where we were actually jammed around a table showing each other how to use social media sites. Now those were the good "ole" days.

  6. So TRUE!
    I've been trying my darnest lately to stop being a slave to Social Media and my phone. I've had trial runs with turning off all internet for a couple hours here and there. The first time was the toughest. But I become productive, who knew? lol

  7. I would have a hard time. I fully admit it. I've taken my computer with me everywhere. I don't call people anymore (esp. my dad because he can't hear- he has to read it and my children are so busy, I'm always calling at a bad moment.). But I do feel that we have come to rely on the technology a lot. Hubby likes to point out that if we lose power, we are in trouble... Well, I just got mine back on after two days without it. We survived. I was a little crabby after 6 on the second day but I was also really worried about the freezer and how much food we were losing. :)