What Makes You Anxious & Fearful About Tech?

Twilight Zone creature on plane

Today I’m looking for your insight on a phenomenon I see a lot with people over a certain age: fearfulness and anxiety around tech.

Those of you who’ve followed my posts for a while know how much I promote the use of new media in a writing career. I think it can make it more powerful, enjoyable, and sustainable.

But when I travel to conferences, or speak conversationally with friends (about their older parents), it’s clear that there’s a significant cross-section of the population who just aren’t comfortable with tech. (And then there’s another section of people who are kinda comfortable, but don’t want to push the boundaries.)

I don’t quite understand it—where does this fearfulness or tentativeness come from? Why is there anxiety about “breaking” the computer? Where does the resistance originate?

Since I don’t really know, I’d love to collect your thoughts. What do you think?


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Jane Friedman
Jane Friedman has 20 years of experience in the publishing industry, with expertise in digital media strategy for authors and publishers. From 2001–2010 she worked at Writer's Digest, where she ultimately became publisher; more recently, she was an editor at the Virginia Quarterly Review, where she led digital strategy. Jane currently teaches writing and publishing at the University of Virginia and is a columnist for Publishers Weekly. The Great Courses just released her 24-lecture series, How to Publish Your Book. She also has a book forthcoming from the University of Chicago Press, The Business of Being a Writer (2017). Jane speaks regularly at conferences and industry events such as BookExpo America, Digital Book World, and the AWP Conference, and has served on panels with the National Endowment for the Arts and the Creative Work Fund. Find out more.
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96 Comments on "What Makes You Anxious & Fearful About Tech?"

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3 years 9 months ago

It’s the whole idea of ‘change’ for the older people. Humans like what they know, and change usually means something they DON’T know, which means they don’t like it, and they fear it. Well that’s my explanation for it anyway. 

3 years 9 months ago

 I’m not sure it’s as simple as all older people just inherently disliking change — I think as you get older, your experience and acquired knowledge begin to outpace your desire to continue to adapt and challenge your assumptions. It’s still doable, it just takes more effort. I also think there’s an issue of priorities, where the appeal of learning technology is dependent on whether or not it actually has any perceived utility. The pace at which technology changes and accelerates has also been rising sharply for decades. I imagine that when I’m 60, I might grow weary of constantly… Read more »

3 years 9 months ago

Daniel, I’m 58, and I do sometimes wonder if I’ll have the energy (i.e. the capacity to give a sh*t) to get excited about the new, new, new, new, new Facebook in 10 years. I mean, after a while you start to notice that many applications duplicate each other, and if you go to the trouble to cultivate a community, and relevance, on one app, but then another bright shiny app comes along that does the same thing only better… what happens to all your work/ friends/history? I felt this way when a friend was trying to get me to… Read more »

3 years 9 months ago

 I think “after a while you do have to be strategic with your time” is an incredibly accurate distillation.

3 years 9 months ago

You both raise valid points, and I guess there are many, many reasons, both separately and combine that contribute to what Jane is talking about here. 

Matthew Turner
3 years 9 months ago

Change is something people fear, and i suppose admitting that the world is moving on proves just how old you are getting. People, in general, don’t like the idea of this. We want to be remembered in our prime, and the fear (another big factor) of not understanding something makes it easier to avoid all together. I sometimes wonder what it will be like for me when i’m 60. Will i still be ‘with it’ or will i  be like my dad. A man who is still very stand offish with new media. I sometimes see him looking at the remote as… Read more »

Diana
3 years 9 months ago

I’m fifty and an engineer. For me it’s not so much fear of technology as it is weariness of new technology. When I was a teenager the cool new technology was a handheld calculator and cable television with HBO. With every new piece that comes onto the marketplace, one has to learn how to use it. So there comes a point in time where one gets tired of learning how to use a new device which is obsolete as soon as you buy it.  The same is true of social media. I started with message boards on AOL, then message… Read more »

Diana
3 years 9 months ago

Success! I figured it out! 

Diane Stortz
3 years 9 months ago

 Totally agree!

3 years 9 months ago

 I can see your point. Learning about new technologies can be exhausting, especially with how quickly it can change.

3 years 9 months ago

I used to work as a network tech and tutor at my university, where I dealt with an older crowd on a daily basis. From my observations, the technofear boiled down to this: To some, technology is magic. Things happen without rhyme or reason, cause and effect. People are afraid to experiment because they’re afraid they’ll break something. We used to spend hours trying to disavow people of this notion, but software bugs, malfunctions and viruses often made it look like we were lying and computers were a terrifying world where random stuff just happened. There was also a big… Read more »

Deborah Lucas
3 years 9 months ago

Being one of the “older people” I have to disagree with most of what you said.  It’s not a lack of education.  I have an MFA.  I think of myself as fairly smart and I’m eager to learn social networking.  But it’s easy to fall into overwhelm.  Everything is moving so fast, and the older you get, the slower you move.  It’s a safety thing.   And it’s because we already carry so much experience and wisdom in our heads, it’s hard to pack in poorly presented instructions on each app and social page.   The biggest problem with younger… Read more »

3 years 9 months ago

The people I tutored had MFAs too. Most of them were themselves teaching classes in technology (or trying to, anyway). They were fine, smart, brilliant people, they just weren’t comfortable with technology. It’s not a judgment on their character.

And by “education” I mean education using the technology, not someone’s degree.

I always tried to encourage people to learn for themselves, to experiment, to truly grasp and engage with the technology rather than learning by rote memorization. Some people had success with that. Some didn’t. As you say, people are different.

Deborah Lucas
3 years 9 months ago

Wow, Dan, I wish you lived in my area. I’d take a class from you. I haven’t had much luck finding the help I need, but that’s probably due to living in a rural area where the important technology is making sure the bailer and harvestor are running. People who try to help are appreciated, but without the proper teaching skills, it can often end in more frustration and more time lost that could have been used for writing. Balance is the thing I struggle to maintain–between writing and social media, and between quiet time at home to work and… Read more »

Deborah Lucas
3 years 9 months ago

Wow, Dan, I wish you lived in my area. I’d take a class from you. I haven’t had much luck finding the help I need, but that’s probably due to living in a rural area where the important technology is making sure the bailer and harvestor are running. People who try to help are appreciated, but without the proper teaching skills, it can often end in more frustration and more time lost that could have been used for writing. Balance is the thing I struggle to maintain–between writing and social media, and between quiet time at home to work and… Read more »

3 years 9 months ago

 When we talk about fear of “breaking” something, we need to look at what a newbie considers “broken.” “Broken,” to them means “The computer is in some state where I can’t use it to do what I want to do.” If they accidentally press F11 and all their toolbars are gone and they don’t know how to fix it, they will say it’s “broken.”

So the fear of breaking the computer is really a fear of not being able to use the computer anymore.

3 years 9 months ago

 Right — or the loss of work (a big one in academic environments; every semester I’d talk to some grad student dissolved in tears because they neglected to save their term paper before Word crashed on them).

Also, the teachers made heavy use of video presentations and the like, and there was a constant fear of some sort of malfunction in front of an audience, which is perfectly reasonable.

3 years 9 months ago

I’m in the cross-over generation. I’m old enough that I still learned to type on a typewriter but young enough that while I was doing that we also had a Commador 64 in the house to play Pong on. What I hear a lot of from people who are older than me is that they just don’t see the point in all the new technology. They got along for years without a cell phone, so while they can see the point in a basic phone for a flat tire, they can’t see the point in a smart phone that lets… Read more »

Rkcharron
3 years 9 months ago

Great question Jane! The fearfulness I have for tech comes from the rampant spying technologies used by various governments & corporations to track every single thing one does on the computer and online. I am a staunch advocate of my privacy & I don’t want that. Plus for ereaders I loathe DRM & until it is obsolete & I actually OWN the ebook I am buying instead of leasing the right to read it, I refuse to buy one and instead get pdf format if it is available. With Tor now DRM-free I see a time when I will be… Read more »

3 years 9 months ago

 
Effort, ignorance, and fear of outcome. It takes effort to overcome my ignorance and I’m not sure I’ll succeed in the end (although I am trying; it just sucks when I fail to grasp something simple for others).

Melissawh
3 years 9 months ago

Jane your adorable. Ummm. I’m computer saavy but not ‘processing’ saavy. I want to write. I’ve got a story but margins, spacing…ugh.

Martina
3 years 9 months ago

I agree with Diana. People get tired of change and tired of finding out how to use new technology. When I see my parents they have given up on finding out anything new. But there are quite a few people who are only in their forties who feel technology like computers is only acceptable at work. For example, a friend of mine loves e-mails but she writes them at her office, not at home.

3 years 9 months ago

I do wonder if people in their 30s and 40s have so much on their plates with work and families etc. that tech is just another task, like doing the laundry. Time and energy aren’t limitless. What seems like a lack of interest might just be hitting the wall!

Martina
3 years 9 months ago

Possibly, and this could be the beginning of a cycle: you haven’ got the time to look at new technology, something newe comes out, you feel you have missed out before and need time to really get to know it (but you haven’t got time), and yet again something  new is on the market … and there is your fear!

Teuta Zejno
3 years 9 months ago

Maybe tech drives to the gates of isolation (in terms of human-human relations)… Don’t you think?

3 years 9 months ago

I don’t agree with that at all.

Ken Bible
3 years 9 months ago

I’m 62 (and by the way, a graduate of your recent employer, University of Cincinnati, College-Conservatory of Music) and an admitted techno-phobe. Fears seem to thrive in the darkness, and I can’t fully explain this one. But I suppose it’s insecurity. Though I’ve used computers daily for over 25 years and have a relatively-successful web site (LNWhymns.com; over 2,000 unique visitors a week), I don’t really understand the technology and how it works. Thus I memorize procedures and mostly stay to familiar paths. When I get into unknown territory, I lean on my daughter, who is a programmer. I suppose… Read more »

3 years 9 months ago

Speaking as a writer, independent, thank you very much, who welcomes the digital revolution with open arms, since it has allowed me to pursue my vocation instead of working in total obscurity, I can still relate to the tentativeness many people, especially writers, feel about the new social media. For one thing, writers don’t like to self-promote. That’s why they’re writers not salesmen/women. Am i right? The seond thing is the time factor needed to overcome the learning curve, and the fear at the back of many minds that this is just a passing fad. It is not. Ok? I’m… Read more »

3 years 9 months ago

thanks Anthony!!! Too true that a writer abhors self-promotion. Actually I take that back – perhaps some writers are good at self-promotion; I for one am not!

3 years 9 months ago

As you get older, you are supposed to get wiser. I didn’t grow up in the techie world. Data processing was just coming out in schools with the punch cards, and the electric typerwriter was king. So to teach an old dog like me, a new trick, and to be taught by kids you used to babysit, it is intimidating. I have been pushed into the social media arena now at age 51, kicking and screaming. I still feel a little awkward, and don’t like to make mistakes. I am finally getting the hang of it, even though my two kids that… Read more »

3 years 9 months ago

 Great point Karen! It can be very awkward to be taught by someone younger than yourself. Especially when all your life it’s normally been an older person teaching you at school, college, job.

3 years 9 months ago

And so many tech teachers are hideous! The best ones juice you with power. The worst make you feel tired and stupid. And depressed.

3 years 9 months ago

Haha, that’s true Lynne! I know that, while I know a ton about computers, I’m not the one you want me teaching you. I’d probably come off as the hideous guy.

3 years 9 months ago

Jane, I’m a huge fan and hope we can connect sometime now that you’re moving to the East Coast. I’m a rare baby boomer who has been immersed in all things tech and Web for 20 years. So I often have the same question you do about “older” people not being comfortable with social media or computers. I think there is a generalized fear of “making a mistake.” Of course, that mindset (leaning back instead of forward) hampers the embrace of all the online tools and services that can help authors write, package and promote their books and eBooks –… Read more »

3 years 9 months ago

I’m 51 and a Career Coach.  If it weren’t for my passion for helping others navigate career transition, I probably wouldn’t have had the kick-in-the-pants to embrace technology.  Now that I’m in, I do get excited over how easy it can be to bring people and thoughts together. The downside for me?  The vast amount of information out there is overwhelming.  So it feels like a huge time vortex, sorting through all of the haystack before finding the pearl. The downside for some of my clients?  Other “older” folks are concerned about privacy.  That seems to be the most voiced… Read more »

Pam
3 years 9 months ago

I am one of those “older” people (age 57) and I do not fear so much as have anxiety about technology.   I cannot intuitively “fix” tech problems such as when my TV stops working or gives me the dreaded blue screen, or when my surround sound dvd system won’t respond or even eject the dvd, or when my printer refuses to work. Electronics in general and computer issues seem to eat up more hours of my time in trouble-shooting than they are worth. When my smart phone is working well I love it, but when it doesn’t I don’t… Read more »

3 years 9 months ago

I’m a freelance writer and (ARGH!) 60. When I worked as an editor at a publishing house, I experienced the transition from electric typewriters to PCs. I’ve always known that if I want to stay competitive in this business I have to keep up with technology. I am constantly telling friends in my age range that the world is moving beyond print and if they don’t keep up they will feel even more confused by technology in 5, 10, 15 . . .years. 

I’ll be retweeting your post and sharing it on my Facebook pages.

3 years 9 months ago

Jean, why do you groan at saying you’re 60? 

Ross Lampert
3 years 9 months ago

Glad to see this post, Jane. I’ll be passing it on to my writers’ group as soon as I’m done with this comment since many of them fit the category you’re asking about. A few thoughts: First, I have friends, a couple in their mid-80s, who have–and use–all the latest tech gadgets. They don’t have much of a social media presence but with the hardware, they’ve taken the approach that learning how to use them is an adventure. They’ve made it fun and that makes them unusual compared to the vast majority of their peers. Second, while I don’t consider… Read more »

Anne R. Allen
3 years 9 months ago

Great question Jane. I think the comments shed a lot of light on the subject. I have friends in their 50s who have never touched a computer, but are in love with their cell phones. But I have an octogenarian mom who is comfortable with computer technology but has hit a wall with Office 2010. I just spent a morning trying to explain to her why some of her friends can’t open a .docx.   I myself have had to drop out of two joint blogs because the level of imaging tech and knowledge of HTML was above the capabilities… Read more »

Deborah Lucas
3 years 9 months ago

Jane, I love this conversation.  It’s part of the reason I love technology.  I’ve been really struggling with getting up to speed on social media since we talked at AWP, but I wonder if I’ve made much progress?  Maybe a little.  I just hope the learning curve levels out soon.  I’m running out of storage space in my head.  

I answered your post more on my website: http://www.leafriverwriter.com.  I hope to bring in all the non-writers I know in my farming community into the conversation.

3 years 9 months ago

One of the reasons I think people are so scared of “breaking” a computer is that they have a poverty mindset. Growing up and seeing other items break due to poor quality, they’re sure that these new pieces of technology are going to do the same.

3 years 9 months ago

I once heard that it’s not so much learning a new technology for older folks, but reorienting yourself from a world of three dimensions (buttons, dials, etc.) to a world of two dimensions (tapping “buttons” on a screen).  Then again, I think it’s all in the way you’re wired (no pun intended).  I know older people with smartphones and emails address, and younger people without smartphones and FB pages and the like.  I would ask, too, to explain a bit about what you mean when you say “fear.”  I think there’s a huge difference between not using technology because you… Read more »

Laura
3 years 9 months ago

There may be a number of factors–fear of change, lack of knowledge about how to make them work, and in some cases, simple techno overload. Think back to the 50s–when I was born. My grandmother was still using an ice box. She didn’t live in a rural area–she lived 15 miles from NYC, but she had an ice box. TV was relatively new, radio was what she listened to. TV and radio sign-offs were 10 or 11 o’clock at night and nothing was broadcast until 6 o’clock the next morning. Most people were on a party line if they had… Read more »

3 years 9 months ago

My brother is a 56-year-old curmudgeon, but he asked me get him started on Facebook because it’s the only way he can stay in frequent contact with his son who is serving in Afghanistan. My bro is still a curmudgeon, but now he’s a curmudgeon on FB.

3 years 9 months ago

maybe the elders could start simply with e mailing? A lovely way to keep in touch with their peers in other parts of the world?

3 years 9 months ago

I’m 58 and love technology. Several of my children – in their 20’s and early 30’s – call me for tech ideas. So it isn’t merely the old who are slow to embrace new things. Sometimes younger people are, as well, which makes me suspect that there’s another element at play here. Jane, I think you touched on it with your comment about problem solving skills.  I have tried to help people with their computer programs and had this sort of conversation: Them: “What’s this window on my screen for?” Me:”Well, what does it say?” Them: “I don’t know. I… Read more »

3 years 9 months ago

I’ve tutored kids in math and I saw the exact same thing. The non-geeks who don’t know about tech stuff (or math) see geeks who are proficient in the subject. These geeks always seem to know what to do.  So it looks like magic to the non-geeks. The non-geeks believe that tech is a mystical knowledge that is bestowed from on high, and so they assume that non-geeks can never ever learn about tech and become geeks themselves. It doesn’t help that many geeks are condescending jerks to anyone who doesn’t get it. You just have to convince them that… Read more »

Ally
3 years 9 months ago

Great conversation about a topic that I grapple with all the time.  I’m one of the 50+ who likes technology, but knows very little about it.  I realize that my computer has all of these fabulous abilities, but I don’t even know where to begin to ask someone how to help me learn more about it.  Computer terminology is a barrier for me. Also, I think that resistance to technology for many individuals in my age group is based on how expensive a computer or a smart phone w/ a plan turns out to be.  If I buy something today… Read more »

Ashen
3 years 9 months ago

I am in awe of you, Jane. Given that networking is your job and passion, how do you decide priorities? I chuck 70 % of my inbox every morning before I can think clearly.   Growing up initially without TV I feel I lived several lifetimes, studying and working in different fields. Had I not challenged myself to do a sabbatical film degree as a mature student during the early 90’s I’m not sure I would have opened the door to the internet.  It came rushing at me. I learned fast that it helps to know what one wants from the web. While… Read more »

3 years 9 months ago

Well I meant demi gods, but semi is appropriate.

3 years 9 months ago

A funny thing happened on the way to building my platform: I learned a ton about tech and social media. Now I teach it to women who are 50+.  My oldest student is early 80s. These people are hungry for information, and when they get it, they feel empowered. My happiest moments are when I hear the little yips of delighted discovery. (I, myself, favor the Peanuts happydance. But then, as the teacher, I must have some dignity.) Then there are the people who say, for ex., “I have a Facebook account but I avoid it. The people are annoying… Read more »

Deborah Lucas
3 years 9 months ago

Lynne, I love your attitude. You are so right. The future is exciting! And, it’s here!

3 years 9 months ago

I know for my father it’s fear of change combined with stubbornness. He would rather spend $1 everyday on USA Today then reading it online for free, among thousands of other publications.

ShelleySchanfield
3 years 9 months ago

I think it was Donald Maass who said that there are really just two things that sell a book:  1) a good story, well-written; and 2) word-0f-mouth.  Social media is a powerful way for word-of-mouth to spread.  So while I prefer to spend my time on craft, technique, getting the story right, and making my novel the best it can be, I’ve accepted that once I finish the book I’ll have to create an ‘on-line platform.’ I’ve learned enough of the social media technologies to allow me to do so, so why do I hesitate? Leaf River Writer (http://leafriverwriter.com/)  summed… Read more »

Deborah Lucas
3 years 9 months ago

Shelly, thanks for the shout out. One good thing that comes from our struggling is when we meet (on line) people like you who are articulate and thoughtful. One way of coping with my on-line anxiety is I celebrate each new connection I make and every one of Jane’s blogs I manage to read to the end (including the comments–sometimes they’re the best part :) So, I’m giving myself up to making a little progress this week in social media, and next week I will return to finish editnig my book. Also, can anyone recommend a way of organizing agent… Read more »

Wordbeeps
3 years 9 months ago

Damnit, Jane! I’m never learned how to program the VCR and now it’s Blu-Ray. What the hell is a Blu-Ray? Let me get two points in.  There is an Australian story I like very much and I’ve related it to tech.  Before the white man, this tribe of Aborigines had a system that worked. All property was owned by elders. Stone axes, spears, whatever they had, all owned by elders. The elders got the respect, culturally reinforced because the young people had to ask for the car keys. Along comes Captain English Explorer who trades with the young men of… Read more »

3 years 9 months ago

ha ha!!! (that cld have been me in the early days!)

Wordbeeps
3 years 9 months ago

Same, same, Susan! I learned how to type on a typewriter, paid $10 each for my first columns on an Olympia I bought for $5 at a flea market. I’ve been using Macs since the mid-80s and to this day have no idea how to operate a PC. Many of us have compartmentalized tech phobias.  I may sweat it out over PCs, wondering what in hell to do next. Even though I’ve used computers for 25 years (it actually feels  like I’ve used them longer- more like a quarter-century) I am a PC-phobe. I. Love. Macs. Only.      … Read more »

Vagilantes
3 years 9 months ago

Fear of breaking equipment is reasonable when instruction manuals are now obsolete – or at least a web address with instructions. This information is not always easy to find.
I bought a camera last week. The enclosed booklet does not say what the symbols on the dials mean – this is basic info that I need. (The company site only has sales info, but no guide.) I can guess, I can go online again and hope to find something about my model, or I can use the settings that I understand and never really learn about the camera. 

Melanie Marttila
3 years 9 months ago

I’m not fearful of new media, just getting to the saturation point.  I’m tech-friendly, I swear: I like to play :) In November of last year, I leapt onto the platform-building bandwagon.  I abandonned what was an awkward Joomla! site in favour of a WordPress blog and mapped out a plan.  I was already on Facebook, but decided to add Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+ to the menu, one a month, and see what I could do with it. My blog got hacked in February, something I attribute to the hosting service, and fearing residual code, said service insisted on a… Read more »

3 years 9 months ago

I’m 70 yrs. old and I just started a blog on WordPress. I hope your blog didn’t get hacked when it was on wordpress, because I thought they had the good security. How will I know if my blog gets hacked? Also what is residual code? I was amazed that you are doing so much platform building and still writing and working a day job. Congratulations.

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3 years 9 months ago

well, as something who is familiar with the computer (writing a book, e mailing, documents etc) the tech thing sort of fills me with fear. Hash tags? Still not sure what they are . . but I am learning. Thanks for above post and I will share.

3 years 9 months ago

Tech doesn’t scare me it intrigues and interests me. In my home, I live on the cusp of two generations.  My oldest child is 20 years younger than me and my husband is 8 years older.  I love the next new gadget and am interested to learn to use it…and I usually do, through trial and error.  I am willing and wanting.  Unlike my kids though, I don’t leap first and think later.  I actually stop to think if this new piece of tech is really beneficial or another sparkly new toy.  My husband on the other hand is very… Read more »

Moonpie118
3 years 9 months ago

As one of those aging writers, I can only say what frustrates me about technology. I started on a manual typewriter–yes, I’m that old. I knew the typewriter. I knew it’s limitations and how to manipulate it to type what I needed (most of the time). Today’s tech is not simple. It doesn’t require the same brain work that my old typewriter did. You learn how to do things one day and the next day it changes. You can’t just sit back and do your job, you have to keep learning things that have nothing to do with your creative… Read more »

Nancy Miller
3 years 9 months ago

I’m an older adult and I can explain a little about the tech-fearfulness. When I was 55 I was working as a clerk in a dept. store and I decided I wanted a better job. I went to an interview and when I arrived they sat me down at a computer and tested my skills. I had no experience at all and I failed miserably. I was mortified and left the building with a bad case of tech-terror.  Finally I took a weekend class on computers at a tech school, and now I’m fairly comfortable with my HP! The tech… Read more »

renae brumbaugh
3 years 9 months ago

I’m sometimes hesitant about new technology, but I wouldn’t call it fear, exactly. More just a watching and waiting, rather than jumping right in with something that hasn’t been proven over time. I don’t have the time or energy to pour into some new app or social network that is more than likely just a fad that will pass in a year or so. Once I see that it’s more than a passing trend, I’ll gladly join in. But when it comes to technology, I’ll probably never be the first on any bandwagon. There’s often great benefit from watching and… Read more »

paula shene
3 years 9 months ago

I am 66 years old.  I don’t see it as an age barrier when technology rears into view.  I do concede that each generation is more comfortable with their world around them – its a given, not something new. However, I believe there are two factors that make someone easily accept a ‘new’ technology – the first would be interest, the second faith in ability to use. My youngest son, in his thirties, loves all the newest gadgets that surround music and/or film but as far as computers go, it’s a make it work, I can’t be bothered with its… Read more »

3 years 9 months ago

I’m just over 50 and was hesitant to use social media when I restarted my writing life. Yet I realized that if I wanted to get serious about writing, I would need to learn how to use these tools. So I decided to create a blog for new writers to share what I learn. I’ve been exploring social media one tool at a time, and the fear (mistakes, looking foolish, my name in cyberspace, etc.) is fading, one post/tweet/update at a time.

3 years 9 months ago

I’m not afraid of new media technology, I’m concerned about getting it done right, because I don’t speak the language, which seems to change weekly (okay, monthly).  I still don’t understand hashtags, how you do it, why you do it, how long will it last in these days of rapid replacement of the New Big Thing.  The sense of what is lasting and valuable has the half-life of a Mayfly (hyperbole, yes, but at 70 I deserve some latitude).  Rapid changes in the rules and look of of Twitter, Facebook, Myface, Yourlife, Avatar, Gravatar, the T-thing you use in Facebook… Read more »

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Georgia
3 years 9 months ago

I am one of those people you refer to. The problem I find is there is too much information and that information is not simple. I’ve been told, just sit and experiment with the computer. However, each explanation leads to more and more and more stuff. It’s confusing so I just give up.

WhtchplVampire
3 years 9 months ago

I love the way younger people like to explain “older people” (re: Bonnee). As an “older person” I find that the new media, twitter, blogs, facebook, etc., can be real time-stealers…and as I progress toward my own crypt, I’m less inclined to engage in what can become, pardon the expression, a masturbatory experience…I’d rather be writing, creating..not that you can’t do that in social media, it’s just that I’d like to produce something less transitory…

Wordbeeps
3 years 8 months ago

I just looked at your newsletter theme “Get Smarter with Tech” and realized one more reason why people find tech off-putting: IT’S SO TECHNICAL!  Reading the titles of some of your articles, some questions come to mind. For a person not comfortable with tech these questions might be obvious: Why would I buy a Kindle? Why would I want to know how to deal with PDFs? Why on earth would I want to create custom Facebook pages? To make them shinier, sexier, flash like a 50s neon hotel sign? Why?  You’re wondering why people feel uncomfortable with tech. Maybe you’re… Read more »

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