A 21st century friend—social media

On the eighth day of Christmas…

Instead of counting the official twelve days of Christmas, I’m counting down the twelve days before Christmas to offer my gratitude for the people and things that make the writing life possible for me.

Today it’s social media.

In truth, in many ways, I don’t like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, blogs, and all the ones I ignore every day. What a time suck?

Don’t you?

But don’t you love it, too?

How many puppy pictures can you stand? Do you want to remember the birthdays everybody you know? See pix of their Christmas trees or their families gathered for Thanksgiving?

As a writer, I like a lot of groups that know more than me: on Facebook, the 19th Century and 18th Century Sewing Groups, a group of sailboat aficionados, a historical photo group for my hometown, all the Pinterest boards for everything I have a question about. I like the cheering that goes on over on Twitter. I ignore all the jeering. But the cheers for writers trying to get a book published or actually getting a book out in the world are worth a minute of my time.

The truth is, social media can take up too much of my time. I’m looking for one thing and I end up on Facebook, then Instagram, then Twitter, and then someone sends me a Tik-Tok video and off I go. Then there are the messages from strangers who want something from me, tons of ads, or the occasional tirade that makes me shut down Facebook/Instagram/Twitter for the day.

But for the past 21 months, it’s connected me to people do know who I might not see otherwise. I’m glad to see their exploits, their holiday and birthday celebrations, their children and grandchildren.

Connection is important. For the knowledge, the friendship and the appreciation. And for the puppies and kitties. Definitely for them.

If we’re friends on Facebook, thank you. If we follow one another on Instagram or Pinterest or Twitter, thank you. Thanks for being a 21st-century friend.

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