We aren’t a technology-ignorant family. There are computers and DVD players in our household, a programmable coffee maker and assorted other electronics whose buttons we push with some measure of confidence. My hubby, however, has never had a good word to say about such things as iPods, Blackberries, tablets or smart phones. He prefers alternatives that don’t require dependence on rechargeable batteries and won’t lose his list of addresses and phone numbers by fatally crashing.
So when he suddenly announced last week that an eReader appealed to him, we were shocked. He had taken a hardcover library book to the hospital but found holding it up to focus on the fine print took more energy than he possessed. The advantages of his visiting daughter’s 6”/6 oz. eReader with its adjustable font sizes became apparent. After two days of researching eReader features, he had his new Kobo.
His doctor had suggested he ought to be carrying a cell phone with him when walking alone out here in the countryside, and the same day as the Kobo was acquired, our son produced a new cell phone – at least, newer than my failing twelve year old basic one. He transferred our coverage and data, gave a tutorial, provided a manual and handed it over.
Now my hubby not only has a renewed lease on life but has also stepped willingly into the digital age… at least, he’s tiptoed a few paces in. It hasn’t been entirely seamless. There’s a learning curve as he figures out such things as how to download books and assign quick keys to new phone numbers. The benefits of this technology for him are already obvious although I don’t expect he’ll be investing in an iPod or iPad anytime soon.
It has me re-evaluating certain attitudes – notably my reluctance to embrace aspects of social media. I’ve been one step behind everyone else, creating a blog and joining Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and Google+ slowly and one at a time, only when every writer, agent and publisher I encountered insisted they were valuable tools for an aspiring author. I’ve resisted Pinterest, LinkedIn, StumbleUpon, YouTube, forums, cyber games and any number of other activities designed to keep me online and away from my writing.
Their time may come, but for now I have other priorities. I’m trying to be selective in where I choose to spend my time and energy, because otherwise the really important things will get squeezed right out of my schedule. If I’m establishing a platform at the expense of not getting my writing completed, I’m hardly accomplishing anything worthwhile.
Like my hubby, I’m willing to take on new challenges but only when I recognize their value. Here’s my current checklist:
- Know when a need exists
- Do the appropriate research
- Make wise and timely choices
- Add one new venture at a time
You obviously spend some time reading blogs or you wouldn’t be here. What other ways do you participate in social media? Did you jump into several types at once, or which one(s) did you undertake first and why?
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