This is a post that comes from an honest, candid spot deep within me.
When I was seven, my second grade teacher unwittingly entered me into a writing contest. She knew that I loved to write and I loved to draw. I was constantly making up stories about talking cheetahs, hamsters that could ride mini skateboards and birds that spied on children. This particular book that I decided to write about featured a human protagonist, who could also be described as an antagonist because the other main character and him had differing goals. The human character, a nameless hunter and poacher of exotic animals had been hunting the other main character, a female cheetah in order to shoot her and steal her gorgeous fur coat. The cheetah escapes the first murder attempt and during the night while the man sleeps, she watches him, considering him . . . and his life.
Well, I loved that story and I won’t spoil the ending for you, because darn it I’m going to rewrite it and reclaim what is mine!
My memory is kind of hazy, but to make a long story short, I won the contest, was cameoed on the local TV news, and traumatized for the rest of my life (joke). They (these strange people dressed in pretty dresses and expensive suits and ties) took my book whom I dedicated to my mother and gave me a crappy black and white copy to keep as a memento. Yeah, I got a trophy, which my younger sister broke one day out of little-sister-maliciousness, a few years later, but it’s not enough! I miss that book!
I miss laying on the plush carpet of my bedroom writing for hours or getting lost in a book under the covers of my bed with the use of a flashlight so my mom or dad wouldn’t know and make me go to sleep.
I miss the freedom! I miss the seclusion! I miss the lack of pressure!
Mini rant over.
Full blown vent fest beginning in 3 . . . 2. . . 1 . . .
Which brings me to the steak and potato topic of today:
I hate social media.
Oh yes I do.
Why? Because I would rather be writing half the time I’m posting stuff on Facebook.
I’d rather be creating characters and interviewing these imaginary people close to my heart than tweeting.
Darn it, I want to be like Emily Dickinson!
But, Monique. Whoa. Hey now. Stop. Just stop. Just noooo, you may warn.
I know what you’re saying and I know you mean well. I know about Emily Dickinson and how she was described as a recluse and obsessed with death, which isn’t actually true. As she grew older, she began to shut herself away from most of the world because she most likely grew tired of the way the world was changing – and not for the better.
And I’m getting tired of it too. Social media, ironically isn’t all that social. For years, I avoided Facebook at all cost because I knew that my small group of friends were the people that really mattered and that I looked forward to seeing them face to face for dinner, for a movie, for a play date at the park, or just to sit side by side chatting away over a cup of tea about the latest book or about nothing significant at all.
People in this generation have become addicted to posting selfies, posting every little thing (often trivial) moments about and in their lives from what they ate to what they don’t want to eat; nude shots, mug shots, etc. We’ve become like the characters in the Wizard of Oz: the lion without courage; the tin man with no heart; and the scarecrow without a brain.
I fear that with all of this self-centeredness this is a sign that the world has lost not only their minds and their hearts, but also their souls. Or maybe it’s not a sign. Maybe it’s already happened and most of us are too late to do a damn thing about it.
I’m just being honest.
So, I will utilize social media to wake people up, to make them smile, make them wonder, reflect, and ponder. I will use social media to make real connections and bring people to revelations about their world and about themselves. I will use social media to close gaps and cross lines that divide people.
And in order for these hopes to come true, interaction is key.
So sometimes if I go AWOL, it’s not because I’m mad at you, darlings. Just know that I’m separating myself from the madness of the modern world and getting back to what readers love: the production of a new book they don’t want to put down until the last, fulfilling page.
I’m just being honest.