Does Facebook Make You Depressed?

Leaping Hawkeye resizedSome time ago, I wrote a blog post for the Savvy Authors website about whether or not too much time on Facebook can make you depressed. I was a fairly new author at the time, and I was (and still am) easily overwhelmed by too much time spent on social media. Facebook in particular was tough for me. It seemed like I just had nothing to say. I hadn’t lost 50 pounds, won the lottery, just come back from a vacation in Bali, had my newest novel shoot to the top of the best-seller list within nanoseconds of its release, nor was anyone in Hollywood beating at my door clamoring to make my book into a movie.

Delorean_danceswithgaryIt seemed, too, that social media was a minefield that only the experienced could navigate safely. There were all these unwritten rules, not the least of which was ‘be yourself, but don’t talk about anything that could alienate your fans.’ Well, that felt like a tricky proposition, along with the notion of ‘branding’. I confess, I’ve settled more for being myself than for branding or not risking fan alienation, for that matter. That means I’m going to get ranty about the way the GOP is pulling out every underhanded measure to hamstring the Obama administration, while at the same time trying to take civil rights for everyone back to the 1950s. I’m going to post sci-fi geeky stuff, and animal stuff, and on rare occasions, talk about my fandoms. I’m going to bore people with my photos because I like taking pictures. And I’m going to talk about my writing. πŸ™‚

I spend more time on Facebook now than I ever thought I would. I share links and posts I find interesting. I comment on my friends’ updates. I use it as a quick break at work, a way of taking a mental breather as I look at photos of LOL Cats or check out George Takei’s page to make me laugh. Sometimes I vent (in extremely vague terms) about something going on at work that has me stressed and depressed, and the support and comments I’ve received have made it easier to get through the rest of the day. I’ve made connections there now, so it feels comfortable to signal boost for those connections, even as I worry terribly when an internet friend disappears and no one seems to know what has happened to them. Of all the social platforms, Facebook was the one I liked the least initially, and the one everyone assured me was crucial to building an audience for my stories.

But it turns out I’m not alone in my belief that Facebook can make us depressed–that it can cause us to be more dissatisfied with our lives than we otherwise might be. And I confess, I struggle with seeing what appears to be everyone around me soaring to the heights of success as they hint at astronomical royalty reports, or post screenshots of their newest release breaking records on Amazon, or they have *another* bloody release less than six weeks after the last one.

Broad Wing Hawk croppedMost of the people I ask vehemently deny that Facebook gets them down from time to time. I think that’s all part of the game face that Facebook requires us to put on. Pretend you are successful whether you are or not. Success breeds success, right? So post the good stuff: the promotions, the raise, the new car, the move across country for the better job, and the five star reviews. Downplay anything that might make the other chickens in the flock start pecking your eyes out. Pretend to be a hawk, even if you’re only a chicken.

Oh sure, we’re allowed to share the tragedies. The tornadoes, the sudden diagnosis of a serious medical problem, the death of a loved one. But the everyday ordinary slog through a life that is not particularly cheerful or successful? No. Not only does no one want to hear it (and rightfully so, I think) but sharing it places you in jeopardy of being labeled a loser.

There’s merit to this thinking, to be sure. There’s a lot to be said for attitude. Lord knows, I’m my harshest critic most days. Just today, I read some wonderfully encouraging posts along these lines. There was this one, by Ky Grabowski, on shopping without success for a gown to wear to a wedding (and most of us can sympathize with that) titled Why am I Beautiful. I envy her self-confidence. I’ve spent a lifetime being told how ugly I was, that I was an absolute Troglodyte and that I would have to work doubly hard just to make friends, even when I wasn’t that bad. Now that I am battling wrinkles and an extra 20 pounds, I find it even harder to accept Ky’s words. It’s like understanding to death why you should eat better and exercise regularly, yet being constitutionally incapable of making good eating choices on a stressful day at work. And every day at work is stressful.

I also came across this highly encouraging post by Kristen Lamb: The Personal Apocalypse–When are we REAL writers? That really hit home with me today. You know, I never used to be as conscious of my ‘lack of success’ to the same extent before the advent of social media. While I understand that there is a tendency to post about the best things going on in your life, I was never one of those ‘keeping up with the Joneses’ kind of people. I could care less about clothing, or having a snazzy car. I wasn’t into a ‘Home and Garden’ house, or being a member of the country club set. And I don’t have any of those things as a result. πŸ˜‰

But I never felt envious until now. It’s hard to remember, when everyone around you is happily blowing a kazoo over their latest triumph, that 3-4 weeks ago, it was *your* latest release that was collecting the five star reviews. I honestly think social media is an addiction. I think we crave that blissful feeling that comes from sharing a personal success–and that, like most addictions, it takes more and more to achieve that same level of satisfaction. Only three years ago, I published my first story ever. I never thought I would be a published author. In the span of three years, I’ve gone from being giddy with delight over simply being published to expecting more and more from both myself as a writer and my stories when they get published.

Well, as you become proficient at one level of competition, you have to move up. No one stays at the baby level of eventing unless they don’t have the talent or the work ethic to move up once they start winning blue ribbons at their current level. But moving up is scary. It means you’re at the bottom of the heap again. That you practically have to start all over mastering the skill set for *this* level of competition. It’s not for the faint of heart. Most people don’t want to be challenged to master their craft. They want to write what they want to write and have people push each other out of the way in order to buy it like an angry housewife at a Black Friday sale.

The truth is, most of us will never publish a story that will rocket to the top of the sales charts and stay there for weeks on end, paying off our mortgages and freeing us from crippling debt. And even if I really plugged at it, I doubt, with my current 60 hour + work week, that I could be prolific enough to have sales on my backlist work for me. Maybe I’m not being realistic in thinking that writing could even make me more than money to buy cat food once a quarter.

Hawkeye closeup resizedBut I have things that cannot be quantified in the ‘success’ column. I have a kind and generous boyfriend who not only reads, but believes in me as a writer–and doesn’t have a problem with my writing M/M romances. Finances are tight, but they’re getting better. I live in a crappy little house–but I have a roof over my head that I can afford. I have a dog who loves me and thinks I’m the smartest, prettiest, kindest, most compassionate and fun person in the world. Oh, if only I were! πŸ™‚

kenya bridle resizedMy mare is still alive after having nearly died so many times we jokingly refer to her as The Mare Who Lived (and I look for a lightning bolt on her forehead every time I bring her in from the pasture). Every day that I have with her is a gift. My heart still turns over when I walk out to the pasture with a halter to catch her, and she lifts her head at the sight of me, whinnies, and trots over to meet me. My first horse just turned 28 and is everyone’s favorite uncle at the retirement farm. I wake in the middle of the night to the purring of a cat that has joined me in the bed.

My clients seem to really like me. Maybe it’s because I refuse to gouge them in order to raise my own quality of living. Yes, I am one medical health crisis away from crippling financial disaster, but I’m still in pretty decent shape for my age. It could be worse. It could be much worse.

So maybe I need to spend a little less time on social media, despite all the advice to the contrary. Maybe I don’t need to be constantly reminded of the ways in which I have failed in the eyes of the world, and I need to spend more time reminding myself that money and success aren’t everything.

Beach D&H resizedBecause there are some things in this world that are more precious than rubies, that are worth their weight in gold. And they are mine. I wouldn’t trade them for anything. Not even a #1 Amazon best-seller. πŸ™‚



23 thoughts on “Does Facebook Make You Depressed?

  1. It’s not FB that depresses me; it’s some of the people there, who go on and on and on about how great their book is doing, how they hit #1 on Amazon, and “Ooh, I’m so excited! I never expected this!”

    Hearing it once is okay. I’m happy for them. But when they post new numbers several times a day as their book rises… well, then I get annoyed. And depressed. I start doubting my ability to tell a good book from a bad one and wonder whether what I write is worth my time and the agony it takes to get those words down.

    I’m confident on FB, often brash, but I almost never talk about my writing. Why is that, I wonder. On my blog, I mention it in passing, almost as if it’s not important to me at all. Hm, something to think about, because the writing is important. I spend enough hours doing it! And I post lots of photos, because I love taking pictures. And I rant, I rave, and I do just about all the things you’re not supposed to.

    The most popular blogs I follow are eternally upbeat, always bright and shiny, and very little negativity is posted. I’m starting to wonder if they’re written by robots.

    I enjoy reading your blog because it’s honest. I can relate to things you say. Most of us don’t have a perfect life, and we struggle. Why hide that in order not to offend anyone? Isn’t it better to find out you’re not alone? That others feel as you do, and if they are making it, so can you? Keep being yourself. You’re far more interesting than the robots.
    fenraven recently posted..On the WaterfrontMy Profile

    • I think it is hard sometimes not to get caught up in the giddy rush of posting the next update, and the next update, when a story of yours really starts moving up the charts. And frankly, I suspect many of us check out a story only when it reaches a certain amount of notice–you feel as though you have to see what all the fuss is about. Like when I buy a lottery ticket but only if the jackpot is over 250 million πŸ™‚

      I understand it, and I’d probably be guilty of it too, if it ever happened to me. I have to battle that little spurt of jealousy when I see other people doing it–particularly if my life is being dreary at the moment. Like you said, hearing it once is okay, but when the horn keeps bleating, you can’t help but flinch and scroll past the repetitive announcements.

      I myself think posts that are solely about word counts and WIPs a bit boring, but I do think that people are interested in what you’re working on–especially if you’re working on a sequel. So yeah, Theo, share with the class a little! πŸ™‚

      The most popular blogs I follow are eternally upbeat, always bright and shiny, and very little negativity is posted. I’m starting to wonder if they’re written by robots.

      And they’re about 250-300 words long! I know that blog readers are supposed to have short attention spans, but Jiminy Crickets, I find it hard to infuse any post with any real meaning if it is just some McNugget-type News Sound Bite. (And I want to post someday soon about the so-called short attention span of readers and whether we as authors should pander to that or not…)

      I enjoy reading your blog because it’s honest. I can relate to things you say.

      Aw, thanks, Theo! I really appreciate that–what a nice thing to say.
      Sarah Madison recently posted..Does Facebook Make You Depressed?My Profile

  2. If I’ve made a difference in a students life, I consider that both a personal and professional success. And sometimes it can be simply getting the dishes done.

    As for Facebook; a friend of mine posted something last Christmas.” Baking cookies with the kids! I’m sure it looked very idyllic from the outside” (their kitchen window faces the road, and it did look like a postcard when I drove by…lol) She ended it by saying something like “mother needs a drink”. She was dead tired, had a wrecked kitchen and most of the cookies were gone πŸ™‚ Kids were cranky, but hey had gotten through the ritual. This was an honest and fun post about the pressures of living up to the ideal.

    Sometimes I see the pictures of these perfect homes with the incredible children/wine tasting/surprise/Christmas parties and wonder, who did you do this for? Why do we post these perfect shots/updates of our lives? Is it share the happiness or to get “likes”?

    I wish you spoke Norwegian, as I would love to share links to a comedian who has these brilliant skits about Facebook. She turns the most abysmal things in her life and make them sound perfect, all to keep the pretense up. Your husband and children left you and you’re home alone drinking cheap Italian wine?? “Enjoying me-time at Casa Hilde with a sexy Italian keeping me company”

    Certain posts do get me down, esp those showing a perfect house. I want a home, but can’t afford one. But, then I look at a lolcat and cheer right up πŸ™‚

    • I think you have hit the nail on the head as to why Facebook is so appealing. Part of us wants the idyllic life we do not have–and seeing who among our friends and acquaintances *does* have it is like picking at a scab: we know we shouldn’t do it but we can’t help ourselves.

      Just when we get to the point of doing some real harm to ourselves, we see something funny, click on share, have half a dozen people comment on it, and next thing you know, we’ve forgotten that perhaps Facebook isn’t the best place for us at times.

      I would have loved to have been able to understand the Norwegian comedian! I’m going to remember to whitewash my next update to Facebook in just that manner! πŸ˜‰
      Sarah Madison recently posted..Does Facebook Make You Depressed?My Profile

  3. OMG! The first photo is priceless! πŸ™‚
    Facebook huh? I do not like it and I use it a little. Sometimes it’s good for events or link but nothing else and it’s true….FB can make you depressed.

    • Isn’t it amazing? I kept setting him up to get the shot, and I must have taken over a hundred pictures to capture that one (my camera is just a little dinky point and shoot). I got a lot of pictures of the top of his head, or just his tail, or a very big splash! πŸ™‚

      I used to never spend anytime on FB at all–but with the decline of activity (and conversations) on Live Journal, I found myself migrating to FB more and more. In many ways, it’s been good. I’ve made new friends, and strengthened contacts with people I knew as just a name before. But I confess, I find it very discouraging a lot of the time. I have to keep reminding myself that no one is *forcing* me to compare myself to anyone else! That’s my choice, and I need to stop doing it! πŸ™‚
      Sarah Madison recently posted..Does Facebook Make You Depressed?My Profile

  4. Facebook doesn’t depress me because I only use it to chat with people I like. We have made group pages that no one else can see….let’s face it…we all can have a little too much fun and say things we don’t want others to see so a private group page can be a lot of fun. I have a couple different groups I chat with and they are just so much fun and so supportive that it’s great to be on with them.

    I don’t look at people’s pages….I’m lucky if I catch someone’s post on my homepage feed…lol. Also, if someone lost weight or had something good happen I’m really happy for them because most of the time the news is so dang horrible that I love reading something good for a change. None of my friends have perfect lives and they don’ t pretend to so I’m not constantly seeing stuff like that on facebook. But if I did….I’d know it was a lie….no one has a perfect life. It may seem so from the outside…but nothing and no one is perfect. πŸ˜‰ Also, I think some people are more private and don’t want to bother others with their problems so they keep quiet about them. Who wants to air all their dirty laundry in public, eh?

    I think if I were using it for a business though….and saw other’s in the same business posting things that made it seem like they were oh so successful then I probably would feel bad if I felt I wasn’t doing as well. I’m sure though that they are only putting the good stuff out there and who knows if it’s all true anyways.

    I think you are a wonderful person! I think you have an exciting life (way more exciting than mine) and I love to live vicariously through you. I also think you are tremendously talented! So please don’t feel badly when you read that garbage on Facebook. There are so many of us cheering you on…ok…maybe you don’t know that…but we are!

    • You make some interesting points, and I think some of my issues with FB stem from the fact that I have a larger circle of acquaintances than I do friends. I do belong to a few private groups, but for the most part, most of my ‘conversations’ take place in a open forum–so I think the very tenor of the talk is geared toward appearing successful no matter what is going on in your life.

      For the most part, I too, am happy with other people’s successes. I guess what it comes down to is the difference between someone sharing a bit of good news and someone doing a hard-sell self-promotion and honestly, that line is blurry for myself at times. Hardly fair of me to pick on others for what I can’t get right myself! But that’s one of my issues with Facebook. It’s like going to a neighborhood party and making sure that everyone sees that you have a new car and the latest in designer clothing, but you also make sure that no one sees how many empty bottles of wine you place in the trash each morning. πŸ˜‰

      On the other hand, no one wants you to stack the bottles up on your front porch either. So yeah, I’m not sure what I’m complaining about, except perhaps that Facebook allows us to take Keeping Up With The Joneses to a whole new level. As someone who’s never cared for ‘nice’ things, I’m astonished at how the little gremlin of envy has grown stronger these past few years–I can’t help but wonder if FB has something to do with that…

      I think you are a wonderful person! I think you have an exciting life (way more exciting than mine) and I love to live vicariously through you. I also think you are tremendously talented!

      Aw, thank you! (Though I confess, I felt bad when you said my life was more exciting than yours, because it’s pretty much work, pay bills, and go back to work again πŸ™‚ But seriously, that was a very kind thing for you to say.
      Sarah Madison recently posted..Does Facebook Make You Depressed?My Profile

      • “work, pay bills, and go back to work again”

        Ok…that part is not fun….lol…and we all have that to some degree. Although I admit I think you really have the work thing going way too much….especially with your writing too. You amaze me! Bills have to be paid though.

        But, I guess I mean you are so talented, you write so wonderfully, you are putting yourself out there and selling your stories and when you get excited over it, I do too! I can’t imagine what it must feel like to actually create something….it’s ALL created from you. From your amazing mind! People who write or create art….things like that amaze me as I don’t do any of that. πŸ™‚

        Also, I loved reading about the recent Con you went to…lots of fun, cool stuff happened. (I’m a geek so yeah….exciting for me)

        I had a friend that thought my marriage was perfect because I never talked about the bad things. I didn’t try to make it out to be great…I just didn’t say anything bad. I didn’t want to be depressing when I went out with her and the gals. I wanted to forget anything annoying that happened and just have fun. So she was very surprised when I came over to her house one time fresh from an argument and really let it out. LOL She got an earful that afternoon. πŸ˜›

        Just avoid the posers on FB and remember no one’s life could possibly be as good as some people make it out to be. XD

        • Well, I used to be envious of my friends who had something they were passionate about. I had things I enjoyed doing, but nothing that I was so passionate about that I would get up early to work on it, or get so involved in it that hours flew by without notice.

          When I rediscovered writing, and realized my passion had been right there in front of me all along, I rejoiced. Until I began to see the downside of passion–which means you often end up sacrificing many of the things you love to that passion. So yeah, glad I found mine, but very much aware of the downsides too! πŸ™‚

          It feels like the cool stuff is few and far between, but I know what you mean. I’m glad you enjoyed the con posts–that was the first time I’d been to a convention since 2009, and I love taking pictures, so I had fun. πŸ™‚

          I had to smile at your ‘perfect’ marriage–but I kind of think that’s what Facebook does for us–only not just with our friends and neighbors but people we’ve never met too. Your friend must have been shocked, though! πŸ˜€
          Sarah Madison recently posted..Does Facebook Make You Depressed?My Profile

          • LOL…yeah…she certainly was! But I think it made her feel better to realize no one has it perfect.

  5. “…or they have *another* bloody release less than six weeks after the last one.”

    Oh, hellz yes. That’s the one that gets me. I can’t seem to find the time to revise anything and get it out the door or rather, out the email, and it seems like other people have releases, literally, like you said, every six weeks. It’s less inspiring than dispiriting, if that’s even a word. Thanks for the reminder to look for the small victories and keep priorities in mind.

    • *grins* I used to be quite prolific but then a couple of things happened. First, the economy went into the dumper, and I’ve been trying to dig my way out of debt ever since. That means a lot of long hours at work which often leaves me drained of any creative energy by the end of the day. The second is that the more I write, the greater the pressure I put on myself to improve with each story. I’m no longer satisfied with the kind of story I produced before and I may well be writing myself out of an audience within the M/M genre–I’m no longer certain I write what most readers of that genre want to read.

      I do have to remind myself I work 60+ hours a week. That I am trying to write stories that satisfy *me*, that I just can’t crank out something less than my best and be happy with that. That this isn’t a competition. That if I only produce one really good story a year, all that is means is that it will take longer to reach my goals. But some days that’s easier done than others! πŸ˜‰
      Sarah Madison recently posted..Does Facebook Make You Depressed?My Profile

  6. Oh, I’ve had to learn to say…out loud…yes, FB does indeed make me depressed.
    Sure, I do feel inadequate as an author, seeing the huge success of so many other authors. And what’s depressed me even more was to once—when I got brave enough to share my little successful ratings on Amazon (which quickly declined), a much more successful author immediately posted (within minutes) to show that their book had been out much longer and was actually doing better than my brand new release. Sigh. So, if you don’t feel you’re not a success in the first place, there are always those obliging others who are quick to confirm that you indeed are NOT as successful as them.
    On the other hand, I’ve found lovely support for my small celebrations as well. There ARE lights than shine out of the meanness on the forum.
    But even that is not my main depression with FB. It’s so much of the free-flying hatred I see, particularly from those who shout for equality in one breath and bash others for anything and everything in the next breath. So depressing, and I’ve learned to wear blinders to be able to walk down the street on the FB forum. Or I’d stay in a perpetual state of depression.
    I’ve got better things to do than bask in meanness. Writing is one of them.
    Thank you for sharing your thoughts, Sarah. So many of us have been or are where you speak of.
    c. zampa recently posted..500 MILES by Parker Williams…My Profile

    • I used to have a personal FB page (not one as an author) and the level of close-minded conservatism that I saw there was enough to make me delete the page when I began writing. As it is, I try not to read the comments too much in any given thread. πŸ™‚

      Some days I feel like the little dog in the dog park, who is content meandering around smelling my own patch of grass, but can’t necessarily avoid a bigger dog who chooses to come over and piss on my spot. It doesn’t do any good to lift a lip in a snarled response either because a) bigger dog b) pack mentality.

      The thing is, even though only one person can be at the top of the best-seller lists at any given moment, there is room for all of us in terms of sales. Readers buy books. Sure, they have to limit themselves to a budget, but if they don’t buy your book this month, they can come back and buy it next month. Your being successful doesn’t detract from someone else’s success. There is no need for the big dog to come over and mark over top of where you just made your own mark. πŸ˜‰

      But they do. I guess that is somehow deeply ingrained in us.

      I’ve got better things to do than bask in meanness. Writing is one of them.

      Amen. I should go back to doing that myself! Thank you for sharing your experiences though–you’ve reminded me there are worst things on FB than horn-blowing!
      Sarah Madison recently posted..Does Facebook Make You Depressed?My Profile

  7. Facebook! It’s such a time- and energy-suck, and looking at hundreds of pictures of people from my graduating class getting married and traveling the world and having adventures can be so tiresome. I don’t go on much, mostly because I’m determined to remember that everything I do with my time is JUST as valuable as that, whether it’s cooking or writing or going for a walk or watching 25 episodes of True Blood in a row. Sorry I’m not sorry! πŸ˜€

    • I used to spend so little time on Facebook that is never worried me. But my hangout, Live Journal, has gradually been replaced in the hearts of fandom by tumblr, which I loathe, so I started spending more time on FB. Not so sure that was a good switch. πŸ™‚

  8. It’s a dangerous game. Facebook I mean. Because people don’t always remember you’re seeing FILTERED content. You’re seeing what the poster WANTS you to see – whether that’s positive posting, negative posting or anything in between. and in a way, we’re all crafters of our own reality. Like if I want people to think I’m a successful, sarcastic, savvy business woman, I will post things that portray that. I can fake it till I make it.

    Similarly, I don’t think people realize that they are being judged sometimes ONLY on what they post. if you tell me repeatedly how awful your life is, I’ll believe you and either feel sorry for you, or cut you out of my life. same if you’re mean and angry ALL THE TIME.

    but we’re only getting the highlights, you know? we’re only seeing what people want us to see and that’s important to remember. Especially when you’re seeing highlight after highlight and you’re thinking ‘lord, I cannot even find the left shoe this morning. DAYAMMMM.” And some people lie, THERE I SAID IT, THEY LIE. So you gotta take it all with a grain of salt.

    It’s all about perspective and it’s hard to remember that when we’re bombarded with social media.

    • You are so very right. And I think there is something inherent in the Facebook platform that reinforces this. On Live Journal, most of us are there anonymously. We don’t have the same degree of investment in ‘looking good’ as something called Facebook, which from the beginning has had more of a ‘look at me’ tone than any of the other social media platforms I’ve participated on.

      I think too, there is a culture of horn-blowing that is different from other platforms. The implication of impossibly huge royalty payments. The reposting of screen shots showing your story at ‘X’ mark on the best-seller list. There is a fine line between excitement over something wonderful and gloating over everyone else, and I’m not sure I get it right myself most days.

      I have to admit, though, I’m tempted to use Hilde’s spin-doctor approach to things in the future. πŸ™‚
      Sarah Madison recently posted..New Release: A Summer Fling by Sarah MadisonMy Profile

  9. I frequently find myself depressed after spending too much time on social media. Not necessarily because of the content, but the time wasted reading tweets that seem funny or profound but are forgotten moments later, or the posts about books or movies or songs I just HAVE to get and how many gorgeous steampunk dresses I see on Pinterest… Then I look around at my nearly finished novel, that stack of books, CDs and DVDs still untouched, the fabric sitting uncut. on my sewing table and realize I spent most of the day DOING nothing.
    THAT’S depressing.

    • You’re so right–I swear, sometimes I would like to take a week’s vacation without internet but with electricity and a laptop. πŸ™‚ I can always tell when my story is lagging because I begin to cruise aimlessly around the ‘usual’ sites on the internet looking something to distract me. It’s bad enough that I use this as a means of chilling out when I come home from work too tired to write–but I *had* time to write today and I got very little accomplished.

      I honestly think the internet is an addiction. That one day, we’ll find out that LOL cats and George Takei and ranty political posts and commenting on our friends posts trigger the same centers in the brain as does cocaine and heroin. I’m only half-joking here! You should see me when I think I’ve misplaced my phone! I don’t think it’s because of how expensive the bloody thing is as much as I can’t bear the thought of not being connected for even a nanosecond.

      A few days a month I stay at a friend’s cabin with no internet or television. I find it restful. I hang out by the pool and read until the sun goes down. If I stayed longer than overnight while working a day job, I suspect I’d be more productive than that, but the peace of relaxing in such an environment is too rare for me not to savor right now. πŸ™‚
      Sarah Madison recently posted..Staying the Course in a World of Instant Success…My Profile

      • OMG! LOL! ROFLMAO!

        When I was researching the effects of videogames on behavior, I did find research on social media addiction. one of the biggest effects is decreasing attention span. You would think the opposite since people can spend hours unmoving and looking at a screen, but the brain is jumping from one post to another without continuity. It is blamed for the lack of spelling and grammar skills in children, too. Kids actually think in the acronyms and abbreviations such as OMG LOL. Scary stuff. But I have never seen it in mainstream media, only in the medical jouurnals I borrowed from a hospital library.
        Kelly Erickson recently posted..Cry of th Wold – Cover revealMy Profile

        • You know, I honestly think this is part of why some readers complain that certain books “move too slowly” or are ‘too boring’. I think we’re losing our ability to appreciate layered, detailed storytelling. We half expect every story to be a series of one-liners, with chapters that are less than four pages long and each one ends with a cliff-hanger. I was discussing this with some friends the other day.

          I either need to lower my standards and produce more pot-boilers at a faster pace or I need to accept the fact that I *like* layered stories that unfold slowly and just live with the fact that my stuff may seem outdated in this day and age. Not sure there is a happy medium here!
          Sarah Madison recently posted..Staying the Course in a World of Instant Success…My Profile

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