It's just over a year since I dipped my toe in the waters of social networking and opened a Facebook account. I'd never entertained doing this before; my inner dinosaur always told me that I didn't one, nor Twitter, blogs and anything else like that.
Now bear in mind that my inner dinosaur wasn't one of these new fangled things that have come along in the past few decades. This was one of the handful that I learnt about at school - a brontosaurus, a stegosaurus or a tricerotops - a huge lumbering beast that likes things as they are and only accepts change very, very slowly - and even then grudgingly.
So, peeking around the shoulder of my dinosaur I started to play around with what Facebook had to offer. Soon enough I found:
Relatives that I normally only see at weddings and funerals (and one cousin I've never met),
Old friends that I've lost touch with over the years, but remain in my memory as we all were thirty odd years ago.
Colleagues and work friends that had moved on to new roles and challenges.
And I found other writers - loads of them.
Finally, after more than 15 years of pretty much solitary writing I'd found a world of like minded individuals.
This all coincided with a plethora of articles promoting social networking and indie publishing. Apparently, to be a true player in the world I had to supplement my Facebook account. I needed to be on Twitter and have my own blog as well.
I eased past my dinosaur and duly added these two tools to my social armoury.
The past twelve months have been encouraging and entertaining. It's been great to share thoughts and experiences with people, whether they be writers and non-writers. It's being particularly interesting to watch the sparring of the Republican and Democrat supporters during the run up to the US Presidential election. I just hope some of the more extreme views aren't representative of the voting majority.
While I don't necessarily agree with everything I see - call me old fashioned but semi-naked firemen don't do anything for me - I'm not offended or insulted by anything. After all, I'm just viewing other people's opinions. If I don't like something I just scroll past to the next photoshopped picture of a cute kitten or cuddly puppy riding a bike.
Early in the new year I added Goodreads to my arsenal and was content that I'd finally entered the 21st century. Even my inner dinosaur had stopped grumbling and had wandered off somewhere to graze.
But the world carries on. Social networking sites seem to be breeding. Now, apparently I need to be on Klout, BranchOut, Pinterest, Shelfari, Tumblr, Google+ and probably a bag full of others that I've forgotten about.
What to do?
The answer comes with the sound of heavy footfall and a grassy belch. My inner dinosaur has nudged me, none too gently, out of the way and is blocking the path. I'm back to peeking out from behind his very substantial hind quarters as we go along. For now he's making sure that I limit myself to the social sites I'm already on. They take up enough of my time as it is. I need to concentrate on the real job in hand; which is to tell my stories.
Mind you, I've got an eye on opening an account with IAN and signing up for ...