08-18-18 – Best Selling Canadian Romance Author Donna Alward

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

The Digital Revolution: Ultimate Convenience or Scary Dependency

Once upon a time, and it really wasn’t that long ago, getting to the bank before it closed meant the difference between having a “happening” Saturday night and sitting at home because you had no money to fill your tank. Worse, one had to get to the gas station before it closed.

Of course, all that changed in the 1990s when the ARPANet—once a military safety net—exploded into the public Internet. Now, only the “ancients” remember getting an actual paycheck from their employesr, standing in line at the Savings & Loan to convert hard-earned dollars into spendable cash, and then actually calling the movie theater to see what flick was playing.

Now, we deposit our checks electronically and swipe a card to get gas—any time, night or day. If we actually go to the movies, we pull out our cell phone and not only check the listing, we scroll a plethora of reviews to ensure the movie truly rates our attention.  More likely, we sit at home on our couch and download the feature or skip the movie all together to text friends or find out what they had for lunch on Facebook or Twitter—friends we might have once met face-to-face to engage in actual conversation.

Writers who might never have gotten the attention of New York publishers (for either legitimate reasons, because of bad timing, or just simply because the book didn’t measure-up) can now publish and promote a novel with little more than a few keystrokes. Of course, since anyone can hawk a manuscript, the author's book might get lost in the sea of self-pubbed stories and may never sell because readers wonder why they should “pay” when so many free books exist.

Don’t get me wrong, I love the Internet, I’m the ultimate junkie, loving the instant knowledge and instant connection the worldwide web provides.  Hearing a song before I download, buying shoes online so my feet don’t get tired from walking the mall, and keeping up with the antic of Grumpy Cat makes me feel empowered.

I also love the ability to connect with the world.  Everywhere is now local. Working from home is the best thing ever. Or is it?

Over the holidays, I was fortunate enough to ski at a beautiful resort—but the place had absolutely no cellular service. But for good reason. The quaint little mountain village sat smack in the middle of a national quiet zone—for an astronomical observatory.  And did folks ever bellyache. The tiny areas that supported Wi-Fi were more crowded than the slopes.

And what happens if our electronic communications go haywire as the Gloom-and-Doom prophets predict? Do you have paper copies of anything?

I know I should rely less on the Internet. I really shouldn’t need my cell phone more than my left arm, but for now—I’m a digital sheep in the electronic world.  That said, I’m going to print out a few things and make it a point to actually talk to folks in 2014.

What about you?  Are you worried that you might be addicted to your digital devices? Make a note to (fill in the blank) and write it down.  With a pencil.

Robin Weaver
Author of Blue Ridge Fear and Secret Language of Leah Sinclair


Shobhan Bantwal said...


Great post! And timely too for the coming year.

My brain must still be residing in the stone age, because I'm not a fan of electronic devices (except my desktop computer, which I love & use daily). I hardly ever use my cell phone, I have no Twitter account or Pintrest or Google plus or any such thing. Strictly for business reasons I have a website which my husband maintains for me and I check on my Facebook page a couple of times a week because it is necessary for promoting my books.

Happy New Year!

Judith Ashley said...

I lived for many many years totally connected because, as a professional guardian and private care managers I was "on" 24/7. Since I retired from that part of my life, I spend hours with my phone turned off although I will admit to seldom going places without it (well, I do go on walks and leave it at home, and maybe the grocery store). The computer is something else though. With Romancing the Genres and two other blogs and three websites to keep up, I at least check them morning and night.

Social media is something else. I have made a commitment to check my FB page every other day for 10 minutes. I joined LinkedIn and Google+ but will admit I do little to nothing on them. No Twitter or Pintrest accounts and I can't imagine that will change.

Interesting and thought provoking post.

Linda Lovely said...

I don't make New Year's resolutions but I have pledged that I will spend LESS time on social media in 2014 and more time writing books! That's what I love doing and I haven't been doing enough of it. I'm not going to abandon social media, but I'm going to try to use it more wisely. Doing the things I enjoy and letting go of the ones I dread. Thanks for the reminder, Robin.

Ashantay Peters said...

Don't have a cell phone and really don't mind the lack. After a rampant FB addiction, I've dialed back - a good thing. I'm always floored to see families in restaurants - all of them on their phones instead of talking with each other. Just call me "T-Rex."

Robin Weaver, Author of Blue Ridge Fear said...

You ladies are my non-digital inspires (is that a word :-)). Thanks for your comments.

Anonymous said...

i'm so scared actually of everything shared online limited human interaction except thru a screen and automation/robots making humans un-employable/useless... #doom