Sunday, November 8, 2009

Guest author Katrina Spencer: Never Too Old for Peer Pressure

Katrina Spencer is the author of Six O’Clock and her next novel, Unbeweaveable, will hit stores summer of 2010. To learn more about this former hairdresser who started writing on a dare, visit her website at

I graduated high school over ten years ago. Upon graduation, I felt my peer pressure days were over.

How wrong I was.

As an adult I am receiving massive peer pressure.

The pressure of joining Twitter and Facebook.

“Even my grandmother has a Facebook page. Get with the program, Katrina.”

“Get on board with Twitter. Everybody’s using it!”

I can hear my mother’s words chanting in my ear, “If everyone jumped off a cliff, would you do it?”

Of course not. But a small part of me feels that just by watching so many people jump, that I would at least look over the cliff and consider my options.

And it’s not like I haven’t tried Twitter. I opened a Twitter account and closed it after a month. I could feel myself getting addicted to it, constantly tweeting from my Blackberry. But a part of me felt I was divulging too much. I am a blabbermouth, (much to my husband’s chagrin) and I felt myself getting too personal.

“Be careful of what you say,” my husband warned. “Once you put something in the cloud, it’s pretty much impossible to get it back.”

When I had to start editing myself, Twitter lost some of its sparkle.

“But you’re missing out on lots of marketing opportunities—everyone’s online Katrina. You have to Tweet!”

I do agree that I need some kind of online presence. Readers should have some way of contacting me and seeing my personality—that’s why I started my blog, Curl up and Write. There I get total control of what I put out in the universe and if I ever get misunderstood, at least I can update my post.

I feel that all of the social networking sites are great tools for writers, but how much is too much? Do I really have to blog, Tweet, use Facebook, Myspace, Shelfari at the same time? Couldn’t I just stick to one thing—blogging—and be really good at it?

Right now, the chance of me joining Twitter and Facebook is small. Sure, I might be missing out on opportunities to network with my fellow writers and readers but I’ll take that chance. I feel the pressure to join everyday, but for now I’m content to look at everyone else jumping off that cliff.


Liane Spicer said...

Katrina, I hear ya. I've given in to Facebook, but stand firm on MySpace and Twitter.

Shauna Roberts said...

Like Liane, I limit myself to Facebook and blogging. (I do have a MySpace page, but all that's on there is a link to my blog.)

The invasion of privacy thing was something I thought a lot about when I started having an Internet presence. Over time, I've come to the decision to make some of my secrets public, the ones that I had to constantly write around and misrepresent things to avoid revealing. It was too much hard work to live a double life. So now it's out there for anyone to find that I have lupus and suffer from depression. It's a relief not to hide it anymore.

Truth on the Internet is probably not the best policy for someone whose secrets are criminal acts.

Thanks, Katrina, for visiting our blog. I appreciate your taking the time to write about this important issue.

KeVin K. said...

I spend way too much time on Live Journal.

I last posted on FaceBook July 4.
I know this because everyone on my FB friends' list got a message on the 90th day after my last post telling them to poke me. The FB robot's way of checking to see if I'm still alive.

No MySpacing and no Twitting, however.

Phyllis Bourne said...

I have FB and MySpace pages, but prefer Twitter. I do most of my tweeting under my blog name so I can say what I want. I edit what I tweet under my name.

My dh has none of the above and thinks it's silly. When someone asks he says, "Man, grow up. I don't want to be your 'internet' friend."

Genella deGrey said...

Sure, I'll join Live Journal, Facebook, Twitter, etc - when I quit writing (which, FYI, will be never.)

Honestly, there isn't enough time in the day to join EVERY networking sight out there.

I'll stick to my own website and MySpace (and the dozen or so yahoo groups I'm in.) Everything else will just have to go on without me.

Stick to your guns, Katrina!

Katrina Spencer said...

Thanks guys for the comments! I was expecting to be flayed for my resistance to Twitter and Facebook, but it seems that everyone here understands the pressure.