Likable Luddite

Confession: I’m a Luddite. My technology-averse predecessors were English textile weaves who opposed devices that replaced human labor. Ned Ludd got things started by smashing two knitting machines in 1779. And how do I know this? I looked it up on the internet. Okay, so I’m an ironic Luddite.

It’s not so much that I despise technology, it’s more like I’m suspicious that somehow I’ll end up working for it, rather than having it work for me. I resisted Facebook for 10 years. But my publisher said that if I wanted people to read my books, I needed to have a social media “presence”. So now I do. And the real purpose of this blog entry (yes, I stepped on the slippery slope to Facebook with my author’s website and blog) is to ask you to “Like” my site: https://www.facebook.com/RileyMysteries/. This feels like being a 3rd grader and hoping other kids would be my friends.

Speaking of friends, this Luddite messed up at the beginning and allowed tons of people to be my Facebook friends. It felt mean to tell people they couldn’t be my friends. Turns out that “friend” means something way different on Facebook than in life. I have that confusion mostly cleaned up, so you won’t be getting requests from half-dressed, weirdly named, vaguely evil people who are not my friends (sorry ‘bout that).

I’m still suspicious of social media, and I haven’t tried Twitter or Instagram. In my defense, the whole Pokémon Go phenomenon gave me the willies. There were 500 million people wandering around, looking at their Smartphones (sigh, I have one of these as of August and I’ve figured out how to call people and sometimes send texts) and chasing virtual creatures while stepping in front of actual buses and off of real cliffs.

I think that Pokémon Go might be shortened to Pogo, which reminds me of the enchanting and satirical comic strip by that name that used to be published in actual newspapers. And perhaps the most famous line from the eponymous possum was, “We have met the enemy and he is us." Luddites would understand.

PS: My upcoming Poisoned Justice will be available as an e-book, but also as a printed, bound and physically real object. A Luddite would never sign on with a publisher who didn’t appreciate paper while also nudging an author to have a virtual presence.

PPS: The image is of the Luddite leader was published in 1812, so after 195 years the copyright extinguished (presumably along with the fires in the background)


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