Social Media or Anti-Social Media?
I admit that I’m almost as much behind the technology curve as my sleuth Skye. So when I started writing Murder of an Open Book, which is about the part social media plays in folks’ lives, I looked for stories relating both the good and the bad aspects of sharing personal information and networking on the various platforms. Up until that point, I had only dipped my toes into Twitter and used Facebook to connect with my readers.
Once I really poked around, I came to several realizations:
- It is really easy for relationships to become media events. You no longer have to be a celebrity for a messy ending to a friendship or romance to end up splashed across people’s computer screens
- By communicating via, text, e-mail, or other platforms our emotions have been reduced to emoticons.
- With Twitter, we no longer communicate in complete thoughts. We have one hundred and forty characters to express ourselves.
- Our family albums are no longer physical books kept on shelves. If the zombie apocalypse ever really happens and electricity is a thing of the past, a lot of people won’t have a single printed picture of their loved ones.
- With ads polluting our computer screens, it’s almost as if corporations now sponsor our friendships.
- On the other hand, social media also provides a way for people who have lost touch to find each other. It’s an opportunity for those who can’t travel to meet folks they would never have the chance to chat with any other way. And, without it, I would never have met some of my most loyal readers.
In overusing social media, just as in life, there are a lot of things that can go wrong. You may have all your privacy walls up, you may be extremely careful what you post, repost, and tweet, but others are not. You don’t know who is snapping your picture. Maybe the person you friend is far from it. And maybe the person you unfriend is delusional enough to want revenge.
I think my biggest takeaway from the research I did for Murder of an Open Book is that we all seem to be using a lot of words and pictures, but we’re often saying nothing. So my sage advice is to make sure you’re careful, safe, and truly stand behind what you post.
Series: Scumble River Mystery (Book 18)
Publisher: NAL (September 1, 2015)
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Buy: Amazon, Kindle, IndieBound, The Book Depository
A nasty faculty feud leaves one Scumble River teacher belly-up. . . .
Her honeymoon may have been less than relaxing, but Skye Boyd née Denison is still high on marital bliss with her new husband, Wally. The fact that their family is about to get bigger is even more exciting, even if Skye is dealing with morning sickness—and trying to hide the news from her ever-meddling mother, May.
But Skye quickly comes crashing down from cloud nine when the body of one of her coworkers, science teacher and volleyball coach Blair Hucksford, is found in the school swimming pool. The troublesome trainer was on the bad side of almost everyone on staff and many of the girls on her team, leaving Skye to sort through a huge roster of suspects. Now she must figure out which wronged party was mad enough to kill, and quickly—before someone else in town gets bumped off. . . .
Thanks to the publisher, I have one (1) copy of Murder of An Open Book to give away.
Giveaway open to residents of the US only.
Giveaway ends on September 22nd
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Winner will have 48 hours, from the time of notification to confirm their win or another winner will be chosen.
Denise Swanson, The New York Times best-selling author of the Scumble River Mystery series, began writing after coming face-to-face with evil. She quickly decided she would rather write about villains than encounter them in her daily life. She was also shocked to discover that getting a book published was nearly as difficult as vanquishing scoundrels. Little Shop of Homicide is the début book of her new Devereaux's Dime Store Mystery series featuring Devereaux Sinclair, the happy new owner of the old-fashioned shop in Shadow Bend, a small town near Kansas City, Missouri.
Denise was nominated for RT Magazine's Career Achievement Award. Her fellow nominees includedSue Grafton and Janet Evanovich. She has spoken at hundreds of library events and other civic organizations. She has also been interviewed on radio and TV.
Scumble River Mysteries