A Memoir is Not a Status Update


I “like” (pun intended) this essay from Dani Shapiro in the New Yorker. I admit, I look at Facebook more often than I should, usually when I want a break from the nap-inducing legal news job. I appreciate Facebook for giving me another way to keep in touch with my cousins, my niece and a few friends that live in other states (or countries). But I think of it as an enhancement to, and not a replacement for, real connection. When the major life events happen, social media is the last place I turn for a pat on the back or consolation.

Like the author, I wonder, had social media been around on September 6, 1995, when a midnight-ish phone call turned my world on end, would I have “tweeted” about it? Would I have posted the status update: “I have been hit over the head with a brick called grief and I would rather not wake up tomorrow?” Would I have been blasted with a barrage of photos of a man that I loved posted by well-meaning “friends?” Would I have crafted my experience into a relatable story 19 years later?

I’m glad that type of sharing did not exist in 1995. It probably would have drove me batty. Sometimes it’s best to let things simmer under different privacy settings.

Has social media influenced your writing?

2 thoughts on “A Memoir is Not a Status Update

  1. I always swore I wouldn’t get hooked on social media and I’d never use Twitter. I didn’t like FB much so that was easy, but I caved and got an account on Twitter (long story). I’ve learned a lot about writing and made some great contacts. Unfortunately, I like it more than I thought I would and I’m on it too much.

    I got a phone call similar to yours in 2005, before FB or Twitter. And I feel the same as you do about it. I’m glad I didn’t use it then.

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