Friday, 12 April 2013

Star Trek, Wine and the Internet

This week I've been putting off all those jobs in favour of messing around on the internet …

I have to confess, I am looking forward to mid-May and the release of the new Star Trek film.  I’m a bit of a fan.  I don’t profess to having been to any conventions, nor do I like dressing up as any of the characters because I’m an adult and I understand that the programme is make-believe.  However, I have seen all the episodes and I know that a Klingon isn't a clear plastic sheet to wrap your sandwiches in, that they’re from Qo’noS and that the T in Captain James T Kirk stands for Tiberius.

I was reading an article in Writing Magazine the other day about our (writers) use of the internet.  It struck a chord as I've been on holiday from my secret job, writing a new story and spending some time on the internet as well.  And by spending, I mean of course, procrastinating.  The writer spoke about how, in days of yore, writers would shut themselves away to write but now we have the internet distract us.  Of course, the internet is essential to any indie writer; our very existence depends on the internet.  Then there’s all the social networking: Twitter, Facebook, blogging and the constant checking in on our phones, tablets and toasters.  God knows what Instagram and Pinterest are – I've only got so many hours in the day to waste on this stuff.

The point, and link to Star Trek, was that the article spoke about the hive mind we have now created on the internet.  Now one of the baddest of baddies on Star Trek is the Borg.  They are bio-cyborg hybrids that are all connected to one hive mind.  Not for one second do I believe we should assimilate planets and drill new eye pieces into people, imagine the mess, but it was a good point.  Social networking has created a hive mind, a collective of writers, and thank God it has.  The internet means we can publish what we want, make connections to similar people and I've made some good friends in the process.  It’s given us a freedom that the publishing industry never had before.

There was one drawback though, there always is.  I was speaking to someone the other day about being an alcoholic and I do believe that some people can show the same behaviours with social networking.  If you can remember a world before the Internet, which I can, (I am that old but I use a lot of moisturiser), then you can probably live a couple of days without checking your Twitter or Facebook account.  But for those who have grown up with it, I wonder how they would get on if an EMP pulse took out every silicon chip and they weren’t able to check their messages on their smart phones?  I suspect that there would be more than a few people in their twenties and teens who would be breaking out in a sweat in a matter of minutes.  Personally, I have the same relationship with alcohol as I do with social networking.  I enjoy a glass of wine in the evening but when it’s time to work it’ll be put back in the fridge.  The same goes for social networking, a bowl of punch makes a party, but a bottle of vodka a day means you've got a problem.

Now I need to crack on with some work, but I’ll just check on Twitter first …

If you want to do some procrastinating, then you can follow me on Twitter: @FenlandGirll or on Facebook:  Hopefully it’ll be more fun than the hoovering you've been putting off.


  1. I have a's battery operated.
    Don't look at me like THAT. It doesn't get used improperly.

  2. I once turned my phone off for a weekend... By the end of Sunday, some friends were considering a search party. I'm not a huge fan of the 'always available' element of phones and social media. Especially if you get work related calls out of hours.

  3. All very true, LK. I am considered something of a Luddite, largely because I only access the internet via my home computer, and don't have time for iPads or smartphones or the like. Too distracting for my tastes. The internet is a wonderful thing, but sometimes you just have to disconnect, sit down, and write...