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Social Media, Screwtape-Style

I know I just posted something by my daughter Laura, but then she came to me with this. She had to read C. S. Lewis’ The Screwtape Letters for a class she’s taking and her assignment was then to write her own similar entry. What follows is a letter from one demon to another. 

Folks, Laura is fifteen. This is some timely stuff and needs to be shared. I’m doing my part.

*     *     *

Dear Viperweed,

Your last letter concerns me considerably and part of me hopes it was one of those jokes you love to play. It seems you have forgotten your duties and instead have decided on doing whatever you wish with your patient, not thinking of the consequences. So, I will educate you. You are to cure your human, that’s why we call them patients. We are to rid them of the sickness that consumes them and instead inject sin, our golden ticket to power. Once sin overrides the love and kindness we can destroy the enemy. But do not let all this go to your head, that’s the big picture, you need to focus on the small things, everyday happenings that can be twisted towards our cause.

You say she loves people of cultural influence, the people who she sees on TV and in magazines. Make them a main focus. Have her thoughts about a certain person or group of persons consume her thoughts. She needs to know every little detail about them and make sure images of them are always present in her mind. She needs to start out with a fairly good role model and then slowly pull her towards ones who are progressively more and more vile and provocative. If you do this soon they will be her idols and their thoughts and opinions will become her own. She will clothe herself to please their taste and speak their words.

To do these things she will need social media. Make this another idol, a part of her. The connections to her idols through Twitter and Instagram need to be vital to her mental health. Selfies and inward focused texts need to be part of her daily life. Make her self-esteem rest in the hands of strangers who in reality don’t care about her the way her real family and friends do. The influence they have on her thoughts need to be able to make or break her. Texting needs to be her chief means of communication, without it she is lost. Her involvement and emotions towards the people in her real life needs to be put on hold. The people in her second life, the one on her phone, need to be the focus.

Since these actions will push her family and friends away she will become lonely. Though she has hundreds of “friends” and followers on social media websites the lack of emotional and physical support from people she sees every day will wear on her and cause her to dive deeper into meaningless, unhealthy obsessions and selfishness. All humans have this crippling need for each other that if not satisfied, weakens their mental health. Work with other patients’ mentors (for that’s what you are) and make it seem as if her family and friends are against her so she is truly alone. She needs to doubt her purpose and meaning in life. These thoughts may lead her to consider another option of escape: death. Suicide is the lowest of selfish actions. This will help us out tremendously for she will be ours and her evil essence will be added to the many others we have reaped and result in more power. Follow these instructions and you are sure to succeed.

With the most evil of intentions, yours truly,



Changing Social Media Lanes

I’ve been making some changes.

English: The logo of the blogging software Wor...

 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

First, I changed the look of my website/blog. I use WordPress because of its ease of use, functionality, and wide array of themes to choose from and options to use. This weekend I changed everything over to the Mystique theme. I needed a change and this theme offers more flexibility and options than my other one did.

Second, I’m taking the plunge and beginning this week will be moving most of my Facebook activity to my author page. If you haven’t LIKED it yet, please go to the page and LIKE it. Then stop by often as I’ll be posting comments, opinions, questions, and updates there. Also, check out The Darlington Society sign-up page (and please considering joining us) and my new book page on Facebook.

I hope to see you at both these locations!


Drowning in Social Media . . . HELP!

Social Media Outposts

Social Media Outposts (Photo credit: the tartanpodcast)

It’s no surprise that social media is all the rage. For authors, it’s expected that we’ll be engaged in different types of social media, interacting with readers, sharing ourselves, passing along information, and generally spending a lot of time at the keyboard NOT working on our books.

Myself, I have several social media outlets I frequent: this blog, Facebook (two pages), and Twitter.

And, honestly, there are times when I just get tired of it. There are days when I don’t have anything interesting or pithy to say. Days when I don’t feel like sharing anything. Days when I sit and stare at that question on Facebook, “What’s on your mind?” and I say “Absolutely nothing. Nothing is on my mind. Is that okay?”

Don’t get me wrong. I like social media. I think it’s interesting. I think it’s a great way to connect with readers en masse, something authors of the past rarely had an opportunity to do.

I’ve just been thinking that I need to reboot. I need to focus my efforts, concentrate on one or two outlets, and let the other ones go.

So here’s my question for you . . . which outlet do you frequent most? Blogs, Twitter, or Facebook? If I had to focus on one to get the most bang for my buch which one do you think should I go with?

I have my own ideas about which one I’d LIKE to focus on but that may not be the most popular one.

HERE’S A BONUS: If you leave a comment you’ll be entered in a contest to win a copy of one of my short stories (Mirror Image or The Last Hunt) or one of my short non-fiction books (Writing Time! or Writing unBlock!) Yes, I’m bribing you. Unashamedly, too. I need your opinion!

Yes, I Finally Caved in and Joined

Image representing Facebook as depicted in Cru...

Image via CrunchBase

First it was Facebook. I swore I’d never use it. I even used to mock my wife for using it (shame on me!). But eventually I saw the benefit of it or caved under the social pressure to use it and got myself a genuine Facebook page. A little later a fan page came along. Then a page for my other self, Michael King, then a fan page for him. Now, I manage four Facebook pages.

Then it was Twitter. Again, I scoffed, I smirked. What kind of guy “tweets”? Who wants to read that I had turkey and cheese for lunch? I didn’t understand the power of the tweet. Until I caved and got an account. Actually, two accounts now, one for Mike Dellosso, one for Michael King. I was slow getting started and still don’t use it the way I should or as often as I should, but I’m getting there.

And now, it has truly happened. Again, I swore it wouldn’t. Scorned my wife when she spends time on it (but she has gotten some amazing recipes from it). Laughed, mocked, saw no benefit in it at all. Until I read an article that said it was the third largest social media site in the world behind Facebook and Twitter. Yes, you guessed it, I caved and joined Pinterest (as Michael King). Now, mind you, this all just happened last night so I don’t have much pinned but please take a moment to follow me if you are also on Pinterest. And if you have any neat little secrets for using the site I’m all ears.

So there you have it, the trifecta of social media sites. I believe that will be it for now, enough to keep up with . . . until someone comes up with “the next big thing.”

What’s your favorite social media outlet? Which one do you most benefit from? Most enjoy?

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