Tuesday 5 May 2009

Exmoorjane goes mad in cyberspace

Someone has stuck my head in a spin cycle and it’s really deeply unpleasant. A week away with madly sussed cyber-people instilled that awful sense of ‘I’m missing out and somewhere out there is a world I should be prancing around in.’ What is really scary is that that world isn’t even real – it’s all up there floating in cyberspace.

As Family Affairs says, when we met the US uber-mommy bloggers we all felt a bit inadequate. Not because we didn’t have inch-thick pancake and hair that doesn’t move in a hurricane but because some of us seemed to be stuck in the Dark Ages of the blogosphere. I developed blog-shame: suddenly my little blog seemed a bit parochial, a tad juvenile, just a bit pathetic.
So I spent yesterday trying to get a bit more on the ball. Within the space of 24 hours I have joined British Mummy Bloggers and Twitter, have had a feeding frenzy on Facebook and even started a new blog (more later on that – it’s very much in the embryonic stage and may well miscarry). Sorry about the awful pregnancy metaphor but I hadn’t even realised that I was an official Mummy Blogger and now feel obligated to toss in the odd comment about children or babies or posset or potty training (now imagining a flurry of frantic clicks as my small band of followers all desert me en masse).
Not only am I a Mummy Blogger, but I am something like the 39th best Mummy Blogger in the UK (which is slightly scary and not a great recommendation for the rest). Nice though (and how low is my self-esteem that something quite so arbitrary makes me feel good about myself?). I wonder if I’m on any other blog ratings – could score highly on totally random comments apropos of nothing and even higher on dog crap.
Trouble with all this social networking malarkey is that you end up doing even less work than before, if that were possible.

At the moment I should be:
· Writing my agony aunt column.
· Pitching ideas
· Writing a book proposal
· Topping up bird feeders
· Scraping the dust off at least part of the house
· Clearing a path from the front door to the kitchen
· Putting away my clothes from the trip
· Picking up four deckchairs which have blown across the lawn

Instead I am cackling like a drain at the photos of us betabritmummybloggers at Disney and pondering whether to get an iPhone or a Blackberry so I can go mobile with my newly acquired addiction.

Someone shout at me. Please. Or, alternatively, join me in the madness (click on the links to the right for twitter and BMM)…..


Kitty said...

Ouch, Jane, your head will explode if this carries on. Too much cyber-thingummies-stuff going on here. I joined Twitter for a day. And then didn't understand it so un-joined. Far too dim.

Anonymous said...

Jane - keep your hands where I can see them and slowly, Step Away from the Computer!

As for being the 39th best mummy blogger out there - not such a surprise to me!

claire p said...

Have resisited twitter so far. Not sure I'd know what to do to be honest. However I am a mum and I blog, so I might look at mummy blogger.

Calico Kate said...

Oh no - Haven't known you long Jane but I think I preferred the other one to the made over cyber Mouse enhanced Jane....... Coooome baaaaak!

Rustic Pumpkin said...

I joined Facebook, but can't get my head around it, so don't bother with it any more. It is hard enough trying to blog once a week!

Gotta stand with CalicoKate on this, come back 'other' Jane, soon! Pleease! CH xx

Norma Murray said...

Impressed as I am, please come back Jane, you've strayed beyond my ken.

Pipany said...

Terrified of spending even more time glued to the screen I'm afraid Jane. My excuse is that I run a e-commerce business...yeah, right! Good to see you back x

Exmoorjane said...

Help, help, help.....I mean it!

Kitty: my head IS exploding...I'm being sucked into a black hole of blogging.

Mud: Impossible, I fear - my fingers are superglued to the keyboard and going faster and faster....

Claire: resist twitter for heaven's sake - it'll drive you demented. But do come over to mummy blogger - then I won't be the new girl.

CalicoKate: don't worry, sure the old clunking Iron Age me will soon be back....just let me rip off those mouse ears.

Celtic Heart: Facebook sort of perplexes me too - people keep sending me virtual bacon. Odd.

LWB: don't get me on Barbie! Disney is bad enough. Oh, sorry, wrong Ken.

Pip: I know, I know. Just brand STUPID across my forehead.....

Minnie said...

Come back to the real world, Jane. Please. Read Aristotle on friendship for a start ... And bear in mind that any and all 'comparisons are odorous' (ie they ****ing stink!).

Fennie said...

Two weeks back on Exmoor will sort you out. You'll sulk for a week and then be your normal happy self. The deckchairs will be righted and you'll be sitting in one of them with a book.
You won't be dancing to the pinging of the email box, nor rushing to see who has commented. Your book proposal will write itself as you watch the swallows wheeling in the sky.

Victoria Summerley said...

Jane, your blog is brilliant and you should feel absolutely no blog shame whatsoever. As for Twitter, my friend Mary refers to it as Twatter. Says it all, really. I quite like Facebook, tho. I never do the status thing (that's why I loathe Twitter), but it's a great way of keeping in touch with people that you like but very rarely see. I've added you as a friend!

Chris Stovell said...

Jane? Are you in there? Good luck with all the new ventures, but you are wise to beware of time slipping by.

Milla said...

oh God, Jane, what has happened to you!! Just do not understand Twitter AT ALL. Come back come back, burn BarbieJane NOW!! xx

Unknown said...

Still laughing at the Barbie pic.

OK, I blog, twitter, facebook, write a book, bits of other stuff oh and do a day job. And I get distracted a lot. And I mean, a lot. So I'm not the person to give advice on the matter. However, I have a trick of having 2 computers on my desk at home. One for internet and one for serious stuff. If I have to concentrate on serious stuff then the internet computer doesn't get turned on, and I disconnected internet from the serious computer. Complicated, but it does actually work.

Also, Blackberry Storm. It does everything except make the dinner and you can do all your internet stuff on it as well, even twitter and facebook. Means you can social network while on the go :-)

Zoë said...

I'm a Luddite, technologically, I understand all the new gadgets and toys; after all, it's people like me that write the damn software for it all!

What I don't get is why people spend all their time glued to mobiles, texting or interfacing with some social network website or other. What happened to conversation? What happened to paying attention to the people you are with and socialising with them?

I've had 2 mobiles in my life, a Nokia 3310 (belongs in a museum) and was purchased so the kids could contact me if I was out and about. It was so little used that is still pristine, and was only replaced because the new battery for it cost more than a new phone! The replacement, another Nokia, is lost some while ago somewhere in the car/house/garden/bin - take your pick. I don't miss it.

I did register on Twitter, but only so I could explain to a friend how to use it, as they were technochallenged and wanted to be part of it. Despite having never twittered or twattered myself - I have followers !! They must like the strong silent type, right?

Facebook is OK, I use that to keep in touch with friends and family, especially the kids as we can chat on there and just share the daily drivel of our respective lives. They often are more lucid in text than verbally,and it costs nothing.

Signature of their generation?

I use Skype too, because it saves a fortune on phone bills.

I had a look at Mummy Blogger, recognised a few familiar faces, and signed up. Not sure I quite meet the criteria, as I am verging on empty nester, rather than Yummy Mummy status these days.

Think I will apologise now Jane, I wrote a blog in your comments! Eeeek!

Oh well, there's always the delete feature!


Pondside said...

Deep breath, Jane. In and out.
Okay - you know you don't aspire to the bubble hair, talon nails and aggressive born-again-ness of those other bloggers.
You are what you are - only better with each and every post. I think that what you are is very funny, very insightful, just the right amount of biting and always a step ahead of the pack.
39th? GAWD - just imagine who's counting.

Ladybird World Mother said...

COME BACK TO US JANE!!! Too much Malarkey by the sounds of it. Put the kettle on, and find a good book and put your feet up. Works wonders, me pet. Only 39th best mummy blogger? How Very Dare They!! XX

Cat said...

aww Jane, Haven't you seen the tshirts with the saying "come over to the darkside, we have cookies"? Well, here's your cookie and I pushed that lovely button to follow you on Twitter!

Exmoorjane said...

What can I say???

Phidelm: I know, I know (hangs head in hands and weeps with shame).

Fennie: I love that image you paint of a possible me (though I think in all the years we've had the deckchairs I've not yet sat in one and read a book!).

Victoria: Ah, sweetness. Mwah mwah. Lovely to have you as a friend. Think I probably agree with twatter - still a bit confused really.

Chris: no, I think I've morphed into someone else.....someone with round ears. Send out a search party.

Milla: aha, see you on mummybloggers - it'll be twitter next. One day my Ken will come.

Yummymummy: I have enough trouble with one computer but by heck I take your point. Now, if someone would just give me a nice new PC (anyone at Dell listening out there? Or at Apple - I'll switch allegiance quite happily)...
Oh and a Blackberry Storm while you're at it (nice tip - thank you!)

Zoe: yeay, you blog girl! At least here if not on your real blog..... You surprise me as I figured you'd have all the gear...
Don't worry, my newfound enthusiasm is bound to wither.....

Exmoorjane said...

Crumbs, hadn't realised there were two more after Zoe....sorry, sorry....

Pondside: hyperventilating, I fear! give me a paper bag..... thank you for such lovely comments though.

LWM: you're right of course....since all this malarkey (good word) started I have started three books and not finished one (a VERY unusual state of affairs). I need to Get A Grip.

Cathy: I need that t-shirt! You are a total madwoman following me on twitter. i don't know where I'm going so heaven help anyone following me!

Elizabeth Musgrave said...

I don't think of you as a mummy blogger jane, just as a fantastic, exciting, funny, sad, interesting, "Oh good, Jane has blogged again" blogger. I agree with Twatter though!

Maternal Tales said...

Don't you worry about a thing. Go with it. I'm joining you in cyberspace. It won't take you long to feel right at home! x

Erica Douglas said...

Is the new blog called Ilovespas.com :)

Rob-bear said...

Jane, this is serious but not fatal. We recognize you're still having "Disney spells." It is a common occurrence for those who are at, or who have just escaped, the world of Disney.

First, take the pins out of the head of your Barbie voodoo doll.

Second, have a couple of glasses of Scotch, separated by about an hour. If Scotch isn't entirely to your taste, red or white wine would be acceptable, as would gin.

Sit for a while in a relaxed position, breathing in and out deeply (not from your chest but from your diaphragm -- deep breaths).

After those remedies, wrap yourself in an afghan or blanket and have a nice nap. When you wake, you'll be well on the way to recovery.

If you're still having symptoms, e-mail me in the morning.

As Charles Schultz (of Peanuts fame) might say, "The Bear is in; 5¢ please."

60GoingOn16 said...

Well, least I'm too ancient to join the Mummy Bloggers. Phew, one more thing not to have to think about. I did start Twittering, not sure why though, and I'm not sure it will last. However, will happily follow your tweets as they're bound to be more interesting than mine.

Exmoorjane said...

It may be wearing off....

ElizabethM: oh thank you....though I'm sure if I carry on like this I'll be turning into 'oh heck, shut her up Jane'

Maternal Tales: thanks so much for dropping by... Scary thing, cyberspace - I just worry that I'll pack my bags and move in. There's no dust for one thing!

Rob-Bear: book me in! I'll pay the 5 cents!

60goingon16: we could each other rigid with our non-exciting tweets!

Edward said...

Hello Jane

Twitter is evil, m'kay? What's more I don't get it. I'm a subscriber and even follow someone, but I have no idea what I'm supposed to do with it. And I'm supposed to be computer-savvy!

maddie said...

I only use Twitter to update my Facebook so I don't have to go in and look at it. Which is a bit stupid really. I should give up both.

Carah Boden said...

Hey ho, I'm late again. Missed the bus. Everyone moved on. But I'll throw in my ha'penth anyway:

Facebook - joined reluctantly cos far-flung friends insisted. Don't really do the status thing. Who's interested? Just use it to email people really. Don't give a toss how many 'friends' I have. I know my friends, thank you, and they're real.

Find Facebook hard enough to navigate - and say 'hear hear' to everything Zoe said. Friend (real) 'sent' me flowers on Facebook so I thought I'd better say thank you and she said, 'What? never sent you any.' Hey, thanks. But they had her name attached to them and I sure as hell didn't send them to myself. There are strange powers at work out there and it is all rather sinister...just all about sales, marketing and MONEY. Call me cynical. Yes, I am.

Twitter? Absolute Twaddle. Who the hell cares? Who has time? I certainly don't. 'Just wiped my bum'. Hey, bully for you. My digital marketing mate says (if used seriously) that it keeps him updated with new developments in business. Yeah.

Sorry, probably had too much wine and am feeling punchy, but I'm VERY NERVOUS about getting too sucked into this virtual world/networking to excess culture.

PS: clicked on Mummy Bloggers (thought I'd check it out) and got put off by having to describe my blog: boring? I think I'll have to try again when feeling more positive!