Deb Eleanor Predicts the Future

I’ve been involved in social networking in one way or another for years.  I was an early adopter of the web, of Usenet news, of AOL and Yahoo! chat rooms, and more.

So I got to thinking about where we’ve come from in terms of social networking, and I found this little gem – a graph of social networking usage in September 2007, from Nielsen.

2007 Graph of Social Network UsageAOL Hometown? MySpace? Remember those?

One of the reasons I used very little technology in the world of The Weird Sisters was because I didn’t want to date the book – I wanted someone to be able to read it in five, or ten, or fifteen years and not feel like it was outdated.

Technology is hard to predict, but let’s try.  Where do you think we’ll be in three and a half years? Will we still be using Facebook and Twitter? Or will we have something entirely different?  Will professional sites like LinkedIn be getting us jobs? What were you using three and a half years ago, and are you still using it now?

18 Replies to “Deb Eleanor Predicts the Future”

    1. I totally agree, and yet Elise made some good points about technology’s place in YA. Maybe it just depends on the story and the genre.

  1. I can’t begin to predict where technology will be in three year — that’s an eternity in tech time. Heck, by then we may have surgically implanted texting devices, so we’re never disconnected at all. 😉

    1. Have you read FEED, by M.T. Anderson? That’s essentially the idea, and though it might have seemed far away when he wrote it, it feels closer every day!

    1. It is true – it changes so fast I don’t know how we’ll be able to keep up. That said, as I just mentioned to Elise, there’s something to be said for having a record of where we were.

  2. I get what you’re saying about technology dating a book, and yet in YA, it’s very hard not to use it. It’s just so much a part of teen life that leaving it out is more glaring than having it in. Even the latest Judy Blume Fudge book, which she wrote in the 90’s and I just read recently to my daughter for the first time, has Peter Hatcher surfing the net and emailing. And in a book like Mixed-Up Files, which I rave about and will rave about forever, the lack of technology makes it clearly a period piece.

    1. That’s interesting – it’s interesting how it might vary from genre to genre. And I am really surprised that they would update Fudge (and, I’m sure, others). I’m not sure I like that. Does that mean we will have no books as a record of how things *were*?

      I wrote The Weird Sisters 6 years ago, and I think even then it was easier to leave technology out. I don’t know how much we’ll be able to do that in the future.

      1. Sorry, I didn’t say it clearly. It’s not that she updated a book that was already out. She had a series she wrote decades ago, and there was no technology. Then just one decade ago, she added a book to the series. The characters were the same, their ages were the same, the setting was the same… everything was the same, but in this last book in the series (which Judy Blume herself wrote in the age of technology), suddenly there was technology everywhere, while it was absent in the other books of the series.

    1. It’s true…even when I blog, lots of people respond on Twitter or FB instead. It’s faster, and also I think, less permanent. Tweets are gone in minutes, if not seconds!

  3. I think it depends a lot on the genre and on the story itself – mysteries, thrillers, modern chick lit. As a reader, I tend to like stories where potentially “dated” information is absent – the story then feels almost timeless to me.

    1. Definitely! I think it’s going to get harder and harder to write stories where technology is entirely absent. I wonder how we’re going to manage this?

  4. I was thinking along these lines this morning at the day job when I had 3 requests to write guest blog posts before 10 a.m. (all related to day job stuff). I couldn’t help but think, “14 months ago, I’d never written a blog post in my life…how did this get to be such a big part of what I do both in my author career and my marketing/PR one?”

    And of course, I wonder how it’ll all change in another five years. Food for thought.


    1. Ha – it’s true! It’s inescapable! I wonder if we’ll still be blogging at all in five years, or if communication will have moved entirely to shorter formats.

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