My Big Online Strategic Retreat

Recently, I looked at all my streaming and subscription services and discovered that it was around $700 a year. Yikes. I stated turning things off and canceling things. Most services give a better price or a free month if you change your mind later. There is no incentive to maintain a subscription constantly except for some perception of instant access.

I kept Netflix because I don’t have cable tv but downgraded from HD. I kept Hulu because that I watch all the Network shows on there. I kept Pandora because it’s free and I listen to ads – no big deal for someone who grew up on broadcast tv. I got rid of everything else. Audible, Disney, Apple+, Amazon, Prime Music and Amazon Prime. Sure, I will sign up for a month to binge on some hot new show but I’m good with that.

I know the loss of Amazon prime is shocking. BUT KATE – how will you live with ordering shit from Amazon? But that’s the point, I order a lot of impulsive stuff or stuff that turns out not to be that good or I really didn’t need. I don’t want more stuff, I want less. The world is melting and do I really need that egg top slicer in 24 hours? The kicker is Amazon gives people free shipping anyway if you order more than $25 – I might not get 2-day delivery but I can survive. I probably order more than $25 80% of the time so why should I give them $125 (cost of Prime) for free shipping if they will ship for free anyway? Not to mention, that many things on Amazon increasingly have a higher price point than finding it in a store.

For audio books, I have a library card and they have a great audio book selection. And authors make good money from libraries so there is no guilt. I don’t listen to audio that match unless I have a bad case of digital eye fatigue and I need to rest. I like to buy ebooks because the selection at the libraries can be thin. My husband is trying to get me to buy less books because he is a crazy person. Alright, I’m dialing it back by 50% because I can’t read all the books I buy anyway.

In regards to social media, I have retreated from Facebook like many people. I took the apps off my mobile devices so I can interact on my laptop but not when I am out in the world doing stuff. I can’t delete my account because I have an author page which admittedly doesn’t have a huge following but hey, as an indie author, I need a presence there. I want to keep my connection to readers who are only on FB.

Unless I have a new book out, I’m not on Instagram. I might do some TikTok for the next book but otherwise no, I think I’m too old for that scene. Twitter is still fun but I block regularly and ruthlessly. Twitter Book-verse can be a bit high drama with scandals, gossip and dirt slinging in the world of reading and writing. In small doses, it’s amusing. Too much can be demoralizing.

The question is: what do I get from the Twitter-verse? I have been able to meet people from the book world that I would not know otherwise and that is a pleasure. I love hearing about various author’s writing process, or their suggestions about writing and all the book announcements. The same with agents, editors and bloggers. But it’s not healthy for me to do this for hours. I consider my day a success if I log on and am confused about the latest kerfuffle because that means I’m not spending too much time there. Even in the Twitter book world, I encounter misogyny and the overlords of coolness a regular basis.

Social media does not ease my social loneliness. It gives me the illusion of human interaction until you put your device down and you remember nothing has really changed. Social media is like a sugar high and I love candy but it must eaten in moderation. Seeing and interacting with real friends is like a complete and balanced meal that sustains one for day. It’s not about being alone—I like being alone but I do like people. I’m a social introvert.

So, social media and streaming media can have my sloppy seconds attention. I’m not a luddite—hell, I love technology but I don’t want to lose ALL my time and money to billionaires who are screwing everyone over. Yes, that is a super high drama statement but it’s my blog.

Yes, I will post this on my social media author accounts but this world is a silly place and I’m not in charge.

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