Join me for a reading from “Jamis Bachman: Ghost Hunter” on Saturday June 26th. Jamis is a Goldie semi-finalist, which is a tremendous honor. You can sign up at the link below.
Author copies of my new book arrived today. You can order an autographed copy at my store. Link below. But please do check out the Playlist for Origins on Spotify. I listened to it non-stop while writing.
I’m not using social media right now. The shift was subtle in late 2020, and then, after the insanity of the US election season and the Insurrection, I deactivated Facebook and Twitter. I had to take a few steps back. I couldn’t control the information I was consuming, and as such, my well-being suffered. I had horrible, anxious dreams.
We are not meant to consume information like this. We should not be constantly bombarded.
The algorithms Facebook uses are dangerous. Twitter enabled Donald Trump. Both have enabled the despicable partisanship in America fester to the boiling point we witnessed in January. I know it’s not all the platform’s fault. We’re still fighting the Civil War. The animosity between the Left and the Right has always been there. But I know social media is not helping. I also know how I felt the last time I signed into Facebook and was bombarded by my news feed. Overwhelmed. Hopeless.
I’m not sure we’re ready as a species to use such tools responsibility, and I just don’t want to participate with them right now. I don’t want my information to be a commodity these companies use to derive a profit until I feel greater trust in the long term impact social media. Study after study shows its responsible for decreasing empathy. That the notifications, likes, and reactions are designed to keep you hooked, leveraging tricks used by casinos.
But deactivating social media just wasn’t enough. I then cancelled my subscriptions to the New York Times and Wall Street Journal. Now, I only get a paper copy of AZ Republic delivered. I read that with lunch and don’t look at the news again for the day.
I feel so much better.
I know there are benefits of social media. Keeping in touch with friends and family. Animal advocacy and dog rescue. I am sure people miss pics and stories about my senior dogs. I miss interacting with so many people. But the digital world just feels too noisy for me right now. I’ve kept my Instagram account, though it is private now. My wife uses it quite a bit and I love to see what she’s doing. I also follow a lot of dogs I’m really attached to. If you’d like to connect you can find me @jenjensenauthor. I don’t post much anymore but I check it once a week. I’m also on Goodreads.
A month or so ago, I started reading books about silence and solitude. I love technology, but I’ve returned to reading paperbacks and just listening to the radio. My goal is to use my digital phone for less than thirty minutes a day. I have a landline and I call people on it. I showed my five year old niece how it works and she squealed with wonder and delight. “Where is the screen to see people?” she asked.
I long for the simplicity of pre-digital life. When I wasn’t expected to be constantly available. When news wasn’t flying through the ether faster than I have time to process it.
I’m well and good. My life is happy and whole and revolves around Sarah, dogs, my family, friends, and work. It’s quieter. I don’t look at my phone very often. I don’t post about it. But it still happens, unfolding into ever opening expanses of time, unencumbered by obligation, noise, or addictive technology.
I have no judgement about anyone else’s use of these platforms. The past year has been so difficult, I know for many people, it’s been a lifeline to connection. I know people who earn the living using social tools. We’re all fumbling our way in this new world, trying to figure it out as we go. We are all in process.
Much love & peace,
Come grab a copy of my new book, Felonies & Breakdowns, A Mickey Madison Adventure. eBook available now, Physical Copies on Pre-Order for mid-October delivery.
Mickey Madison has had a rough few years. From a felony assault charge, to an incarcerated sister, she didn’t think things could get worse – until they did. From library assistant to criminal, Mickey Madison embarks on a journey to escape her past and suffering, and in doing so, stumbles into a world of cartel money and violence. She’s ready to tell you all about it. “My name is Mickey Madison and I don’t go anywhere without my antacid and Xanax. It’s possible there’s a lot wrong with me. We can talk about that while I tell you how I ended up outside a Denny’s in Flagstaff, Arizona with $938,000 stuffed in a backpack behind the driver’s seat of a rust colored 1973 Ford F100. My nephew was there too, his pants wet with piss. He might have shit them, though he’ll never say. Right, then. I’ll go ahead and do that.
I want to invite you to a BOLD STROKES BOOKS LIVE event Saturday. I’ll be there talking about my new book, “Politics of Love” with some other amazing authors. Please come join if you can! Register via the link below.
I like to construct a playlist for the books I write. I listen to it when I need to get into the space to write. I can’t take credit for all of this though. My love curated this as she read each chapter.
You can see Shelley & Rand’s playlist here:
Get Sorted today! Follow the link below to download Episode 1 today.
But she did. So now what? Coming soon
Maybe the modern world’s indulgence of the individual above all else was selfish. But in the absence of self-actualization, what was there? Once basic needs were met, like food, clothing, shelter, it was all that was left.
It’s why it was a modern world problem. There were always queer humans. Indigenous people called them Two-Spirits. It’s just that the struggle to find food, warmth, and avoid sickness gave them little time to ponder their inner world. Shelley watched a young mother adjust a child on her lap while controlling two who sat next to her. Humans arrived in the twenty-first century with worldviews formed five thousand years before penicillin. Those world views were clashing with new understanding of sciences and psychology. The outer and the inner, dancing for realignment, everyone struggling to maintain what they thought mattered most for human survival.
Shelley looked for a chair, her head swimming. She wished it were possible to power down her thoughts, not see so much, but knew it wasn’t. There were twenty-seven pictures on the wall. What was Rand doing? She pulled out her phone to check for a text. There wasn’t one. She shifted her suit jacket and then flinched at a flash. A reporter took her picture. In the middle of her brother’s funeral service. The choir sang. Then she was mad.
She left the chair and walked to the reporter, strides strong and confident. Shelley yanked the camera from his hands and threw it on the ground. The sound was muffled by the rug it fell on.
“It’s my brother’s funeral,” Shelley said.
“You’ll pay for that,” he said.
“Send me a bill,” Shelley said and returned to her seat. That would make the news too. She was fairly certain someone else snapped a picture of it. There were cameras everywhere. No one was allowed a dramatic moment of emotion without being held accountable for it forever. No one was allowed anything other than perfection. Shelley thought life might have been simpler if she could travel back in time to live in a convent without running water. It just needed a large library and garden. A small barn with animals and many dogs. No cameras.
And Rand. It definitely needed Rand.