Hey Doc, Can I Tweet My EKG?

Congratulations to contest winner Liz Jasper.

Has anyone on her death bed ever said: “I wish I’d replied to that last email?”
When my teen idol–Davy Jones–died of a heart attack last week, I reflected on the fact that only thirty-six hours earlier, I was lying on an examining table waiting to have my own ticker checked.
I would attach a photo as proof, but the world has barely recovered from JLo’s nipplegate incident at the Oscars! We don’t need a baby boomer version.
My original appointment was for my annual physical with my gynecologist. Since I’m the queen of multi-tasking, I took advantage of this medical opportunity and mentioned the chest pains I’d been experiencing for the past month. He looked at me appalled then stated: “But I’m only interested in what’s below your waist.”
It’s been a long time since someone’s uttered that phrase to me.
Fortunately he hopped on the phone and shortly thereafter I was on my way to see another doctor who would minister to my “above the waist” issues. Minutes later I was stretched out on an examining table, grateful that the satellite reception was strong enough so I could continue returning emails while the nurse strapped electrodes to my bare chest.
As my thumbs worked furiously in unison in an effort to squeeze out that last “oh so important” reply before they ran the EKG, it occurred to me that perhaps the reason behind my chest pains was the mobile instrument that had become an additional appendage to my body.
As an author, it’s important to utilize social media to push our books and our personal brand. We Facebook, Tweet, Google+, and Tumble because we’re told that’s what we must do to sell books. If you add the stress of co-chairing a huge mystery convention in Sacramento like Left Coast Crime (heaven forbid I miss an opportunity to plug this conference) the stress levels can become so high I’m forced to medicate…
With chocolate!
Evidently I’m not the only patient who’s been experiencing Social Media Stress Syndrome. It’s a highly contagious disease. Fortunately it’s curable by a minimally invasive process. With luck, my phone won’t have to be surgically detached from my tapping fingers.
Of course, the physical therapy that follows can be tricky. No social media for at least 24 hours? If I can’t tweet, how can my tiny twibe of tweeps survive? Can my Facebook friends and fans face a day without my smiling face and clever posts? Will my gaggle of Google plus connections glower over my absence? (Probably not, since I currently have a gaggle of one.)
What a surprise! The world can go on. And since I definitely plan on hanging around for a few more decades, a little less self-inflicted stress will be the best prescription for a heart healthy life.
Besides, even God rested on the 7th day!
I’d love to learn how you maintain your sanity in the new age of social media.
Leave a comment by March 13th, and you’ll be entered in a drawing to win a $15 iTunes gift card guaranteed to provide the soothing backdrop to a stress less day.


  1. Jane Gassner on March 6, 2012 at 10:11 am

    I never enter these giveaways because I never win (because I put out such negative energy about them?), but I’m making the exception here because–your post is just so damn funny. I have nothing pithy to add about how I deal with social media overload because I don’t have it. I’m on everything–an early adopter, am I–but I go in spurts of using it. Of course, I’m not promoting a book–and I’m not a multi-tasker!

    • Cindy Sample on March 6, 2012 at 10:29 am

      You are the blog queen and it’s nice to know you’ve managed to maintain your sanity using social media as needed. As far as dealing with the stress, I vote for more frequent meetings of WRITERS WHO WINE!

  2. Jacqueline Seewald on March 6, 2012 at 10:20 am

    Skip the iTunes for me. But I’ll add my two cents here. My husband is constantly urging me to spend less time on the net. Of course, I know he’s right, but it’s kind of an obsession–or an addiction. I feel connected to a lot of other writers through social networking–readers as well. I seem to need that connection however tenuous. As to health, I’m told my cholesterol is too high but hate the thought of going on drugs. Cindy, hope your chest pains disappear soon.

    • Cindy Sample on March 6, 2012 at 10:32 am

      Social media networking is so addictive and it’s easy to tell ourselves it’s part of our job description. But so is staying healthy for your fans and your family. Thanks for sharing. It’s good to know we’re not alone.

  3. Nancy Means Wright on March 6, 2012 at 10:37 am

    Skip the ITunes for me as well, but let me tune into our mutual obsessions. When I turned on my computer this morning and over 70 emails jammed my screen and I had not only a writing deadline but posts to respond to on Facebook, Linked In, and umpteen other listserves, I just wanted to go back to bed. Well, I stayed up but instead, put it all on hold and went directly to my work-in-progress, vowing to do this each day or perish. (They had no computers in the 18-century where I lurk.)And you must put some of it aside too, Cindy for your health! Put the social media on the day’s back burner. It can wait. (Though, admittedly, sometimes I can’t…)

    • Cindy Sample on March 6, 2012 at 10:45 am

      Hi Nancy, it sounds like you’ve figured out how to prioritize. It is overwhelming to wake up to 100 emails. But writing comes first as you so kindly reinforced. But thanks for squeezing in time to comment. It means a lot to me.

  4. Linda Lovely on March 6, 2012 at 10:46 am

    Cindy–You need to chill out somewhere other than on a white sheeted slab in a medical facility. You’re one of my social networking idols and I can’t afford to lose your inspiration, so rest already. I’m on the opposite end of the scale. I have Twitter and Facebook accounts and I’m on a gazillion list serves. But I hardly ever post. I get chest pains because I KNOW I should be doing the social media thing to plug my book, but don’t. By the time I read everyone else’s clever posts, I’m flat out of time if I want to do the normal stuff. Somewhere between our activity levels I’m guessing there’s sanity. Hang in there!

    • Cindy Sample on March 6, 2012 at 11:22 am

      Hi Linda. You know I recently took a tour of the Morgue and discovered they stack the bodies like bales of hay. Most unseemly. I think I’ll forego that visit for awhile. I guess we need to realize that all we can do is what we can do. And what our readers want most is more of our great writing. Hmmm. I think I’ll go tweet that:-)

  5. Elaine Macko on March 6, 2012 at 10:48 am

    Great post. I don’t have a smart phone, I’ve never tweeted or sent a text message. I guess I’m behind the times! I’d use Facebook more but by time I finish reading everyone’s posts, I’m too tired to post something of my own! Chocolate and power walking are my cures for just about anything.

    • Cindy Sample on March 6, 2012 at 11:23 am

      Ah, now I see my problem. I was medicating with chocolate and gaining inches by the hour. Power walking is great advice!

  6. Christy Tillery French on March 6, 2012 at 10:53 am

    So funny, Cindy. I’m just as addicted to networking as most authors although feel I don’t really accomplish anything and should really prioritize and get back to devoting those hours to writing. So what am I doing? Surfing the web, reading blogs. Sheesh.

    Enjoyed this one and your clever wit. Hope the chest pains were simply stress and nothing else.

    • Cindy Sample on March 6, 2012 at 11:29 am

      Thanks, Christy. I feel guilty that you’ve all taken time to read this post but hopefully it will put things in perspective, especially knowing that we aren’t alone. We all need to block out some therapy time on a daily basis. I’m going to do that myself as soon as I finish reading these comments which are wonderful therapy for me!

  7. Betty Gordon on March 6, 2012 at 10:54 am

    Cindy, a great post.. I needed your humor today.

    You can skip the iTunes for me too, but every day I tell myself to skip the emails, Facebook, etc. until later in the day and every day I begin to unravel the ones I just mentioned plus others and my work suffers. I can’t seem to get past the emails and I’m like Jacqueline, they connect me to other writers and are beneficial in many ways…time management need tweaking.

    • Cindy Sample on March 6, 2012 at 11:31 am

      Thanks, Betty. I can organize my day but it doesn’t take much to disrupt it. Especially when my friends write such interesting posts that I have to read and comment. But our sanity should be our priority. Yesterday I went out for 3 hours without my phone. Gasp! One of these days I might actually go that full 24 hours! Now hang in there and learn from my lesson. Prioritize!

  8. Patricia on March 6, 2012 at 11:31 am

    Oh, Cindy. You are too funny! I wish I could answer your question, but I don’t have anything to promote yet but myself, which I have been doing shamelessly since March 1st when my new blog post went live. I’m pimping myself and Cindy Munoz, my guest, like never before, but so far I haven’t had any heart palpitations.

    So glad you’re okay. And yes it’s true, the world will get along without you for a day ior so, so put the phone down, turn off the computer and read a good book. If you need a suggest for a good one, give me a call and I’ll hook you up. I know a few really good authors who happen to be local.

    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmidt

    • Cindy Sample on March 6, 2012 at 11:34 am

      Hi Patricia. You always make me chuckle. Thanks for putting everything in perspective. (nice touch with the blog promotion for good friend/author Cindy Munoz)!

  9. Lisa Sorensen on March 6, 2012 at 11:35 am

    Indeed a lol post! Thank you–you’ve reduced a lot of stress right here.
    BTW–this may be my first ever blog response. I’m a social media virgin just starting to dip my toe in. That’s how compelling you are. I’m going now to make a FB page. Wish me luck……..(g)

    • Cindy Sample on March 6, 2012 at 12:21 pm

      Hi Lisa. I’m honored to be the recipient of your first blog response. I must celebrate…with chocolate! Congratulations on losing your virginity. Let me know when you get that FB page up so I can officially like you.

  10. Jennifer Walker on March 6, 2012 at 11:43 am

    Ha…great post! Sometimes all the social networking can be overwhelming for sure.

    • Cindy Sample on March 6, 2012 at 12:23 pm

      Thanks. So much networking, so little time. I need to dance some of this stress away. CHa Cha Cindy is on the mend!

  11. Bev Moglich on March 6, 2012 at 12:08 pm

    Cindy you are the best blogger so I have given up having a blog. I do not know if anyone reads them anyway. i am not sure how to read and recieve them plus I have a Twitter acount and do not know what and what to do with it. I am best at reading the financial news early in the morning to see if and when I should buy Apple, Facebook when it comes out , now the talk about Twitter having more clients than FB. I love this high tech world we live in and look forward to more of your DAILY blogs.
    “Memoirs of a Navy Brat”

    • Cindy Sample on March 6, 2012 at 12:25 pm

      Okay, Bev. Now you definitely have something to share. How about tweeting those stock tips to the rest of us who aren’t reading the financial news. Using social media to make $$$. THat IS a concept!

  12. Karen Phillips on March 6, 2012 at 12:29 pm

    A HUGE sob was heard around the world when Davy Jones died. So nice to know you had a crush on him, too. SOB!!!!!

    • Cindy Sample on March 6, 2012 at 12:42 pm

      I actually had a crush on Peter Tork who seemed more like a dork – someone I could identify with. I don’t think Davy Jones had any idea what an impact he had on teens and tweens though. Such a shame which is why I felt obligated to share my heart healthy humor. I want my friends to stick around for a long long time. I plan on rocking and rolling well into my nineties and I need people to dance with me!

  13. Sunny Frazier on March 6, 2012 at 12:56 pm

    I don’t own a cell phone—until my cats learn to answer the phone, I don’t have anyone who needs me that badly. I only check Face Book once a week. I only post when I have something vital to say. I don’t have a blog, but I do put my energy into my marketing Posse. I don’t Tweet. I am efficient with my email–I spot what is vital and delete what’s not. I can scan sites for good info in seconds.

    Yet, despite all that, my name is out there. The wise thing to do is put your energy into that which reaps the largest rewards. Recycle posts. Make it look like you do more work than you actually do.

    I learned early on to take control of the social media options and not let them control you. And no, I don’t do Itunes either, so give it to someone who will enjoy the prize.

    • Cindy Sample on March 6, 2012 at 1:30 pm

      Hi Sunny. I kind of like the idea of delegating to Zoey from the Bronx, my super-sized orange kitty. So far her job description includes eating the bookmarks I leave on the floor. You do a great job of marketing via guest blogging. I always love your insightful posts!

  14. mickey Hoffman on March 6, 2012 at 1:02 pm

    Nix on the iTunes as well. I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s an app. for your phone to broadcast the EKG live on twitter. Hope you’re okay. But an app. suggestion is the opposite of what you asked for.

    I just got off the nordic trac and stairmaster, so that’s how I work off the stresses.

    Although I am not a luddite, most of my social media stuff is done by computer and since it’s not a laptop, I’m able to stay away from it more easily. I think that’s protected me from becoming obsessive. There’s also the fact that I’m highly skeptical about social media’s efficacy in selling books.

    • Cindy Sample on March 6, 2012 at 1:33 pm

      You’re right, Mickey. I don’t need any more ideas although a chocolate app sounds appealing! I find that networking via social media has brought me a larger fan base and definitely more book sales. But could that have time been better spent writing more chapters? Now that is the ultimate question!

  15. Linda Townsdin on March 6, 2012 at 1:06 pm

    I recently started a blog and my heart rate has yet to return to normal.

    • Cindy Sample on March 6, 2012 at 1:34 pm

      I’ll send an emergency bag of chocolate to you!

  16. Theresa Varela on March 6, 2012 at 1:10 pm

    I, too, am attached to my smart phone or a pc at practically all hours of the day and night. My smart phone wakes me in the mornings. I just wish it came with a lipstick and mirror. I allow myself the luxury of leaving it at home when I go for a run or the gym to stay heart healthy! Hope your torso feels better!
    Oh, I must admit Bobby Sherman was my heart throb.

    • Cindy Sample on March 14, 2012 at 4:10 pm

      Theresa, I missed your comment earlier. A smart phone with an attached lipstick would be a genius phone. And I totally forgot about Bobby Sherman. I had a huge poster of him on my closer when I was 12!

  17. Patricia Gligor on March 6, 2012 at 2:21 pm

    Loved your post, Cindy! You are too funny! I have no doubt that what I’m about to say will be appalling to most people but, as they say, whatever!
    I do not own a cell phone nor do I intend to get one. There it is, out in the open. Now, I’ll tell you why.
    Like most writers these days, I spend a lot of time on my computer. I write and I work hard at marketing which includes belonging to several sites, including Face Book. And I enjoy all of it – most of the time.
    However, in the interest of my health and sanity, I refuse to be on call 24/7. When I’m away from my computer and my home phone, I leave that world behind me and it’s a wonderful feeling of freedom!

    • Cindy Sample on March 6, 2012 at 2:48 pm

      Hi Patricia. I think you’ve discovered the answer. A little discipline goes a long way. I must admit when I’m in writing mode I can restrain myself from emails and phone calls. Please don’t tell my mother though. I love all of these great tips. Thanks so much.

  18. Marja McGraw on March 6, 2012 at 2:24 pm

    Thank you for brightening my day with your wit, and I hope writing about this gave you a little relief. Sometimes it helps just to talk about things.

    I belong to so many groups that I end up not posting on hardly any of them. It can be so overwhelming at times. So I plug along and do what I can, when I can. Don’t push yourself too hard, because in the end it’s just not going to be worth it if you can’t enjoy the rewards.

    No itunes for me. I never got farther than a regular cell phone. Shame on me, I don’t even text. I can’t figure out those words anyway.

    • Cindy Sample on March 6, 2012 at 2:51 pm

      Thanks, Marja. I think the most important thing is to keep your sense of humor. As the technician was attaching those cold things to my bare skin I thought, this will make a great blog post, assuming they didn’t wheel me into an operating room. It’s also good to have those bells go off every now and then reminding us about the B word. BALANCE.

  19. Lesley Diehl on March 6, 2012 at 2:36 pm

    I’ll skip the itunes also, unless I can trade them in for dark chocolate, champagne, and a trip to the Bahamas. My husband got a fancy, smancy phone this summer saying he needed it for his motorcyle tour to promote his book. Now, like a teenager, he spends his time on that thing. The new technology allowing instant connection to various social media has created a monster. I do more social media stuff than he does and I don’t have enlarged thumbs! Help. His new grilfriend is called AT&T. Divorce? Counseling? Drugs (other than chocolate)? Should I` accidentally drop it in the food processor?


    • Cindy Sample on March 6, 2012 at 2:54 pm

      iTunes, dark chocolate, whatever helps your stress o meter. As far as the DH’s new toy, those Smartphones are so fragile. BTW, my cat is addicted to cell phone chargers. Do you have a cord eating kitty in your household?

  20. Regan Walsh on March 6, 2012 at 3:08 pm

    Oh my goodness. You are so funny. So glad you didn’t need too much upper body attention. Gotta work on the lower one though. LOL

    I am a newbie when it comes to tweeting and facebooking. Trying my best to get my follower numbers up and jumping up and down like a lunatic when someone new joins on to “like” my page or friend me on Goodreads or retweet my tweet.

    I recently programmed my phone to receive notifications of some of my twitter pals’ tweets. I need to turn it off now. LOL Drives me crazy.

    Sorry I’m not much help in the techy area but I really enjoyed your post.


    • Cindy Sample on March 6, 2012 at 3:45 pm

      You are too funny yourself. But if my phone chirped every time my twibe tweeped, I would definitely be back in the doctor’s office. In a straight jacket! Off to “like” you and put a smile on your face:-)

  21. dkchristi on March 6, 2012 at 3:23 pm

    I’m definitely into chocolate. I’m also in marketing burn out. I went full steam ahead from 2006 through 2010; then, something hapened. The social media, the forums, the blogs, the talks, the signings, the book marks and more – all just ran together in a blur. When that happens, it’s “time out” time. However, promotions equal sales; non-promotion equals reduced sales – direct relationship. Great topic; whee’s my chocolate. http://www.dkchristi.com author of Ghost Orchid – a great Irish tale for St. Pat’s Day – a little adventure; a lot of mystery; surrounded with the beauty of the Everglades and the magic of the ghost orchid. – Can’t miss a proo op….

    • Cindy Sample on March 6, 2012 at 3:48 pm

      Hi DK, everything is better with chocolate. It sounds like you went the overachiever mode as well, which as you stated, does bring in more fans and more sales. But at what cost? Very nice job with the promo op though. Kudos:-)

  22. Melanie Jackson on March 6, 2012 at 3:23 pm

    I was at a meeting last week where a friend was tweeting on both her iPhone and iPad at the same time. One wasn’t enough! Talk about addicted!

    • Cindy Sample on March 6, 2012 at 7:15 pm

      That’s taking multitasking to a whole new multitweeting level!

  23. T.W. Fendley on March 6, 2012 at 3:37 pm

    Hey girl — Like everyone else has said, TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF. You are so right about the importance of having less “self-inflicted stress” and finding balance. I appreciate the humor you bring even to these serious situations.
    Since I still have an iTunes card from Christmas, you can nix me from the contest, too (but thanks!).

    • Cindy Sample on March 6, 2012 at 3:53 pm

      Thanks, Teresa. I’m substituting chocolate for iTunes for those who prefer a carb induced bliss. Humor keeps me sane and if I can put a smile on someone’s face, that’s all the reward I ever need.

  24. Augie on March 6, 2012 at 4:59 pm

    Hey Cindy–I enjoyed the post. You are such a delight to read. Sorry to hear about the chest pain, but he Lord has a way of slowing us down even when we think we can handle everything around us. I do own a smartphone and I have to admit that it is smarter than I. Half of the time I don’t know what I’m doing so I have to ask my daughter, who is quite savvy at those things. My gmail on the thing constantly twit to the point one day I was about to throw the thing out and go back to my Solstice…anyway now I’m at a point to ignore the sound. Let some of the FB, Tweet, Blogging and other stuff wait, you and your health is more important, besides we would miss you. Augie

    • Cindy Sample on March 6, 2012 at 5:49 pm

      Hey Augie. Thanks for your funny comments and well wishes. Strangely enough, my very first blog post two years ago was on the Iphone and the New Author. It was a long long learning curve and I think the guy at the ATT store changed his own cell # before I was fully trained!

  25. Augie on March 6, 2012 at 5:00 pm

    follow=-up skip the i-tune for me too. That’s another thing I’d have to learn. (lol) Augie

    • Cindy Sample on March 6, 2012 at 5:50 pm

      I hate to admit it but I can download iTunes on my phone and on my computer but they have yet to share their music with each other:-(

  26. Deb Payne on March 6, 2012 at 5:29 pm

    I meditate daily to go to a happier place whenever I feel overwhelmed and/or anxious. Started meditating over 11 years ago due to pain & panic attacks after serious surgery ordeals. Before going into surgery 3 weeks ago, the surgeon was checking me over & was surprised my heart rate was so good & my blood pressure was so low. He was surprised as I related that I had been meditating while sitting in the waiting room; he said keep it up. Reading is another way I stay calm along with a glass of wine & a bit of chocolate. I don’t watch news programs after 6:00 p.m. otherwise, I will have dreams of world events while I try to save the world in my dreams. Calming music such as the sounds of waterfalls, ocean sprays, & rainfall can be helpful to soothe away stress for me. Hope you find a way that carries your stress away & you take cate of you!!!

    • Cindy Sample on March 6, 2012 at 5:55 pm

      Thanks, Deb. After reading your comment I sat on the sofa and tried meditating. My cat had obviously never seen me in a tranquil state because she immediately jumped up and wouldn’t stop pawing me until I made eye contact! And if anyone knows how to relax, she does.

  27. Jenny Milchman on March 6, 2012 at 5:41 pm

    Hilarious post, Cindy! I’m so glad you’re OK–above and below 🙂 How do I maintain sanity? By not doing anywhere near as much as I should, probably. And the truth is I miss my cyber friends when I don’t get to check in every day. I hadn’t been to your blog, or seen you on MMA in a few, and just hearing your voice in this post made me realize I’d missed being in touch.

    However–got to watch that heart rate. And chocolate intake 🙂

    • Cindy Sample on March 6, 2012 at 5:58 pm

      Hi Jenny. I’ve missed you too although I try to comment on your wonderful “Made it Moment” blog whenever I can. I will admit that chairing a convention is a once in a lifetime opportunity (or is that occurrence). Medicating with chocolate works very well until you step on the scale and the stressometer kicks in again!

  28. Matt M on March 6, 2012 at 5:55 pm

    er…first, what is “Tumble?” well frankly I think social media adds to my sanity. I can interact with folks without having to smell them. Kidding. ATMs, Cell phones, etc.. etc..have all added to my life, just like dishwashers, microwaves and beta tapes before them. I must be missing something. I do know its quittin time, and that means chocolate.

    • Cindy Sample on March 6, 2012 at 6:13 pm

      Tumblr. And I have no idea how one tumbles. I hope it doesn’t require any cartwheels. As I recall you were one of the early pioneers in social media. AS long as you know when to turn it off and go play!

  29. Liz jasper on March 6, 2012 at 6:01 pm

    Cindy you crack me up! Thanks for making my commute home more enjoyable

    • Cindy Sample on March 6, 2012 at 6:11 pm

      Anytime, Liz. I wish there was an app you could download to enhance your reading experience!

  30. Barb Beacham on March 6, 2012 at 6:36 pm

    My dear friend Cindy — Social media? The only social media I do is my blog. And I do communicate with others through email…It is easy to do, with those that are my family and my friends. But I also still make the what I see as the all important phone calls.

    So sorry to hear you have to have the ticker checked up on, and hopefully this is entirely stress. The stress of new technology! My you be well in all facets of your life!

    Hugs my friend, and thank you for introducing me to Lois Winston! I about fell off the chair over the names of the two police officers and two seconds later did fall off the chair when I read the names of the dectectives!

    BTW, I am anxiously waiting for the next installment on your “Dying for…” series! Love the characters, the humor, and the story lines!

    Hugs – Barb

    P.S. Itunes? Is that some new kind of fish? If I win, we will have to arrange delivery cuz stinky fish will not make our mail carrier happy!

    • Cindy Sample on March 6, 2012 at 7:13 pm

      Hi Barb. One of these days we need a salmon fishing queen Facebook page so you can post all of those lovely photos and recipes. Your fans are waiting!

  31. Barb Beacham on March 6, 2012 at 7:11 pm

    The last part did not come out right! See how tired I am? I was thinking of tuna fish with the Itunes…

  32. Stephen Brayton on March 6, 2012 at 7:29 pm

    Once a week blog post, once a week book review post. Either daily or every other day scan of Facebook posts with adding pertinent or interesting comments. Tweet when I can if there’s somethign to tweet ro reply to an interesting tweet from another. Read the Posse’s links and comment when appropriate. When I post my blog I scan the contributions of others on the various sites and make comments or send the links to the Posse. That’s my plan.

    • Cindy Sample on March 7, 2012 at 10:01 am

      HI STephen. You have a very organized schedule. I’d love to know where you see the greatest impact on your sales. Thanks for commenting.

  33. Anita Page on March 7, 2012 at 5:13 am

    Cindy, a very funny post on a serious issue. My best wishes for your good health.

    • Cindy Sample on March 7, 2012 at 10:04 am

      Thanks, Anita. I like to look at my mishaps with humor, but there could be serious consequences to many folks, old and young, if we don’t start monitoring our social media activity. Thanks for taking the time to comment.

  34. Susan Whitfield on March 7, 2012 at 9:01 am

    Cindy, what a great post! I love the humor but this really has become a major issue. I see so many folks–including my own sons–who stayed constanly stressed out by their phones! I say shut the damn things off for a while. Maybe we need to only give and receive messages (email too) between the hours of 8 and 5, giving us back those “after hours” times to be with family and friends and RELAX. Electronics are great, but do I really want an early grave? I’m doing better about checking my Facebook page, Twitter, and all the rest. Guess what? I’ve had more time to write, edit, and rewrite my latest project:-)
    Thanks for the humor and the thought-provoking analysis.

    • Cindy Sample on March 7, 2012 at 10:08 am

      Hi Susan. THanks for your thoought provoking comment. I hate to think that our kids are going to be equally stressed just dealing with social media on a personal level. And those 8 to 5 days seem like the distant past but I think we functioned quite well back then, didn’t we?

  35. Dana on March 7, 2012 at 10:50 am

    First of all, I assume all is well with your ticker?! Second, chocolate is a great way to medicate, although I’ve heard red wine is also good to help prevent heart problems, especially in women…

    Third… I pretty much stick to FB and the occasional tweet and have tried to keep my social media stress levels down these days. This includes cutting out “friends” who are rude or clueless any more ’cause I find my blood pressure shooting up at the drop of a post any more.

    • Cindy Sample on March 7, 2012 at 11:12 am

      Thanks, Dana. The ticker is still ticking so that’s good! I’m not a red wine fan but I do like some of the El Dorado County ports. Yum yum. Sounds like you’re ahead of me in monitoring the SMS. Excellent advice.

  36. Pauline Baird Jones on March 7, 2012 at 10:57 am

    LOLOL! You always make me laugh, Cindy! My advice, check out Kristen Lamb’s two books on social media. We Are Not Alone is the first one.

    • Cindy Sample on March 7, 2012 at 11:51 am

      Thanks, Pauline. I’m halfway through Kristen’s book, “Are you there Blog, It’s Me Writer.” What I really appreciate about Kristen is that while she promotes social media, she also encourages us to utilize each other as a team, hence WANA – We Are Not Alone! Here’s her link http://warriorwriters.wordpress.com/ for anyone who is interested.

  37. Diana Orgain on March 7, 2012 at 11:20 am

    Cindy – you are hilarious! Thanks for the laugh – I needed it this morning!

    • Cindy Sample on March 7, 2012 at 12:34 pm

      Yay! If I can provide a morning laugh, I’m one happy gal. Tks.

  38. Cal Orey on March 7, 2012 at 11:23 am

    Love, love, love this blog post. I can so relate. Years back, a recession ago I was ghostwriting for a wannabe writer. He pushed my buttons. Within hours I took myself to the ER hospital and wrote down on their form: “Chest pains.” Minutes later I was hooked up and monitored by medical staff. Think the dying E.T. scene.

    Fast forward: I was asked, “Do you exercise?” I didn’t get it. One Stress Test later (you do the treadmill like a gerbil), the doc following my moves mumbled, “You’re so out of shape.” So, these days, I swim/hot tub almost every day. Despite the demands of social networking I’ve learned we’ve got to feed our bodies as we do with our busy minds!

    • Cindy Sample on March 7, 2012 at 11:54 am

      THanks, Cal. You and your doctor are so right. I stand in front of my laptop due to a cha cha injury. Seriously, but that’s another post. But I don’t think standing 12 hours actually counts as exercise. I’m going to make that my new mantra. “Feed my body!”

  39. Susan Shea on March 7, 2012 at 12:16 pm

    Cindy, one of your early respondees said that when she sees a pile-up of waiting emails, she just lets them sit and goes to her writing. HOW DOES SHE DO THAT? I simply cannot. I would be nagged by the knowledge they were sitting there, even if half of them are DorothyLs and Publishers Lunch, and notices of spam comments for my web site (ugh). I notice you’re responding to every comment here…so I know you’re an addict! I need to get the software David Corbett told me about that will automatically shut off my internet access for the number of hours I choose, and force me to go cold turkey. Good luck – you really do need to take care of yourself.

    • Cindy Sample on March 7, 2012 at 12:37 pm

      Hi Susan. Amazingly enough when I’m in writing mode, I don’t respond to emails. It helps that I don’t get pinged every time I receive a new one. When I do a blog post I time it for a day when I can stay at home and respond because I spread the word everywhere. Fortunately I’m home all week making huge decisions like whether to serve lemon squares or brownies in the LCC hospitality suite:-) I think the vote is Both!

  40. Conda V Douglas on March 7, 2012 at 1:39 pm

    Cindy, thanks so much for this post. I’m not alone! I’m not alone! Whew, that felt good.

    • Cindy Sample on March 7, 2012 at 2:25 pm

      Your SMS support group is here for you, Conda!

  41. Bette Golden Lamb on March 7, 2012 at 1:53 pm

    Hi Cindy,
    Nice blog!
    As a nurse I can’t help but ask if your chest pain is gone now? Your body is speaking to you. Please listen.
    Take care of yourself!!!!!

    • Cindy Sample on March 7, 2012 at 2:26 pm

      Thanks for asking, Bette. Fortunately, my body has a big voice. Pains are better and I have a feeling they will magically disappear on April 2:-)

  42. Ron Yarosh on March 7, 2012 at 6:45 pm

    There once was a man from out west
    Who felt awful pains in his chest
    He ignored the warnings
    He ran in the mornings
    He now enjoys eternal rest.

    Compliments of ronyaroshauthor.com and Humorous Interludes

    • Cindy Sample on March 7, 2012 at 6:51 pm

      Well I’m not running in the mornings but that may be the problem! THanks, Ron. Loved it!

  43. Mae Harless on March 7, 2012 at 6:52 pm

    It’s been a long time since I hard those words! I prescribe lots of chocolate! No more than that–lots.

    • Cindy Sample on March 7, 2012 at 7:14 pm

      Mae. You’re so wise. I like your prescription!

  44. J D Webb on March 8, 2012 at 5:24 am

    I’m also a an Itunes skipper. Your remarks hit home. On 24 yahoo groups, own and moderate one and post a hopefully witty saying on Facebook each day. Recently I’ve become a full time caregiver for my wife. Necessity reduced my social media time and I’ve not yet had a crowd at my computer doorstep demanding a return. It was somewhat empowering to delete my account at a few Internet spots. I have been unable to find enough time to write and that is the most debilitating result. But I do “check in” on a few and respond. Yours was a must. Keep up the humor, Cindy. It can carry you through the day. Oh and I just finished my chocolate Cheerios.

    • Cindy Sample on March 8, 2012 at 8:05 am

      Hi J D. I’m on 9 loops and that’s overwhelming enough. There are days when I just have to skip over them but when I have the time I always learn valuable things about this business. It sounds like you’ve learned to prioritize and your wife is obviously your priority for now. All else can wait although we always enjoy your comments. Thanks for squeezing in time for commenting on my blog and for sharing your own ideas. I can’t believe I didn’t know there were chocolate Cheerios!

  45. Ginger Calem on March 8, 2012 at 7:13 am

    So funny and so true. I’m juggling the social media balls and dropping a few here and there. I just pick it back up and toss it back into the air and hope I catch it next time. Not an efficient plan! And your post reminded me that I still have to make an appointment to get to the doctor for a check up. Dare I admit that it’s been years! OY!

    Thanks for the smile!

    • Cindy Sample on March 8, 2012 at 8:09 am

      Hi Ginger. If this post serves one purpose, it’s that our health is our priority. First you make your Doc appt. Then pick up a social media ball or two. And always make time to smile:-)

  46. Peter Green on March 8, 2012 at 8:38 am

    Hey, Cindy,
    Funny and oh, so true. I’ve avoided the rat race for a year while waiting for Crimes of Design to come out by writing another novel and putting off the day when I had to begin promoting through the social media until I got around to it. Since my collection of wooden Round Tuit coins is now stacked high on my desk, I’ve begun. The best advice I’ve had on this score was in a recent talk by Bob Baker at a recent St. Louis Writers Guild Workshop. In his book 55 Ways to Promote & Sell your Book an the Internet, he advised, “Don’t let yourself be overwhelmed,” and to take the steps you feel you can handle and build on them, month after month, year after year. Google+, Tumbr and all the rest can wait. Doing this, I have enduredthe brain damage needed to taek a toe-dip into Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, and will try to learn how to use them effectively as time permits.

  47. Peggy Partington on March 8, 2012 at 9:13 am

    A few weekends ago a very young couple was having dinner next to us at a lovely restaurant in San Francisco. They were both on their phones tweeting, texting or e-mailing the whole time they were there. Never said a word to each other. Took a couple of bites of their meal and back to the phones. It was sad. However, on the other side of us was an older couple, probably in their late 70’s. Talking, smiling and sharing a lovely meal together.

    Needless to say, I do not go on my phone when my husband and I are out. We talk, smile and enjoy the time together.

    • Cindy Sample on March 8, 2012 at 12:45 pm

      That’s a sad commentary. What’s even weirder is people can now email back and forth using a voice application. Doesn’t that remind you of “talking” to each other?

  48. Kirsten Weiss on March 8, 2012 at 12:33 pm

    You are so right! I try to focus on the social media stuff I actually enjoy so it doesn’t get too crazy. There are just too many social media platforms to be able to deal with them all and stay sane.

    • Cindy Sample on March 8, 2012 at 12:46 pm

      And they keep coming up with more. Every time I figure out Facebook, it’s changed again!

  49. Melissa Cirone on March 9, 2012 at 9:52 am

    Oh, Cindy, you are soooooo right! I have been overwhelmed with emails (I never, ever, catch up) blogs (reading & writing them), texts, as well as deciding whether I will ever bother to use my Twitter account. And then I had a car accident, and then I had medical problems, and I didn’t care if I ever turned my computer on again, let alone open the 500 backed up emails. All I wanted was a little sunshine, a friend to show up – in the flesh – to have a cup of coffee with me, and my family telling me jokes. Put down the phone, get a good physical, eat well and have some fun. And of course, eat chocolate.

    • Cindy Sample on March 9, 2012 at 9:57 am

      HI Melissa. You are so right. Nothing like a health scare to put things in perspective although you may notice I’m responding within 3 minutes of you commenting so I’m not totally cured. I hope You’re okay and you’ve completely recovered from your car accident. Thanks for taking the time to read this post.

  50. Lauren Hetrick on March 9, 2012 at 12:09 pm

    Hahaha! Wow, Cindy- this was hilarious and refreshing. Email, texts and all of it can really overwhelm me, but other times it excites me. I am actually in the middle of reading a book on Twitter because I’m not as up to date with that one as I am Facebook. It’s called “Twitter Power 2.0: How to Dominate Your Market One Tweet at a Time”. I think Tweeting would be a whole lot more fun if I wasn’t in the “business” side of it…and it was just for kicks.

    Your blogs are officially my favorite.

    • Cindy Sample on March 11, 2012 at 12:41 am

      I agree, Lauren. We should tweet for fun and it shouldn’t become a chore. Thanks for officially proclaiming me your favorite blogger! Woo hoo!

  51. Jeff Bergstrand on March 12, 2012 at 9:42 am

    Yes…… chocolate is definitely the answer to many issues. Jeff

    • Cindy Sample on March 12, 2012 at 9:47 am

      Thank you Professor Bergstrand. Chocolate seems to be the medication of choice!

  52. Dena Kouremetis on March 12, 2012 at 6:44 pm

    As a fellow scribe, I can understand your attachment to social media, especiallyh Facebook. If you can’t get your friends and family to read what you write and then shrare it with others, you’ve robbed yourself of some serious marketing exposure. But how much is enough? I get my email and update FB on my iPhone, my Ipad AND my iMac at home, in the car, at a doctor’s office and even on vacation! To stop for even a day forces serious withdrawals upon my person, since I use social media and answer emails as a way to take a break from the solitary, isolating task of writing. I appreciate your perspective and will learn from your experience, Cindy. Thanks for taking the time.

    • Cindy Sample on March 12, 2012 at 7:34 pm

      Hi Dena. Wow. You own three devices that all start with I! My social media skills pale in comparison to your networking.

  53. Tom Biglione on March 12, 2012 at 7:28 pm

    As you can see by the date of my reply, I am managing my social media time strictly—once per week. Truth be told if I had read your hilarious blog on the 6th , I certainly would have replied sooner.
    I can’t help but feel that the enduring principals of effective communication will outlast any short term, new age medium. As more users flock to the latest mode, lesser messages will be lost in the noise. Talented, creative writers like you will always stand out and be heard, whether they tweet, whistle in the Silbo Gomero, or press their messages into clay tablets.
    In other words, give it rest. Abe Lincoln’s advice remains timely, “If I had eight hours to chop down a tree, I’d spend six hours sharpening my ax.”

    • Cindy Sample on March 12, 2012 at 7:38 pm

      Thank you, Tom. Your wise perspective was definitely needed and I’m going to sl..o..w down my response time. See, it took a whole 9 minutes for me to reply to this comment!

  54. MJ on March 12, 2012 at 10:08 pm

    Love this! And cannot wait to show it to my 17 and 18 year olds. Their generation is of the belief that “if it doesn’t get posted on Facebook, it never really happened.” I do understand the need for it – see it’s addiction – and struggle with the balance. I most recently dragged us all away from our screens and made them wonder through fields of wild flowers and climb in trees. Hard to believe? It must have really happened……..they posted the photos on Facebook.

  55. Margaret (Nanny Goats) on March 12, 2012 at 10:46 pm

    What? You can check your email in the examining room? Thanks for the tip!


  56. Joey Jones on March 13, 2012 at 12:17 pm

    Hi, Cindy — I feel ya! I had two docs telling me to “REST!” Turns out, “medcially-diagnosed exhaustion” is a real thing. Who knew? When I’d hear some celebrity was out of the spotlight due to “exhaustion,” I’d think, “rehab.”

    Being tied to my devices was definitely an issue (and checking them, waiting for something to come in). I’m shifting over to Facebook, etc. Mondays and Wednesdays (obviously, as this is Tuesday, I haven’t perfected this yet), and “phone off” times when the ringer is silent. The world can survive without me for an hour or a day here and there, but I can’t, and I need to reclaim my comfort with silence.

    Having my heart checked out now, too, so we’re a club. Best luck!

    • Cindy Sample on March 13, 2012 at 1:13 pm

      Joey, do not email me from a gurney, okay? I’m also slowing things down. It took 54 minutes for me to comment to your post. Now get that heart checked out and then go play!

  57. Brenda Cox Giguere on March 13, 2012 at 4:47 pm

    Sometimes we need to go on a media fast– cold turkey. The difficulty of this sacrifice is all the proof we need of how necessary it is every few weeks.

    I also keep specific office hours for Facebook. I’ve let Twitter fly away as it’s hard to serve both.

    Besides the occasional “see, I don’t die without it” social media absinence, I do this: I’ve refused to allow texting to insinuate itself into my life for any reason. I don’t send them, I don’t receive them. Texts can eat your life. People are text-zombies. It’s scary.

    I’m a modern gal and I love my social media, but enough is enough!

    Great piece, Cindy. All the best in achieving that elusive Zen state of balance!

    • Cindy Sample on March 13, 2012 at 4:52 pm

      As my wise mother would say, moderation in all things. Although she takes it too far and even applies that motto to chocolate! THanks for sharing and I totally agree on texting. Not necessary!

  58. Marilyn Meredith on March 14, 2012 at 6:03 am

    I never text, just don’t want to do it. I also don’t use my cell phone as a phone except to call out. Only a few members of member of my family even have my number. What I mainly use my phone for is email. With my Blackberry I can get rid of my email from my home computer and this is a real plus. I can also send Facebook messages if I’m so inclined.

    See you at LCC!


    • Cindy Sample on March 14, 2012 at 2:58 pm

      Marilyn, you are so wired in. I know how active you are posting on Facebook. You’re amazing.

  59. Sue McGinty Mysteries on March 14, 2012 at 7:04 am

    Sheesh, what to do? I feel like I can never catch up, I’m not a big fan of chocolate, and I know that’s un-American.

    • Cindy Sample on March 14, 2012 at 2:59 pm

      Not a fan of chocolate? You’re not alone, except in this household. My word production is frequently equivalent to my chocolate consumption:-)

  60. Bryn on March 14, 2012 at 3:12 pm

    As an author I personally don’t subscribe to the importance of using social media to push my books and personal brand whatever that is. Such a strategy floods the internet and readers can’t read all the social media “stuff” which has glutted it. It also lessens the time for actual writing. I have a website with a pseudonym and any information about me or my books is there. I don’t have comments on my website. The public can sign up for my newsletter. But I’m a writer, not a conference coordinator or attendee, not a media relations person and certainly not a pr person. PR is the last thing I’ve ever been interested in doing. My stress levels are far lower and I enjoy researching and writing much better. My publisher has to understand for me to have that publishing house publish my books.

    • Cindy Sample on March 14, 2012 at 9:31 pm

      Sounds like the perfect writer’s life. Thanks for sharing.

  61. Margie Yee Webb on March 14, 2012 at 9:23 pm

    Cindy Sample hope you are feeling better! You are hilarious, so be hilarious and healthy! Not to put any more stress on you…your blog posts are so funny, you should turn them into a book! Seriously!

    P.S. Cheers (and daggers) for Left Coast Crime! http://​www.leftcoastcrime.org/​2012/

    • Cindy Sample on March 14, 2012 at 9:32 pm

      Hilarity is healthy, right, Margie. Thanks for laughing along with me.

  62. Pauline Baird Jones on May 14, 2012 at 7:55 am

    Cindy, your blog is always so fun, I just had to award you a Versatile Blogger Award! http://paulinebairdjones.blogspot.com/2012/05/got-versatile-blogger-award-and-paying.html

    • Cindy Sample on May 14, 2012 at 10:42 am

      Pauline, I am honored to receive your Versatile Blogger Award. Since my posts bounce from one nutty topic to another, I’m thrilled that I’ve provided you with some laugh-filled moments!

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